Catalogue

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Writers, readers, and reputations : literary life in Britain, 1870-1918 /
Philip Waller.
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2006.
description
x, 1181 p. : ill., facsims., ports. ; 26 cm.
ISBN
0198206771 (acid-free paper), 9780198206774 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2006.
isbn
0198206771 (acid-free paper)
9780198206774 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
5892526
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [1047]-1075) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-08-01:
This may be one of the weightiest books a reader will ever handle, but those who are interested in British literary life will find it immensely entertaining and informative. Providing enough text to make three normal-size volumes, Waller (Merton College, Oxford) ranges over almost every aspect of the publishing world for a half century, drawing mainly on biographies, autobiographies, published letters, and contemporary periodicals. A cornucopia of fascinating facts and anecdotes (unburdened by theory), the book covers the interplay of lives and letters, writers and readers, publishers and the public. One learns about the impact of movies on writers' opportunities and readers' book buying; literary agents and reviewers; publishers' strategies; literary celebrity; book advertising, book tours, and book clubs; censorship, feuds, awards, and incomes; and best sellers, some now forgotten. All this is rendered in highly readable prose full of intimate biographical detail, generous quotation, and wry commentary. The footnotes (on every page) are often no less engaging than the text. The bibliography runs to 28 pages. Literary history at ground level on a grand scale, this book belongs in every academic library. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. M. S. Vogeler emerita, California State University, Fullerton
Reviews
Review Quotes
The book contains some deft portraiture, several good stories, a mass of quotations, a few statistics...and an abundance of miscellanous information.
'The book contains some deft portraiture, several good stories, a mass of quotations, a few statistics...and an abundance of miscellanous information.'Stefan Collini, London Review of Books
the remarkable thing about this extraordinary book is that throughout its thousand pages it remains consistently readable, enjoyable, and informative... Waller's style is addictive and discursive...and the reader will gain greatly the more that she or he reads
The richness of Waller's study is beyond question. This is an extraordinary mine of fact, detail, quotation, anecdote and reminiscence. Every reader, no matter how familiar with the literature of the period, will learn from the range of its excavations.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Philip Waller explores the literary world in which the modern best-seller first emerged, with writers promoted as stars and celebrities, advertising both products and themselves.
Long Description
Charles Dickens died in 1870, the same year in which universal elementary education was intorduced. During the following generation a mass reading public emerged, and the term 'best-seller' was coined. In new and cheap editions Dickens's stories sold hugely, but these were progressively outstripped in quantity by the likes of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli, Charles Garvice and Nat Gould. Who has now heard of these writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century from 1870 to 1914, teasing out authors' relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. It surveys readers' habits, the book trade, popular literary magazines and the role of reviewers, and examines the construction of a classical canon by critics concerned about the supposed corruption of popular taste. Certain writers were elevated as national heroes, yet Britain drew its writers from abroad as well as from home. Authors became stars and celebrities, and a literary tourism grew around their haunts. They advertised products from cigarettes to toothpaste; they were fashion-conscious and promoted themsevles via profiles, interviews, and carefully posed photographs; they went on lecture tours to America; and their names were pushed by a new professional breed: the literary agent. Some angled for knighthoods, even peerages, and cut a figure in high society and London clubland. The debated public issues of the day and campaigned on all manner of things from questions of faith and women's rights to censorship and conscription. During the Great War they penned propaganda. Meanwhile the cinema was developing to challenge the supremacy of the written word over the imagination. Authors took to that too, as an opportunity for new adventure. Writers, Readers, and Reputations is richly entertaining and informative, amounting to a collective biography of a generation of writers and their world.
Long Description
Charles Dickens died in 1870, the same year in which universal elementary education was introduced. During the following generation a mass reading public emerged, and the term "best-seller" was coined. In new and cheap editions Dickens's stories sold hugely, but these were progressively outstripped in quantity by the likes of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli, Charles Garvice and Nat Gould. Who has now heard of these writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century from 1870 to 1914, teasing out authors' relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. It surveys readers' habits, the book trade, popular literary magazines and the role of reviewers, and examines the construction of a classical canon by critics concerned about the supposed corruption of popular taste. Certain writers were elevated as national heroes, yet Britain drew its writers from abroad as well as from home. Authors became stars and celebrities, and a literary tourism grew around their haunts. They advertised products from cigarettes to toothpaste; they were fashion-conscious and promoted themselves via profiles, interviews, and carefully posed photographs; they went on lecture tours to America; and their names were pushed by a new professional breed: the literary agent. Some angled for knighthoods, even peerages, and cut a figure in high society and London clubland. They debated public issues of the day and campaigned on all manner of things from questions of faith and women's rights to censorship and conscription. During the Great War they penned propaganda. Meanwhile the cinema was developing to challenge the supremacy of the written word over the imagination. Authors took to that too, as an opportunity for new adventure. Writers, Readers, and Reputations is richly entertaining and informative, amounting to a collective biography of a generation of writers and their world.
Long Description
Charles Dickens died in 1870, the same year in which universal elementary education was introduced. During the following generation a mass reading public emerged, and the term "best-seller" was coined. In new and cheap editions Dickens's stories sold hugely, but these were progressively outstripped in quantity by the likes of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli, Charles Garvice and Nat Gould. Who has now heard of these writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century from 1870 to 1914, teasing out authors' relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. It surveys readers' habits, the book trade, popular literary magazines and the role of reviewers, and examines the construction of a classical canon by critics concerned about the supposed corruption of popular taste. Certain writers were elevated as national heroes, yet Britain drew its writers from abroad as well as from home. Authors became stars and celebrities, and a literary tourism grew around their haunts. They advertised products from cigarettes to toothpaste; they were fashion-conscious and promoted themselves via profiles, interviews, and carefully posed photographs; they went on lecture tours to America; and their names were pushed by a new professional breed: the literary agent. Some angled for knighthoods, even peerages, and cut a figure in high society and London clubland. They debated public issues of the day and campaigned on all manner of things from questions of faith and women's rights to censorship and conscription. During theGreat War they penned propaganda. Meanwhile the cinema was developing to challenge the supremacy of the written word over the imagination. Authors took to that too, as an opportunity for new adventure. Writers, Readers, and Reputations is richly entertaining and informative, amounting to a collective biography of a generation of writers and their world.
Main Description
Charles Dickens died in 1870, the same year in which universal elementary education was introduced. During the following generation a mass reading public emerged, and the term 'best-seller' was coined. In new and cheap editions Dickens's stories sold hugely, but these were progressivelyoutstripped in quantity by the likes of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli, Charles Garvice and Nat Gould. Who has now heard of these writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century from 1870 to 1914, teasing out authors' relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. It surveys readers' habits, the book trade, popular literary magazines and the role ofreviewers, and examines the construction of a classical canon by critics concerned about the supposed corruption of popular taste. Certain writers were elevated as national heroes, yet Britain drew its writers from abroad as well as from home. Authors became stars and celebrities, and a literary tourism grew around their haunts. They advertised products from cigarettes to toothpaste; they were fashion-conscious and promoted themselves via profiles, interviews, and carefully posed photographs; they went on lecture tours to America; andtheir names were pushed by a new professional breed: the literary agent. Some angled for knighthoods, even peerages, and cut a figure in high society and London clubland. The debated public issues of the day and campaigned on all manner of things from questions of faith and women's rights tocensorship and conscription. During the Great War they penned propaganda. Meanwhile the cinema was developing to challenge the supremacy of the written word over the imagination. Authors took to that too, as an opportunity for new adventure. Writers, Readers, and Reputations is richlyentertaining and informative, amounting to a collective biography of a generation of writers and their world.
Main Description
Charles Dickens died in 1870, the same year in which universal elementary education was introduced. During the following generation a mass reading public emerged, and the term "best-seller" was coined. In new and cheap editions Dickens's stories sold hugely, but these were progressively outstripped in quantity by the likes of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli, Charles Garvice and Nat Gould. Who has now heard of these writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century from 1870 to 1914, teasing out authors' relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. It surveys readers' habits, the book trade, popular literary magazines and the role of reviewers, and examines the construction of a classical canon by critics concerned about the supposed corruption of popular taste. Certain writers were elevated as national heroes, yet Britain drew its writers from abroad as well as from home. Authors became stars and celebrities, and a literary tourism grew around their haunts. They advertised products from cigarettes to toothpaste; they were fashion-conscious and promoted themselves via profiles, interviews, and carefully posed photographs; they went on lecture tours to America; and their names were pushed by a new professional breed: the literary agent. Some angled for knighthoods, even peerages, and cut a figure in high society and London clubland. The debated public issues of the day and campaigned on all manner of things from questions of faith and women's rights to censorship and conscription. During the Great War they penned propaganda. Meanwhile the cinema was developing to challenge the supremacy of the written word over the imagination. Authors took to that too, as an opportunity for new adventure. Writers, Readers, and Reputations is richly entertaining and informative, amounting to a collective biography of a generation of writers and their world.
Main Description
Charles Dickens died in 1870, the same year in which universal elementary education was introduced. During the following generation a mass reading public emerged, and the term "best-seller" was coined. In new and cheap editions Dickens's stories sold hugely, but these were progressively outstripped in quantity by the likes of Hall Caine and Marie Corelli, Charles Garvice and Nat Gould. Who has now heard of these writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century from 1870 to 1914, teasing out authors' relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. It surveys readers' habits, the book trade, popular literary magazines and the role of reviewers, and examines the construction of a classical canon by critics concerned about the supposed corruption of popular taste. Certain writers were elevated as national heroes, yet Britain drew its writers from abroad as well as from home. Authors became stars and celebrities, and a literary tourism grew around their haunts. They advertised products from cigarettes to toothpaste; they were fashion-conscious and promoted themselves via profiles, interviews, and carefully posed photographs; they went on lecture tours to America; and their names were pushed by a new professional breed: the literary agent. Some angled for knighthoods, even peerages, and cut a figure in high society and London clubland. They debated public issues of the day and campaigned on all manner of things from questions of faith and women's rights to censorship and conscription. During the Great War they penned propaganda. Meanwhile the cinema was developing to challenge the supremacy of the written word over the imagination. Authors took to that too, as an opportunity for new adventure.Writers, Readers, and Reputationsis richly entertaining and informative, amounting to a collective biography of a generation of writers and their world.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xii
The Reading World
Back to the Future: Authors at the Moviesp. 3
Consenting and Dissenting Bibliophiles in Public and Privatep. 17
Literary Advice and Advisersp. 68
Reviews and Reviewersp. 116
The Great Traditionp. 175
The Commemoration Movementp. 232
English Literature's Foreign Relations; or, `'E dunno ou il est!'p. 279
Writers and the Public: The Price of Fame
Product Advertising and Self-Advertisingp. 329
The Star Turnp. 364
Playing the Press: Entry and Exposurep. 398
Securing the Futurep. 427
Titles and Laurelsp. 448
Social Prestige and Clubbabilityp. 490
The Aristocratic Round and Salon Circlep. 523
Looking and Acting the Partp. 560
Lecture Toursp. 575
Literary Properties and Agenciesp. 615
Best-Sellers
Market Conditionsp. 635
In Cupid's Chains: Charles Garvicep. 681
Hymns and Heroines: Florence Barclayp. 702
The Epic Ego: Hall Cainep. 729
The Demonic Dreamer: Marie Corellip. 767
Authors at Play: Nat Gould Leads the Fieldp. 817
Writers and the Public: Penmen as Pundits
The Campaign Trailp. 845
Public Service and Party Politicsp. 903
Pens at Warp. 926
Pricking Censorshipp. 975
Theology versus Sociology and Psychologyp. 1002
Bibliographyp. 1047
Index of Book, Essay, Pamphlet, Play, Poem and Short Story Titlesp. 1077
General Indexp. 1103
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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