Consuming Texts: Readers and Reading Communities, 1695-1870 by Stephen Colclough PDF

By Stephen Colclough

Eating Texts explores the background of analyzing within the British Isles in the course of a interval within which the broadcast observe grew to become all pervasive. starting with an summary of modern paintings, it is going directly to supply a chain of case experiences of person readers and the groups to which they belonged. From prosperous readers of 'amatory fiction' within the early Eighteenth century, via to women and men examining surreptitiously on the Victorian railway bookshop, it argues number of new interpreting groups emerged in this interval.

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Chapters 4 and 5 look at reading in the new, more commercialised world of the Romantic period, paying particular attention to the institutions of reading that developed at this time, such as circulating libraries. Chapters 5 and 6 analyse the ways in which different communities consumed the most commonly reproduced print items of the early nineteenth century, including the new range of reprinted texts that became available after 1774. My termination date of 1870 is perhaps more contentious. Chapter 6 concludes by looking at the reading of those objects identified by Eliot as the commonest products of a modern industrial society, the weekly newspaper and the advertising poster, in order to suggest that the kinds of autobiographical sources that I have used throughout this study are largely inadequate to deal with both the ‘mass audience’ and the new spaces for reading that appeared during the 1840s and 1850s.

18 Despite the continued use of the term commonplace book, and the concomitant encouragement of readers to make careful notes on their reading under headings, Locke’s methodology suggests an underlying change in the nature of scholarly reading practices, which were now much more likely to focus on understanding a text’s argument than gathering an appropriate quotation for use in conversation or reworking as a new text. 34 Consuming Texts Not all text compilations made during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were commonplace books.

159r–190v). 168r). 29 Caesar added marginal notes to both in order to identify the real people disguised by fake names or initials (‘Earnest’ in Heraclitus Ridens is revealed as ‘Sir Roger L’Estrange’), or to draw attention to particular passages (such as ‘Fornication described’ in All Men Mad). Both of these texts celebrate the anarchic nature of satire. 30 Caesar may well have transcribed the former because it was a relatively rare object that passed through his hands, but it is important to note the way in which the process of transcription transformed the portable, ephemeral, printed text into a subsection of the much larger personal miscellany.

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