This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to examine how stories work within the magazine, in which all elements participate in selling. Rather than providing a comprehensive overview of the magazines and advertising of the period under study, it analyzes points of interaction between fiction and advertising to learn both about fiction and about advertising's place in culture. The chapter then traces developments in magazine economics, covering changes in readership, circulation, and advertising in the 19th century. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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