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Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England
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Provincial Readers in Eighteenth-Century England

Jan Fergus


Many scholars have written about 18th-century English novels, but no one really knows who read them. This study provides historical data on the provincial reading publics for various forms of fiction — novels, plays, chapbooks, children's books, and magazines. Archival records of Midland booksellers based in five market towns and selling printed matter to over thirty-three hundred customers between 1744 and 1807 form the basis for new information about who actually bought and borrowed different kinds of fiction in 18th-century provincial England. This book thus offers the first solid demograph ... More

Keywords: eighteenth century, novels, provincial England, fiction, plays, chapbooks, children's books, magazines, gender lines

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199297825
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199297825.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jan Fergus, author
Professor of English, Lehigh University
Author Webpage