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Writers, Readers, and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918

Philip Waller

Abstract

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 with it 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 such writers? Yet Hall Caine, for one, boasted in 1908 of having made more money from his pen than any previous author. This book presents a panoramic view of literary life in Brita ... More

Keywords: best-seller, literary life, mass reading public, writers' reputations, popular taste, critics, reviewers, literary agents, celebrities

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199541201
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Waller, author
Emeritus Fellow in History, Merton College, Oxford
Author Webpage