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The Most Disreputable TradePublishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765-1810$
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Thomas F. Bonnell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532209.001.0001

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Introduction: A New Sensibility for Classics

Introduction: A New Sensibility for Classics

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: A New Sensibility for Classics
Source:
The Most Disreputable Trade
Author(s):

Thomas F. Bonnell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532209.003.0001

This chapter introduces the publishing phenomenon and briefly examines the strategies employed by publishers for creating a general sensibility of classics. The chapter holds that it matters how publishers conceive of their products, and how they present them to the public. Equally important to the methodology is close inspection of the commodity itself, the physical book. The books themselves offer tangible primary evidence of what the publishers thought would sell. The first part of the book addresses conceptual issues and the three poetry series that introduced an English canon, all produced in Scotland between 1765 and 1777. The second part focuses on London, where rival collections squared off from 1776 through 1790. An even larger expansion of the national enterprise, with further diversification of products, is analysed in the third part, which covers developments from the early 1790s to 1810.

Keywords:   classics, Scotland, London, publishing phenomenon, strategies

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