Who Will Brighten Their Grave Faces?: 19th-Century Popular Literature

Warner, Patrick (2021) Who Will Brighten Their Grave Faces?: 19th-Century Popular Literature. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. ISBN 978-0-88901-504-3

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Taking as its subject English 19th-century popular literature in print form, this catalogue looks at a range of publications aimed at mass audiences, including works of a religious or political stripe, self-help literature, as well as fiction. Numerous social forces influenced both the content of this literature and its production. The struggle for more democratic institutions and for better education and freedom of expression gave rise to increased reading appetites and a demand for different types of reading materials. New business models and new printing and book-manufacturing technologies drove explosive output in the publishing world. Nowhere was this more evident than in newspapers and periodicals, which rapidly became the medium through which the public voiced its opinions (Altick 322). The publishing world in the 19th century was both competitive and contested. Who should read and what should they read? Was it the task of writers and publishers to cater to readers’ appetites, no matter how sensational, or should the reading public be given only what would better them? And if the latter, who decided? Such ideas informed the development of both popular literature and the mass reading audience in the 19th century and set the parameters for the media revolutions that followed.

Item Type: Book
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15780
Item ID: 15780
Additional Information: From the holdings of Archives & Special Collections, QE II Library.
Department(s): Memorial University Libraries
Date: 2021
Date Type: Publication
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