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In the Company of Books: Literature and Its "Classes" in Nineteenth-Century America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)

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In the Company of Books: Literature and Its "Classes" in Nineteenth-Century America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A vital feature of American culture in the nineteenth century was the growing awareness that the literary marketplace consisted not of a single, unified, relatively homogeneous reading public but rather of many disparate, overlapping reading communities differentiated by interests, class, and level of education as well as by gender and stage of life. Tracing the segmentation of the literary marketplace in nineteenth-century America, this book analyzes the implications of the subdivided literary field for readers, writers, and literature itself. With sections focusing on segmentation by age, gender, and cultural status, In the Company of Books analyzes the ways authors and publishers carved up the field of literary production into a multitude of distinct submarkets, differentiated their products, and targeted specific groups of readers in order to guide their book-buying decisions. Combining innovative approaches to canonical authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and Henry James with engaging investigations into the careers of many lesser-known literary figures, Sarah Wadsworth reveals how American writers responded to--and contributed to--this diverse, and diversified, market. In the Company of Books contends that specialized editorial and marketing tactics, in concert with the narrative strategies of authors and the reading practices of the book-buying public, transformed the literary landscape, leading to new roles for the book in American culture, the innovation of literary genres, and new relationships between books and readers. Both an exploration of a fragmented print culture through the lens of nineteenth-century American literature and an analysisof nineteenth-century American literature from the perspective of this subdivided marketplace, this wide-ranging study offers fresh insight into the impact of market forces on the development of American literature.

Book News Annotation:

Looking alternately at age, gender and cultural status, Wadsworth (English, Marquette U.) analyzes the ways authors and publishers carved up the field of literary production into a multitude of distinct submarkets, then differentiated their products and targeted specific groups of readers in order to guide book-buying decisions. Although this strategy now seems as innate to reading as it does to marketing, Wadsworth contends that specialized editorial and marketing tactics in the 19th century, in concert with the narrative strategies of authors and the reading practices of the book-buying public, transformed the literary landscape and changed the role the book in American culture.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Looking alternately at age, gender and cultural status, Wadsworth (English, Marquette U.) analyzes the ways authors and publishers carved up the field of literary production into a multitude of distinct submarkets, then differentiated their products and targeted specific groups of readers in order to guide book-buying decisions. Although this strategy now seems as innate to reading as it does to marketing, Wadsworth contends that specialized editorial and marketing tactics in the 19th century, in concert with the narrative strategies of authors and the reading practices of the book-buying public, transformed the literary landscape and changed the role the book in American culture. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558495401
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Subject:
Children
Author:
Wadsworth, Sarah
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Publishing
Subject:
Americana
Subject:
American literature -- 19th century.
Subject:
Popular culture -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Americana-General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
Publication Date:
20060731
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
278
Dimensions:
9.30x6.06x1.02 in. 1.23 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Publishing

In the Company of Books: Literature and Its "Classes" in Nineteenth-Century America (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book)
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Product details 278 pages University of Massachusetts Press - English 9781558495401 Reviews:
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