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History of Books and Printing, 1800-1950

ENGL 298.401
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3

Note: This course satisfies the "History & Tradition" distributional requirement within the General Requirement.

This course examines printing, book production, and the production, dissemination, and reception of print culture after
1800.  As modern industrial technologies increased the abundance of cheap paper and the output of the printing press, industrializing societies became increasingly literacy-dependent.  We will read historical studies which describe these changes and examine the impact of the increased availability of printed matter and the rise in literacy rates.  We will also read some texts suggestive of various ways in which "literary" writers responded to the new conditions of their times and the possibilities now open to them. Readings will concentrate on the history of, and on products deriving from, the Anglo-American tradition; but students will be encouraged to look at the growing body of materials devoted
to tracing developments in other cultures.

Historical readings will include such books as Philip Gaskell, *A New Introduction to Bibliography* (Gaskell will be the
basic historical text for the class) and some additional books and articles such as, and probably including some of, those that follow:  Pierre Machery, *A Theory of Literary Production*; Cathy N. Davidson, *Revolution and the Word:  The Rise of the Novel in America*; N. N. Feltes, *Modes of Production of Victorian Novels*; Lewis Coser, Charles Kadushin, and Walter W. Powell, *Books:  The Culture and Commerce of Publishing*; Janice Radway, *Reading the
Romance*; and James L. W. West III, *American Authors and the Literary Marketplace since 1900*.

"Literary" texts will include works illustrative of fictionalized versions of the literary life and of issues of literacy, as well as representative "bestsellers" for a mass reading public.  They will be drawn from such books as:  Susannah Rowson, *Charlotte Temple*; a novel by Balzac, TBA; another by Horatio Alger, also TBA; Thomas Hardy, *Tess of the D'Urbervilles*; Mary Elizabeth Braddon, *Lady Audley's Secret*; George Gissing, *New Grub Street*; H. G. Wells, *Love and Mr. Lewisham*; Danielle Steel, *Message from Nam*; a "romance," TBA; and John Grisham, *A Time to Kill*.