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Look Inside Reading History in Britain and America, c.1750–c.1840

Reading History in Britain and America, c.1750–c.1840

$99.99 (C)

  • Publication planned for: July 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108483001

$ 99.99 (C)
Hardback

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About the Authors
  • The period between c.1750 and c.1840 is popularly known for the rise of the novel, yet historical works by Enlightenment writers, including David Hume, Edward Gibbon and William Robertson, were some of its most commercially successful books. Moving beyond the range of previous studies that have sought to explain this success by focussing on publishers, writers and their ideas, Mark Towsey's study is the first to focus on the reading audiences themselves. Drawing on a variety of sources including marginalia, letters, diaries and commonplace books, this lively book reveals why histories were so widely read, and shows how they were used by readers across the English-speaking world to make sense of social upheaval at home and revolution abroad. In doing so, it marks a major addition to the history of reading, shedding fascinating new light on how readers interpreted books in the past.

    • Delivers the first book length study of the success of historical literature from the perspective of the reading audience in the period c.1750–c.1840
    • Draws on a wide variety of sources, including letters, diaries, marginalia and commonplace books, to shed new light on audience response to history books
    • Explores how historical narratives, events and ideas were used by readers to interpret a rapidly changing world
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108483001
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. 'History now is the favourite reading'
    1. History and the life cycle of the reader
    2. Sceptical historiography and the problem of infidelity
    3. Contesting constitutional history
    4. A nation united? Histories of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales
    5. Rewriting the American nation
    6. Historical information and the management of Empire
    Conclusion
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Mark Towsey, University of Liverpool

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