How can we find evidence of reading in the past? And how can we interpret this evidence to create a 'history' of reading? To answer these questions, this volume presents eleven fascinating accounts of readers and reading in the British Isles over two hundred years. The authors reveal the huge variety of evidence that exists, not only of what people read, but how, and in what circumstances they read. Covering a wide range of readers and texts, the essays demonstrate how individual reading practices are influenced by – even sometimes defined by – factors such as social class, political affiliation, the place of reading, the availability of books, and changes in publishing practices. With chapters highlighting the importance of reading communities, the uses to which reading may be put, and the importance of newspapers, the volume provides a richly textured account of reading practices in Britain
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