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The History of Reading, Volume 1
 
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The History of Reading, Volume 1
International Perspectives, c. 1500-1990
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
26 Aug 2011
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£56.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230247512
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08 Aug 2011
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£140.00
|Quantity pack In Stock
  
9780230319288
 
 
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

How do we accurately recover the diverse engagement of readers with texts across time and in widely differing societies across the world? This volume brings together a representative sample of original, evidence based research in the History of Reading. Chapters cover individual readers, reading communities or groups and their engagement with texts in societies ranging from nineteenth-century Poland and Germany, apartheid era South Africa, Antebellum America, colonial Canada, India and New Zealand, and early modern England. Deliberately juxtaposing research on different countries, linguistic communities and historical periods, The History of Reading, Vol. 1: International Perspectives, c.1500-1990 demonstrates the challenges and rewards of undertaking empirical research on reading practices and asks whether readers' responses to texts are always entirely conditioned by their historical, socio-economic, or political circumstances. A wide-ranging critical introduction provides a succinct overview of evidence based approaches to the history of reading, and reminds us that the task of recovering the evidence of readers through history and across the world is still in its infancy.


Description

How do we accurately recover the diverse engagement of readers with texts across time and in widely differing societies across the world? This volume brings together a representative sample of original, evidence based research in the History of Reading. Chapters cover individual readers, reading communities or groups and their engagement with texts in societies ranging from nineteenth-century Poland and Germany, apartheid era South Africa, Antebellum America, colonial Canada, India and New Zealand, and early modern England. Deliberately juxtaposing research on different countries, linguistic communities and historical periods, The History of Reading, Vol. 1: International Perspectives, c.1500-1990 demonstrates the challenges and rewards of undertaking empirical research on reading practices and asks whether readers' responses to texts are always entirely conditioned by their historical, socio-economic, or political circumstances. A wide-ranging critical introduction provides a succinct overview of evidence based approaches to the history of reading, and reminds us that the task of recovering the evidence of readers through history and across the world is still in its infancy.


Reviews

'This consequential volume extends our understanding of reading in time and space. Importantly, the book takes us into the colonial and postcolonial worlds, a dimension generally lacking in scholarship on histories of reading. The book offers a dazzling array of case studies - Gandhi in prison, Protestant Bible readers in early modern England, Polish nationalists, political prisoners in South Africa and many more. Each meticulously researched essay demonstrates that understanding how people read is a key dimension in any intellectual history. This book considerably extends the frontiers of scholarship on histories of reading, print culture and book history. Lucidly written, this treasure trove will delight anyone who loves books and reading.' - Professor Isabel Hofmeyr, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
 
'This impressive collection of essays interrogates a remarkable range of surviving evidence of reading practices and experiences from the medieval to the modern. Here we have a series of intelligent and evidence-based investigations of one of the most debated topics in recent cultural history: the varying definitions and modes of reading. The sources used are as diverse as the places and ages of the study of reading, inviting extensive reconsideration of how and why people read and of our understanding of what women, men and children thought they were doing when they read. Comparative perspectives combine to refocus attention to questions of intensive and extensive reading, of the relationship between orality, writing and print, the changing nature of literacy (and different, contemporary and overlapping literacies), and the quest to find evidence of readers' responses. The great success of the collection is to bring forward this plethora of new historical case studies using memoirs, diaries, library circulation records, and marginalia and other textual clues to test both established historical interpretations and familiar theoretical assumptions in the history of reading.' - James Raven, Professor in Modern History, University of Essex, UK

'...by scoping out some important new directions for the history of reading, this volume points to a bright future...' -Library & Information History





Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword; S.Eliot
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Introduction; S.Towheed & W. R.Owens
PART I: READERS IN THE MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN WORLD
Speaking of Reading and Reading the Evidence: Allusions to Literacy in the Oral Tradition of the Middle English Verse Romances; J.Ford
Modes of Bible Reading in Early Modern England; W.R.Owens
PART II: READERS IN THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND ROMANTIC WORLD
Weeping for Werther: Suicide, Sympathy and the Reading Revolution in Early America; R.Bell
Reconstructing Reading Vogues in the Old South: Borrowings from the Charleston Library Society, 1811–1817; I.Lehuu
PART III: READERS IN THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY
Devouring Uncle Tom's Cabin: Antebellum 'Common' Readers; B.Hochman
Reading in Polish and National Identity in Nineteenth-century Silesia; I.Dobosiewicz & L.Piasecka
Reading Science: Evidence from the Career of Edwin Gilpin, Mining Engineer; L.J.Duggan & B.H.MacDonald
Reading in an Age of Censorship: The Case of Catholic Germany, 1800–1914; J.T. Zalar
PART IV: READERS IN THE TWENTIETH-CENTURY
Understanding Children as Readers: Librarians' Anecdotes and Surveys in the United States from 1890 to 1930; K.McDowell
Letters to a Daughter: An Archive of Middle-Class Reading in New Zealand, c.1872–1932'; S.Liebich
Books Behind Bars: Mahatma Gandhi's Community of Captive Readers; I.Desai
Remembering Reading: Memory, Books, and Reading in South Africa's Apartheid Prisons, 1956–60; A.L.Dick
Further Reading and Weblinks
Index


Authors

SHAFQUAT TOWHEED is Lecturer in English at the Open University, UK, and Co-Investigator on The Reading Experience Database, 1450–1945 (RED) project. He is co-editor of The History of Reading: A Reader (Routledge, 2010) and The History of Reading, Vol.3: Methods, Strategies, Tactics (Palgrave, 2011), and editor of Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four (Broadview, 2010).
 
W.R. OWENS is Professor of English Literature at The Open University, UK. He has published widely on John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe, and is Director of the Reading Experience Database, 1450–1945 (RED) project. His most recent publication is an edition of the 1611 text of The Gospels for Oxford World's Classics (2011).