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Stealing Books in Eighteenth-Century London

Authors: Coulton, Richard, Mauger, Matthew, Reid, Christopher

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  • Uncovers a previously neglected area in the history of print culture
  • Examines book theft across gender and class divides, and from the perspective of both prisoner and prosecutor
  • Sheds new light on what book ownership meant in the long eighteenth century
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eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41196-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41195-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This study offers an authoritative and readable account of the hidden history of book theft in eighteenth-century London. It exploits a rich primary source, the compelling narratives of crime contained in the digitised Proceedings of the Old Bailey. The authors explain how cases of book theft came to court, and how in the ensuing trials the nature of the book itself became a question for legal debate. They assess the motives which led Londoners to steal books and the methods they employed in thefts from households and booksellers. Finally, the authors ask what the Proceedings tells us about the social ownership of books, and how the phenomenon of book theft differently affected book producers and consumers. Stealing Books in Eighteenth-Century London will appeal to readers interested in the connected histories of metropolitan life, crime, and the book in this period, and in the uses of digital resources in humanities research.



About the authors

Richard Coulton contributes to both teaching and research within the Department of English at Queen Mary, University of London, UK.

Matthew Mauger researches extensively in poetry of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries; in particular, he focuses on how Enlightenment legal debate forms an important context for artistic production in the period.

Christopher Reid is Senior Lecturer in English at the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. He works on eighteenth-century literature and history, with a focus on political writing and oratory in that period.

Reviews

“This excellent little book, Stealing Books in Eighteenth-Century London, showcases some of the best qualities of the digital humanities by offering new insights into book ownership and literary culture and by confirming stereotypes about criminal life in eighteenth-century London. ... Stealing Books is a joy to read because it is so exceedingly well-written and quick-paced. ... Anybody interested in the histories of London, crime, and the book will benefit greatly from reading this short volume.” (Franco Arato, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 51 (2), 2017)


Table of contents (4 chapters)

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41196-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41195-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Stealing Books in Eighteenth-Century London
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-41196-9
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-41196-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-41195-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 146
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics