This course examines printing, book production, and the production, dissemination, and reception of print cultures after 1800. As modern industrial technologies increased both the abundance of cheap paper and the speed and output of the printing press, industrializing societies became increasingly literacy-dependent. We will read historical studies which describe these changes and examine the impact on western cultures and societies 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 literary production conditions of their times and the possibilities now open to, and the demands now constricting, them.
Readings will concentrate on the history of, and on products deriving from, the Anglo-American tradition. Students are encouraged, however, to consider the growing number of studies tracing developments in other cultures, as well.
This course is intended to introduce some of the issues that the concatenation of changes mentioned above raises, issues including, but not limited to: (1) how changes in the physical conditions of production altered or reflected the changing role of print within society; (2) how authors, printers, publishers, and reading publics redefined the ways in which they interacted with one another; (3) how the rise of mass literacy impacted upon the kind of materials produced for mass audiences; (4) how various economic and intellectual interests converge and diverge in the "republic of letters"/"marketplace of ideas"; (5) how new conditions enabled writers and publishers to target printed products at selected market segments (by gender, class, interests, reading levels, and so forth) in ways not always possible at earlier times. Readings will include standard historical/bibliographical books and articles, as well as a number of literary works that embody certain themes of interest to this class.
The instructor urges--NOTE that "urges" is NOT equivalent to "requires"!--students to read the following works, or as much of them as possible, during the first two to three weeks of the course. They are readable. They also provide contexts for thinking about some of the issues raised by the works to be read during the semester.
This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 P.M. to 3 P.M. in Bennett Hall 225. If class size permits, we will move to the Lea Library, located on the sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. We may occasionally reschedule or relocate in order to accommodate the showing of movies or tapes.
The instructor's office is nearby, in the Department of Special Collec- tions, sixth floor, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. You can reach him by telephone (215 898 7088) or in person at that location. He is normally in the office between 9 and 5 weekdays, but please telephone before showing up. You can also communicate by e-mail (directly at email@example.com or through the class list at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Members of the class must submit two response papers, each 1 to 2 pages in length and no more. The syllabus calls for a single-topic response from every member of the class due at the 4th session (January 26th). Other response topics are suggested for other weeks. Choose ANY OTHER and submit it at the class for which it is relevant. Responses will not be accepted after the class which discusses the materials they discuss. Responses are NOT graded but must be turned in. (The instructor will use them to indicate writing problems, if any.)
Students must write and submit by March 2nd a 4-5 page description of a nineteenth-century book. How this description is to be done will be discussed in class. On May 9th (during exam week) a FINAL PAPER of some 10-15 pages is due. (There is no final examination.) This essay should consider some materials not otherwise read in class and use primary materials of some sort in doing so. CHOOSE A TOPIC AND WRITE THIS PAPER ONLY AFTER DISCUSSING IT WITH THE INSTRUCTOR. Follow MLA or Chicago format rules in its preparation. Death (preferably yours) is the acceptable excuse for lateness. In general, the instructor appreciates good writing. Not only does he look with disfavor upon poorly-written essays, he will also actively, eagerly, and with malice aforethought, lower their grade. Sloppy writing normally means sloppy thinking. USE THE WRITING CENTER IF THIS IS AN AREA IN WHICH YOU KNOW--OR LEARN--THAT YOU NEED HELP.
This class will work through both discussion and (more rarely) lectures. Your attendance will make a difference in its success--and your attendance and participation in your grade. Ground rules: talk; interrupt; open your mouths. Be polite but do not let politeness get in the way of making your points. NOTE: The instructor is eager but (perhaps) not lunatic; he has noticed that he is asking you to read a lot. Do as much as you can. He hopes that relatively light writing and no exam requirements will help make the reading load a bit more palatable (and possible).
Honoré de Balzac, Lost Illusions, trans. H. J. Hunt
Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford)
George Gissing, New Grub Street (Penguin)
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (Penguin)
Mario Puzo, The Godfather (Signet)
Susannah Rowson, Charlotte Temple, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Oxford)
Danielle Steel, Message from Nam (Delacorte)
The instructor appends below a list of books on reserve in the Rosengarten Reserve Room (Van Pelt Library, basement level) or books that he recommends for your general self-improvement.
Highly recommended: read (or skim) Gaskell, New introduction, "Book Production: The Hand-Press Period 1500-1800"; AND begin Balzac's Lost illusions. It's a long book; you'll be sorry if you don't start it sooner rather than later.
Week 2--24 and 26 January
Looking at books
General response topic (due 26 January):
Week 3--31 January and 2 February
More looking at books
Week 4--7 and 9 February
Week 5--14 and 16 February
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace
Week 6--21 and 23 February
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace, part 2
Week 7--28 February and 2 March
7 and 9 March
SPRING BREAK; NO CLASSES
Week 8--14 and 16 March
Impacts of literacy
Week 9--21 and 23 March
Impacts of literacy, part 2
Read: Philip Gaskell, From writer to reader: studies in editorial method (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), chap. 10 (on Hardy's Woodlanders; you should also read Gaskell's next two chapters during the coming weeks).
Read: Roger Schofield, "Dimensions of illiteracy in England 1750-1850," and Harvey J. Graff, "Literacy, jobs, and industrialization: the nineteenth century," chapters 10 and 12, in Literacy and social development in the west: a reader, ed. Harvey J. Graff, Cambridge studies in oral and literate culture (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
NOTE: Meetings in Washington and Chicago will take the instructor out of town this week. Substitutes MAY be arranged (TBA).
Week 10--28 and 30 March
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace, part 3
Week 11--4 and 6 April
The Republic of Letters / The Literary Marketplace, part 4
Week 12--11 and 13 April
Week 13--18 and 20 April
Mass markets, part 2
Read: Marianna Torgovnick's chapter on The Godfather in her Crossing Ocean Parkway (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994).
Week 14--25 and 27 April
Targeted / segmented markets
Ballou, Ellen B. The building of the house: Houghton Mifflin's formative
years. Boston 1970.
BOOKS ON RESERVE FOR ENGLISH
Barker, Nicolas. Stanley Morison. London 1972.
Barnes, James J. Authors, publishers, and politicians: the quest for an Anglo-American copyright agreement 1815-1854. Columbus 1974.
----------, and Patience P. Barnes. Hitler's Mein Kampf in Britain and America: a publishing history. Cambridge 1980.
Bidwell, John. "The Brandywine paper mill and the Anglo-American book trade 1787-1837." [Oxford] 1992.
Brodhead, Richard H. Cultures of letters: scenes of reading and writing in nineteenth-century America. Chicago 1993.
Brooks, Jeffrey. When Russia learned to read. Princeton 1985.
Cave, Roderick. The private press. 2nd ed. New York 1983. A copy can be found in Special Collections.
Cerf, Bennett. At Random. New York 1977.
Chartier, Roger. Cultural history. Ithaca 1988.
Coser, Lewis, Charles Kadushin, and Walter W. Powell, Books: the culture and commerce of publishing. New York 1982.
Crutchley, Brooke. To be a printer. London 1980.
Davidson, Cathy N. Revolution and the word. New York 1986.
Davis, Kenneth S. Two-bit culture: the paperbacking of America. Boston 1984.
Eisenstein, Elizabeth L. The printing press as an agent of change. Cambridge 1979. 2 vols.
----------. The printing revolution in early modern Europe. Cambridge 1983.
Exman, Eugene. The brothers Harper. New York 1965.
----------. The house of Harper. New York 1967.
Febvre, Lucien. The coming of the book. Trans. David Gerard. London 1976.
Feltes, N. N. Literary capital and the late Victorian novel. Madison 1993.
----------. Modes of production of Victorian novels. Chicago 1986.
Furet, Francois, and Jacques Ozouf. Reading and writing: literacy in France from Calvin to Jules Ferry. Cambridge 1982.
Gaskell, Philip. From writer to reader. Oxford 1978.
----------. A new introduction to bibliography. Oxford 1972; rpt. 1974. A copy can also be found in Special Collections; another is on order for the Furness Shakespeare Library.
Literacy and social development in the west. Ed. Harvey J. Graff. Cambridge 1981.
McGaw, Judith A. Most wonderful machine: mechanization and social change in Berkshire paper making, 1801-1885. Princeton 1987.
Macherey, Pierre. A theory of literary production. London 1978.
McKenzie, Donald F. Bibliography and the sociology of texts. The Panizzi lectures 1985. London 1986.
McLean, Ruari. Victorian book design and colour printing. Berkeley 1972.
Mardersteig, Giovanni. The Officina Bodoni. Verona 1980. A copy can be found in Special Collections.
Martin, Henri-Jean. The history and power of writing. Chicago 1994.
Meltzer, Francoise. Hot property: the stakes and claims of literary originality. Chicago 1994.
Munby, A. N. L. Connoisseurs and medieval miniatures 1750-1850. Oxford 1972. The title seems wrong; you aren't interested. But trust me. You will never--not ever--read better scholarly prose in any field; and--mirabile dictu!--the book is even relevant to this class. If the Library has the next title (it isn't on FRANKLIN, however), read it, too. The guy is terrific. You might like his ghost stories (The alabaster hand, written while he was a POW in German camps after the British collapse at Dunkirk), too.
----------. The cult of the autograph letter. London 1962.
Needs and opportunities in the history of the book: America 1639-1876. Ed. David D. Hall and John B. Hench. Worcester 1987.
Nelson, James G. The early nineties: the view from the Bodley Head. Cambridge, Mass., 1971.
Ong, Walter J. Orality and literacy, New York 1982.
Patten, Robert L. Charles Dickens and his publishers. Oxford 1978.
Radway, Janice. Reading the romance. Chapel Hill 1984.
Ray, Gordon N. The art of the French illustrated book 1700 to 1914. New York and Ithaca 1982. 2 vols. A copy can be found in Special Collections.
----------. The illustrator and the book in England from 1790 to 1914. New York 1976.
Rose, Mark. Authors and owners: the invention of copyright. Cambridge, Mass., 1993.
Rubin, Joan Shelley. The making of middlebrow culture. Chapel Hill 1992.
Sheehan, Donald. This was publishing. Bloomington 1952.
Steinberg, S. H. Five hundred years of printing. 3rd ed. Harmondsworth 1974.
Sutherland, John. Bestsellers: popular fiction of the 1970s. London 1981.
----------. Victorian novelists and publishers. London 1976.
Thompson, Susan Otis. American book design and William Morris. New York 1977.
Twyman, Michael. Printing 1770-1970. London 1970.
Unseld, Siegfried. The author and his publisher. Trans. Hunter Hannum and Hildegarde Hannum. Chicago 1980.
West, James L. W., III, American Authors and the Literary Market place since 1900. Philadelphia 1982.
Remember to consult the bibliography in Gaskell for special topics
(bearing in mind its 1972 terminus).
Ballou, Ellen B. The building of the house: Houghton Mifflin's formative
years. Boston 1970.