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Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain 1914–1950$
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Joseph McAleer

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203292.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Popular Reading and Publishing in Britain 1914–1950
Author(s):

Joseph McAleer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203292.003.0001

This book is concerned with the reading public which Wilkie Collins and George Orwell tried to describe, during the period when Orwell wrote and which Collins would have recognised: from 1914 until 1950. The book examines three publishing houses, noting in particular their complicated editorial policies within the increasingly ‘mass’ market. These are Mills & Boon, D. C. Thomson, and the Religious Tract Society. Mills & Boon and D. C. Thomson were the quintessential publishers of the early 20th century: essentially commercial enterprises, each firm reflected changing social values within its publications while courting their readerships. The Religious Tract Society was less successful: a 19th-century foundation embodying the spirit of Victorian liberalism, it failed to adapt to a changing (and increasingly secular) world, with disastrous results.

Keywords:   Wilkie Collins, George Orwell, publishing houses, editorial policies, mass market, Mills & Boon, D. C. Thomson, Religious Tract Society, Victorian liberalism

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