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The Most Disreputable TradePublishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765-1810$
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Thomas F. Bonnell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532209.001.0001

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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: 01 December 2021

The Best Judges of Vendible Poetry: William Strahan, Joseph Wenman, et al.

The Best Judges of Vendible Poetry: William Strahan, Joseph Wenman, et al.

(p.169) 6. The Best Judges of Vendible Poetry: William Strahan, Joseph Wenman, et al.
The Most Disreputable Trade

Thomas F. Bonnell

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses vendible poetry and the factors affecting the vendibility of a product. ‘I pretend not to judge of the exact Merit of any Book, but by its Sale’, says William Strahan. The chapter holds that Strahan's words could serve as a motto for any practically minded bookseller. The first section of the chapter compares Bell's ‘classics’ and the London trade's poets of reputation. The second section reflects on the poets' and publishers' sales and needs for money. It tackles many factors, such as the skill of the vendor and desirability of purchased wares, to address vendibility. The third section examines Joseph Wenman's Parnassian library and his cheap editions. The fourth section reflects on the conviction of poets regarding the canonization of their works. The fifth section discusses the enlarged and improved edition of The Works of the English Poets in 1970.

Keywords:   vendible poetry, William Strahan, Joseph Wenman, cheap editions, London trade's poets, Bell's classics, vendibility, canonization

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