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British Writers and Paris 1830–1875$
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Elisabeth Jay

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655243

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655243.001.0001

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The democratization of British fiction

The democratization of British fiction

(p.245) 12 The democratization of British fiction
British Writers and Paris 1830–1875

Elisabeth Jay

Oxford University Press

During what was traditionally considered one of the richest periods in the evolution of a British fiction reaching ever wider audiences, the literary market also experienced a contrary pressure from publishers eager to mine previous success rather than encourage innovation. The democratization of the literary marketplace carried a further challenge to writers anxious to portray Paris. Analysis of successive editions of Bulwer-Lytton’s Pelham demonstrates changing expectations of the readership’s command of French, while surveying the differing practices of other silver-fork novelists—Thackeray, G. W. M. Reynolds, Dickens, and Augustus Sala—suggests that in this respect each author made his or her own choices.

Keywords:   democratization, Dickens, French language, Lytton, Pelham, publishers, Reynolds, Sala, Thackeray

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