By H. J. Jackson
Whilst readers jot down notes of their books, they exhibit anything of themselves—what they suspect, what amuses or annoys them, what they've got learn prior to. yet an in depth exam of marginalia additionally discloses different and engaging information about the time during which they're written. This publication explores examining practices within the Romantic Age via an research of a few 2,000 books annotated through British readers among 1790 and 1830.
This interval skilled an exceptional bring up in readership and a growth in publishing. H. J. Jackson indicates how readers used their books for paintings, for socializing, and for leaving messages to posterity. She attracts at the annotations of Blake, Coleridge, Keats, and different celebrities in addition to these of little identified and unknown writers to find how humans have been studying and what this may let us know approximately literature, social heritage, and the historical past of the booklet.
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Additional resources for Romantic Readers: The Evidence of Marginalia
Prevented Mr Rose from lending me Carl Gozzi’s Works, which he was previously most ready to do, and which I had in vain endeavoured to obtain from Leghorn’’ (Letters, 4:656). The relative scarcity of books, that is, the fact that almost no one could acquire all the books he or she might want or need, or have access to them all in one place, and that there were no reliable sources for rare and out-of-print materials, may in part account for the rampant bookmaking that is one of the least appealing features of publishing in the period.
But an alternative history of readers and reading would tend to dwell on characters and events that are not usually considered part of the public record and cast a di√erent light on ones that are. In a period for which the o≈cial history is generally grim, the history of reading is a bright, if untidy, area—and that seemingly because rather than in spite of widespread hardship. Economic histories leave no doubt about the dire state of Britain, which was in an almost constant state of war—in India, in America, and on the Continent—until 1815, and then in a postwar slump for years after.
Lackington, for instance, had started out as a shoemaker with a sideline in books; John Nichols’s father was a baker, Joseph Johnson’s a farmer; William Chambers in Scotland earned only four shillings a week as a bookseller’s apprentice in 1814; but all of them achieved wealth and respectability through publishing. Rudolph Ackermann, the son of a German coach-builder and himself at ﬁrst a drawing-teacher in London, built up a lucrative business in ﬁne-art publishing, with its headquarters in the Repository of the Arts in the Strand.
Romantic Readers: The Evidence of Marginalia by H. J. Jackson