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How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain - Princeton Scholarship Online
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How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain

Leah Price


This book asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to fish n' chips wrap? Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontës, Trollope, and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, the book also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous re ... More

Keywords: coffee-table book, newspaper, urban sociology, household manual, Victorians, reading, literary theory, cultural history, Henry Mayhew, novels

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780691114170
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691114170.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Leah Price, author
Harvard University