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The lost books of Jane Austen

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In the nineteenth century, inexpensive editions of Jane Austen's novels targeted to Britain's working classes were sold at railway stations, traded for soap wrappers, and awarded as school prizes. At just pennies a copy, these reprints were some of the earliest mass-market paperbacks, with Austen's beloved stories squeezed into tight columns on thin, cheap paper. Few of these hard-lived bargain books survive, yet they made a substantial difference to Austen's early readership. These were the books bought and read by ordinary people.

Packed with nearly 100 full-color photographs of dazzling, sometimes gaudy, sometimes tasteless covers, The Lost Books of Jane Austen is a unique history of these rare and forgotten Austen volumes. Such shoddy editions, Janine Barchas argues, were instrumental in bringing Austen's work and reputation before the general public. Only by examining them can we grasp the chaotic range of Austen's popular reach among working-class readers.

Informed by the author's years of unconventional book hunting, The Lost Books of Jane Austen will surprise even the most ardent Janeite with glimpses of scruffy survivors that challenge the prevailing story of the author's steady and genteel rise. Thoroughly innovative and occasionally irreverent, this book will appeal in equal measure to book historians, Austen fans, and scholars of literary celebrity.

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Grouped Work IDb68776bc-a146-1188-4b0e-36d9b8ddf34f
Grouping Titlelost books of jane austen
Grouping Authorbarchas janine
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2020-06-03 04:17:59AM
Last Indexed2020-07-12 04:38:43AM

Solr Details

authorBarchas, Janine,
author_displayBarchas, Janine
display_description"The author traces the significant yet underappreciated historical role that mass-market paperbacks of Jane Austen's books have played in making her the celebrated author she is today. This is a work of bibliography and of literary history. The author has amassed a large collection of rare and forgotten Austen volumes with rich, colorful, and sometimes gaudy covers that are featured, selectively, as figures in the book"--
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:a1685633BookBooksEnglishJohns Hopkins University Press, 2019.xv, 284 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm
subject_facetAusten, Jane, -- 1775-1817 -- Appreciation
Austen, Jane, -- 1775-1817 -- Bibliography
Authors and publishers -- Great Britain -- History
Authors and publishers -- United States -- History
Authors and readers -- Great Britain -- History
Authors and readers -- United States -- History
Literature publishing -- Great Britain -- History
Literature publishing -- United States -- History
title_displayThe lost books of Jane Austen
title_fullThe lost books of Jane Austen / Janine Barchas
title_shortThe lost books of Jane Austen
Austen, Jane
Authors and publishers
Authors and readers
Literature publishing