Reading Culture and Writing Practices in Nineteenth-Century France

Reading Culture and Writing Practices in Nineteenth-Century France

by Martyn Lyons
     
 

Between about 1830 and the outbreak of the First World War, print culture, reading, and writing transformed cultural life in Western Europe in many significant ways. Book production and consumption increased dramatically, and practices such as letter- and diary-writing were widespread. This study demonstrates the importance of the nineteenth century in French

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Overview

Between about 1830 and the outbreak of the First World War, print culture, reading, and writing transformed cultural life in Western Europe in many significant ways. Book production and consumption increased dramatically, and practices such as letter- and diary-writing were widespread. This study demonstrates the importance of the nineteenth century in French cultural change and illustrates the changing priorities and concerns of l'histoire du livre since the 1970s.

From the 1830s on, book production experienced an industrial revolution which led to the emergence of a mass literary culture by the close of the century. At the same time, the western world acquired mass literacy. New categories of readers became part of the reading public while western society also learned to write. Reading Culture and Writing Practices in Nineteenth-Century France examines how the concerns of historians have shifted from a search for statistical sources to more qualitative assessments of readers' responses. Martyn Lyons argues that autobiographical sources are vitally important to this investigation and he considers examples of the intimate and everyday writings of ordinary people.

Featuring original and intriguing insights as well as references to material hitherto inaccessible to English readers, this study presents a form of 'history from below' with emphasis on the individual reader and writer, and his or her experiences and perceptions.

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Editorial Reviews

History Australia - Alice Garner
'Lyon's absorbing collection of essays explores the place and meanings of reading and writing in the lives of various 'reading communities'... This volume offers a fascinating introduction both to his development as a historian and to the various ways we might hear from 'actual readers', as opposed to the 'imagined' readers of reception theory.'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802093578
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Series:
Studies in Book and Print Culture Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Martyn Lyons is Professor in the School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

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