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This study offers an authoritative and readable account of the hidden history of book theft in eighteenth-century London. It exploits a rich primary source, the compelling narratives of crime contained in the digitised Proceedings of the Old Bailey. The authors explain how cases of book theft came to court, and how in the ensuing trials the nature of the book itself became a question for legal debate. They assess the motives which led Londoners to steal books and the methods they employed in thefts from households and booksellers. Finally, the authors ask what the Proceedings tells us about the social ownership of books, and how the phenomenon of book theft differently affected book producers and consumers. Stealing Books in Eighteenth-Century London will appeal to readers interested in the connected histories of metropolitan life, crime, and the book in this period, and in the uses of digital resources in humanities research.
|Publisher:||Palgrave Macmillan UK|
|Edition description:||1st ed. 2016|
|Product dimensions:||5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Richard Coulton contributes to both teaching and research within the Department of English at Queen Mary, University of London, UK.
Matthew Mauger researches extensively in poetry of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries; in particular, he focuses on how Enlightenment legal debate forms an important context for artistic production in the period.
Christopher Reid is Senior Lecturer in English at the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. He works on eighteenth-century literature and history, with a focus on political writing and oratory in that period.
Table of Contents1. Introduction.- 2. Courts.- 3. Prisoners.- 4. Prosecutors.- Appendix 1.- Appendix 2.- Bibliography.- Index.