How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain by Leah Price

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

The printed book, certainly, will always be part of our media environment, although perhaps in unexpected ways. This lends particular interest to How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain...Her study is set in an era when mass production of books had not yet quite eliminated a sense of the book as a peculiar object in its own right...
-National Post arts

Synopsis


How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain 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, Leah Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. From knickknacks to wastepaper, books mattered to the Victorians in ways that cannot be explained by their printed content alone. And whether displayed, defaced, exchanged, or discarded, printed matter participated, and still participates, in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading.


Supplementing close readings with a sensitive reconstruction of how Victorians thought and felt about books, Price offers a new model for integrating literary theory with cultural history. How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain reshapes our understanding of the interplay between words and objects in the nineteenth century and beyond.

 

About Leah Price

See more books from this Author
Leah Price is professor of English at Harvard University. She is the author of "The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel.
 
Published April 9, 2012 by Princeton University Press. 326 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on May 25 2012

The printed book, certainly, will always be part of our media environment, although perhaps in unexpected ways. This lends particular interest to How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain...Her study is set in an era when mass production of books had not yet quite eliminated a sense of the book as a peculiar object in its own right...

Read Full Review of How to Do Things with Books i... | See more reviews from National Post arts

Rate this book!

Add Review
×