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French Novels and the Victorians$
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Juliette Atkinson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266090

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266090.001.0001

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Obtaining French novels

Obtaining French novels

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 Obtaining French novels
Source:
French Novels and the Victorians
Author(s):

Juliette Atkinson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266090.003.0001

French novels were associated throughout the nineteenth century with the infamous Holywell Street. However, they were far more widely obtainable, and readily consumed, than this suggests. Libraries such as the fairly exclusive London Library, Mudie’spopular Select Library, and working-class institutions, did their part to make them available; surviving archives paint a vivid picture of the public appetite for novels by writers such as Dumas and Paul de Kock. Booksellers such as Jeffs and Rolandi were important in supplying readers with contemporary trends, but they also took on additional roles as editors and members of Anglo-French networks. Periodicals, meanwhile, made French literature available to readers who had not necessarily been searching for it. Long serializations of the 1840s aimed predominantly at a less wealthy audience, and translations geared towards a growing middle-class (and often female) market in the 1860s, further demonstrate the omnipresence of French literature in Victorian culture.

Keywords:   libraries, booksellers, periodicals, translations, readers, serializations

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