New Book | Living as an Author in the Romantic Period

Posted in books by Editor on February 3, 2021

From Palgrave Macmillan:

Matthew Sangster, Living as an Author in the Romantic Period (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), 384 pages, ISBN: 978-3030370466, £90 / $120.

This book explores how authors profited from their writings in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, contending that the most tangible benefits were social, rather than financial or aesthetic. Using previously-underutilised archives, Matthew Sangster shows that during the Romantic period authorship operated principally as a relatively restricted social system, rather than a profession or mode of artistic practice. He discusses the careers of a diverse range of writers, including Robert Southey, Thomas Moore, Felicia Hemans, Robert Heron, Eliza Parsons, Robert Bloomfield, Hannah More, Walter Scott, and Lord Byron—establishing the crucial mediating roles played by larger assemblages, including the publishing industry, political coteries, periodical culture, and privileged families, along with regional, national, and global networks.

Matthew Sangster is Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Material Culture at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on Enlightenment libraries, literary institutions, Romantic metropolitanism, media culture, and the affordances of Fantasy.


Preface: The Life of the Author
Introduction: What Was an Author in the Romantic Period?
1  Publishers, Book Production, and Profits
2  Sociable Alignments
3  Succeeding in ‘the Worst Trade’
4  The Working Writer
5  The Oligarchs of Literature: Authority and the Quarterly Reviews
6  Refashioning Authorship’s Purview
Coda: Print Proliferation and the Invention of the Artist

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