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Chapter 11 - Romanticism

from Part II - Networks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2022

Cody Marrs
Affiliation:
University of Georgia
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Summary

In the first half of the nineteenth century, Romantic-era books by English authors were more plentiful and widely distributed in the United States than in England. The US Copyright Act of 1790, which excluded foreign authors from copyright protection in the United States, spawned an American industry that appropriated, reprinted, and sold European works on all subjects for a fraction of what they would cost overseas. As a result, reprinted works by Byron, Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Austen, and the Shelleys flooded the book markets of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and advances in stereotyping meant that cloned plates could be used to produce those same books for decades. The effect of these plentiful, cheap editions, according to William St. Clair, was not simply the continued popularity of English writing at a time when US authors were calling for a national literature but also the circulation of those works among more economically diverse readers than had ever been possible in England.1

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Romanticism
  • Edited by Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
  • Book: American Literature in Transition, 1851–1877
  • Online publication: 15 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108565615.015
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  • Romanticism
  • Edited by Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
  • Book: American Literature in Transition, 1851–1877
  • Online publication: 15 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108565615.015
Available formats
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Romanticism
  • Edited by Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
  • Book: American Literature in Transition, 1851–1877
  • Online publication: 15 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108565615.015
Available formats
×