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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2023
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Book description

Jane Austen's ironic reference to 'the trash with which the press now groans' is only one of innumerable Romantic complaints about fiction's newly overwhelming presence. This book draws on evidence from over one hundred Romantic novels to explore the changes in publishing, reviewing, reading, and writing that accompanied the unprecedented growth in novel publication during the Romantic period. With particular focus on the infamous Minerva Press, the most prolific fiction-producer of the age, Hannah Hudson puts its popular authors in dialogue with writers such as Walter Scott, Ann Radcliffe, Maria Edgeworth, and William Godwin. Using paratextual materials including reviews, advertisements, and authorial prefaces, this book establishes the ubiquity of Romantic anxieties about literary 'excess', showing how beliefs about fictional overproduction created new literary hierarchies. Ultimately, Hudson argues that this so-called excess was a driving force in fictional experimentation and the advertising and publication practices that shaped the genre's reception. This title is part of the Flip it Open Programme and may also be available Open Access. Check our website Cambridge Core for details.

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