Victorian Print Culture

In the 19th century, more people were reading more publications than ever before. This explains how technological, social and educational change made this possible. Introduction The 19th century saw a massive expansion of the printed word. The sheer volume and diversity of printed matter was unprecedented: from moral and instructional works to crime novels and[…]

Victorian Readers

Exploring the way Victorians bought, borrowed and read their books, and the impact of the popular literature of the period. Introduction Victorians were great readers of the novel, and the number of novels available for them to read increased enormously during Victoria’s reign. The activity of reading benefited hugely from wider schooling and increased literacy[…]

“I Cannot Live Without Books”: Thomas Jefferson’s Library

Throughout his life, Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) collected books across a vast spectrum of topics and languages. Introduction Throughout his life, books were vital to Thomas Jefferson’s education and well being. His books provided Jefferson with a broader knowledge of the contemporary and ancient worlds than many of his contemporaries had obtained through personal experience. Jefferson’s[…]

Medieval Women’s Early Involvement in Manuscript Production

The discovery of lapis lazuli pigment preserved in the dental calculus of a religious woman in Germany radiocarbon-dated to the 11th or early 12th century, a rare pigment used in illuminated manuscripts. By Dr. Anita Radini (et.al.)Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical HumanitiesUniversity of York Abstract During the European Middle Ages, the opening of long-distance[…]

The Birth of the Book: On Christians, Romans, and the Codex

The codex didn’t catch on until surprisingly late in the ancient world. By Benjamin HarnettClassics Scholar A codex is just the Roman name for a book, made of pages, and usually bound on the left. Its predecessor was the scroll or book roll, which was unrolled as you read. The codex is manifestly superior: one[…]

The Reformation and the Power of the Printed Word

Did you know that a man named “John Gooseflesh” changed the world? Did you know that a man named “John Gooseflesh” changed the world?Johann Gensfleisch, which in English is John Gooseflesh, was born in the city of Mainz, Germany, around 1397 CE. However, by the time Johann started school, he went by the name Gutenberg[…]

Publishing in Victorian England: Opening Up the ‘Class’-Room

In the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, reading was a privileged skill available to the upper-class elite. This began to change with publishing and more access to education. The History of Reading In the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, reading was a privileged skill available to the upper-class elite. Books were very expensive items and most of[…]