Do women read differently? My article pursues this question from a historical perspective for the period around 1800. On the one hand, in a reflection that is methodical and source-based, it attempts to explain which requirements should be fulfilled by a reading research approach that is historically and empirically gender-oriented. On the other, it offers an exemplary implementation of the suggested research approach. In the process, what becomes clear is that an investigation that takes into account primarily the self-utterances of readers and proceeds in gender-comparative fashion will emerge with different results than previous work that was based on the reading craze around 1800 and ignored a firmly established gender-comparative approach. Instead of striking gender polarities, a picture emerges in which other factors, for example poetological concepts, appear as more influential than the category of gender. (SS)


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pp. 198-214
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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