Abstract

The enduring notion that Victorian readers avoided French novels—predominantly on the ground of immorality—is challenged by the archives of the London Library, founded in 1841. This article argues that the London Library found the highbrow, exclusive image it endeavored to project constantly shaken by the demands of its subscribers, who made contemporary, and often risqué, French fiction a central part of their leisure reading. These demands helped shape the library’s collections, as subscribers eagerly took up the opportunity to engage with Continental trends, revealing in the process numerous literary fads of the 1840s and the diversity of the social groups that followed them.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 391-418
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-17
Open Access
No
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