Abstract

In a report for the Society of Bookmen in 1928, British publishers estimated that between a quarter and two-thirds of all the books they published went to the big four circulating libraries: Boots, W. H. Smith, Mudie’s, and the Times Book Club. This article examines the literary impact of one of the largest of these, Boots Book-lovers’ Library (1899–1966), which by 1935 had around four hundred libraries attached to its high-street pharmacies catering for the literary tastes of over one million subscribers a year. The article considers the impact of the Boots Book-lovers’ Library on authors’ practices of writing and revision and on literary marketing and censorship, focusing in particular on James Hanley’s The Furys (1935) and using unpublished correspondence in the Chatto & Windus archive at the University of Reading to demonstrate how the publisher’s sense of the tastes and expectations of the Boots library reader influenced the revisioning process.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 427-449
Launched on MUSE
2014-11-08
Open Access
No
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