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revision and on literary marketing and censorship, focusing in particular on James Hanley’s The Furys (1935) and using unpublished correspondence in the Chatto & Windus archive at the University of Reading to demonstrate how the publisher’s sense of the tastes and expectations of the Boots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.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 427-449
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.