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Coming soon . . .

Available from Oxford University Press Autumn, 2021 Crusoe’s Books: Readers in the Empire of Print, 1800-1918 Bill Bell with a foreword by Alberto Manguel This is a book about readers on the move in the age of Victorian empire. It examines the libraries and reading habits of five reading constituencies from the long nineteenth century:Continue reading “Coming soon . . .”


SHORTLY after he is marooned on the island that will serve as his home for the better part of the next three decades, Robinson Crusoe fortuitously rescues three bibles before the ship goes down. Although it takes him a full year to begin to read the scriptures, this miraculous provision will prove to be theContinue reading “Bibliocracy”

Performative Reading

In a previous blog we looked at the phenomenon of Anti-Social Reading, the way in which individuals use reading to fend off the unwanted attention of others. Here we consider the way that reading can be used as a form of self-invention through the deployment of performative literacy. Certain regimes of culture and class, observedContinue reading “Performative Reading”

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