Victorian Bestsellers – Field Trip!

Ooo! Ooo! Who wants to go with me to the Morgan Library & Museum to see the exhibit on Victorian Bestsellers?

Although today’s public may think of the bestseller as a relatively recent development generated by modern mass marketing, many of the literary formulas and publishing techniques of the bestseller actually date to the nineteenth century. Victorian Bestsellers explores the rise of this cultural phenomenon using original manuscripts, first editions, illustrated editions, and rare printed ephemera, drawn largely from the Morgan’s renowned literary collections.

The period covered by the exhibition (1837–1901) was a time of rapid social change and enormous economic upheaval, when new technologies, improved transportation systems, better living standards, and rising literacy rates greatly increased the market for fiction and other types of popular reading matter.

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