The Common Writer
This book examines the conditions of authorship and the development of publishing and journalism during the nineteenth century. It provides the most detailed account yet of the social, cultural, and economic factors that control literary activity, and determine literary success or failure. There are chapters on the place of women and working-class writers in a predominantly male, middle-class publishing industry; on literary clubs, societies, and feuds; on patronage, charity, and state support for writers; on literary journalists and the development of the bohemian character; on the facts that inspired the fictional world of Thackeray's Pendennis and Gissing's New Grub Street; and on the long-running debates on the status of writers and the state of literature. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary sources, The Common Writer adds substantially to our understanding of nineteenth-century literary history and culture.