Writing and Society is a stunning exploration of the relationship between the growth in popular literacy and the development of new readerships and the authors addressing them. It is the first single volume to provide a year-by-year chronology of political events in relation to cultural production.This overview of debates in literary critical theory and historiography includes facsimile pages with commentary from the most influential books of the period. The author describes and analyses:* the development of literacy by status, gender and region in Britain* structures of patronage and censorship* the fundamental role of the publishing industry* the relation between elite literary and popular cultures* and the remarkable growth of female literacy and publication.

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