Commerce and Culture

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5. The Serialized Novel in the Nineteenth Century

  • Commerce and Culture

Etiquetas Medios y CulturaHistorial Mundial

07/26/2006Paul A. Cantor

Dickens’ work reflects popular culture as a feedback mechanism. He saluted middle class virtues. He praised capitalism. He had high regard for free enterprise. Dickens was the greatest novelist in English. Dickens died a very wealthy man.

We are now in the world of commodification. Mass production of a unified product was demanded. Commercialization kept artists rooted in living audiences.

Serialization meant that a typical novel was three books of twenty parts each over a year or a year and a half, because the novel in single book form was too expensive. British publishing was the greatest opportunity open to women in the world by that time. There was ease of entry. The market tried everything.

Lecture 5 of 10 from Paul Cantor's Commerce and Culture.

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Contact Paul A. Cantor

Paul A. Cantor is Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American film and TV. He is the co-editor, with Stephen Cox, of Literature and the Economics of Liberty. See his interview in the Austrian Economics Newsletter.

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