Reading Books

Essays on the Material Text and Literature in America


This collection takes as its point of departure the proposition that one can, in fact, tell a book by its cover. The contributors examine the ways in which the material qualities of books--including typography, paper, bindings, layout , and promotional copy--as well as their editing, production, and distribution profoundly affect how they have been read and understood.

The volume includes essays on the publishing history of Melville's early novels, Twain's The Innocents Abroad, the Tauchnitz edition of Hawthornes's The Marble Faun, and Jackson's Romona. Other chapters examine the reception of Dante's works in America, Houghton Mifflin's biographical series, the binding styles of Ticknor and Fields, and the packaging of literature for American high Schools., reviewing a previous edition or volume

A volume in the series: