© 2015

Book-Men, Book Clubs, and the Romantic Literary Sphere

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction: Bookish Outliers

    1. Ina Ferris
      Pages 1-13
  3. Urban Associations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Ina Ferris
      Pages 17-44
  4. Beyond the Metropolis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Ina Ferris
      Pages 101-133
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 155-192

About this book


This book re-reads the tangled relations of book culture and literary culture in the early nineteenth century by restoring to view the figure of the bookman and the effaced history of his book clubs. As outliers inserting themselves into the matrix of literary production rather than remaining within that of reception, both provoked debate by producing, writing, and circulating books in ways that expanded fundamental points of literary orientation in lateral directions not coincident with those of the literary sphere. Deploying a wide range of historical, archival and literary materials, the study combines the history and geography of books, cultural theory, and literary history to make visible a bookish array of alterative networks, genres, and locations that were obscured by the literary sphere in establishing its authority as arbiter of the modern book.


Book history Romantic studies literary history print culture book clubs bookmen Thomas Frognall Dibdin country book clubs bibliomania printing clubs Roxburghe Club Bannatyne Club Dalton Book Club John Marsh journals antiquarian clubs Autorschaft culture history of literature Romanticism

About the authors

Ina Ferris is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Her books include The Achievement of Literary Authority: Gender, History and the Waverley Novels, The Romantic National Tale and the Question of Ireland, and Bookish Histories: Books, Literature, and Commercial Modernity, 1700-1900 (co-edited with Paul Keen).

Bibliographic information


“Book-Men, Book Clubs, and the Romantic Literary Sphere sheds valuable light upon the depth and nature of this impact, greatly illuminating the world of the Romantic bookman: his texts, activities, and communities.” (Daniel Norman, Notes and Queries, Vol. 66 (1), March, 2019)

“Ina Ferris’s Book-Men, Book Clubs and the Romantic Literary Sphere offers original contributions to this growing area of research. … Book-Men, Book Clubs, and the Romantic Literary Sphere draws on impressively diverse printed and archival sources to support its lucid arguments. Ferris analyses a variety of lesser-known works written by, or about, book-men and book clubs. … Beyond Romantic scholars, Ferris’s research will also interest Victorianists.” (Lindsey Eckert, Review of English Studies, Vol. 67 (281), September, 2016)

“Ferris’ work represents an important development in our understanding of reading culture beyond the high-minded criticism of the Edinburgh journals. … Bringing the bookman to the fore of our understanding of book culture, Ferris’ work, I am sure, will offer an engaging point of departure for future studies of reading culture during the Romantic period.” (James M. Morris, The BARS Review, Issue 48, Autumn, 2016)