Shakespeare for the People: Working Class Readers, 1800-1900 by Andrew MurphyShakespeare for the People: Working Class Readers, 1800-1900 by Andrew Murphy

Shakespeare for the People: Working Class Readers, 1800-1900

byAndrew Murphy

Paperback | September 30, 2010

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Beginning by mapping out an overview of the expansion of elementary education in Britain across the nineteenth century, Andrew Murphy explores the manner in which Shakespeare acquired a working-class readership. He traces developments in publishing which meant that editions of Shakespeare became ever cheaper as the century progressed. Drawing on more than a hundred published and manuscript autobiographical texts, the book examines the experiences of a wide range of working-class readers. Particular attention is focused on a set of radical readers for whom Shakespeare's work had a special political resonance. Murphy explores the reasons why the playwright's working-class readership began to fall away from the turn of the century, noting the competition he faced from professional sports, the cinema, radio and television. The book concludes by asking whether it matters that, in our own time, Shakespeare no longer commands a general popular audience.
Title:Shakespeare for the People: Working Class Readers, 1800-1900Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:September 30, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521176557

ISBN - 13:9780521176552

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The educational background; 2. The publishing background; 3. Reading; 4. Political Shakespeare; 5. Decline and fall; Afterword; Appendix 1: Autobiographers by year of birth; Appendix 2: Autobiographers listed alphabetically; Bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

"Andrew Murphy is a Shakespearian and a scholar of Renaissance literature who has bridged the gap between his usual stamping-ground of the early modern period and the very modern period of his work on Seamus Heaney (2000), with this study of nineteenth-century readership and literacy." -Kate Macdonald, University of Ghent, English Text Construction