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Issue Details: First known date: 2021... 2021 The Commercial Function of Historical Book Reviews : An Interrogation of the Angus & Robertson Archives
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Book reviews have an understudied commercial function, acting as a crucial link between publishers and the press within the interactive book trade. For most of the modern period the newspaper and periodical press were the dominant print media and therefore an important source of information and entertainment for the public. The book trade relied on the press to distribute book-related content, including reviews. Yet in existing scholarship, reviews tend to be cited only as evidence of reception for individual titles, authors or genres. In contrast, this paper interrogates historical reviewing from the perspective of Angus & Robertson, the leading Australian publishing house in the twentieth century. It undertakes a close qualitative and distant quantitative analysis of the firm’s surviving promotional records, finding that in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries Angus & Robertson distributed tens of thousands of review copies all around the world. In return they secured extensive press coverage, ensuring their books were placed before the attention of large audiences. From this specific case study, the paper seeks to extrapolate broader ideas about the commercial function of reviewing, positioning it firmly within a publishing and marketing nexus.' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 12 May 2021 10:43:45 The Commercial Function of Historical Book Reviews : An Interrogation of the Angus & Robertson Archivessmall AustLit logo Australian Literary Studies