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Title: Romantic bibliomania : authorship, identity, and the book
Author: Mostyn, Alys Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 8746
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores Romantic authors’ representations of books and bookishness. It argues that bibliocentric writing from the early nineteenth century addressed anxieties associated with the profession of authorship in a rapidly changing landscape of publication, print culture, and technology. However, the contested and heterogeneous nature of Romantic cultural production meant that the book was inevitably an unstable object through which to construct authorial identity. Examining the work of Thomas Frognall Dibdin, Leigh Hunt, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb, Thomas De Quincey, Walter Scott and James Hogg, I chart the representation of bibliophilia across a range of genres, literary coteries, and social backgrounds. These writers, though in some respects disparate, can all be termed ‘bookish authors’: scholarly (or antiquarian), male, and, above all, concerned with the cultural significance of the book-as-object. Their writing is preoccupied with the ways in which books are owned by readers, writers, and publishers, and how their own declarations of textual ownership – signatures, inscriptions, designations, attributions – function both publically and privately. Their work reveals the extent to which books were key determinants in the expression and realisation of the Romantic period self.
Supervisor: Whale, John C. Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available