'From “Boy” to “Britain”: popular fiction and the Folkestone Free Library 1881-1902'

Oulton, C. (2017) 'From “Boy” to “Britain”: popular fiction and the Folkestone Free Library 1881-1902'. In: Institutions of Literature: Institutions as Curators workshop, March 2017, Glasgow.

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From at least the 1860s holiday reading offered new opportunities for the economy of seaside towns. The Folkestone Free Library was established in 1881, in a town seeking to market itself as both a fashionable and a popular resort. The acquisition of sensation and other popular novels by women authors was an obvious move.
But while other local libraries advertised the sale of tourist cases, local views and ‘the new books for the season’, the free library never quite got its act together. Its first catalogue had separate headings for literature (by which it meant Thackeray) and ‘novels and fiction’ (just about everyone else). While Wilkie Collins was collected from 1881 and Ellen Wood from 1882, her 37 novels include some that are primarily religious in focus; Marie Corelli’s 1895 The Sorrows of Satan first appears in 1902, while New Woman fiction was happening but only just and almost always late.
One further anomaly remains. Of the two library copies of the 1896 catalogue one has uncut pages between ‘Boy’ and ‘Britain’ and between ‘Clyde’ and ‘Confessions of a Thug’. In the middle lie ‘Braddon’ and ‘Collins’.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English Literature
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z0719 Libraries (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Prof Carolyn W. de la L. Oulton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 08:21
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2017 08:21
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/16089

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00