Chapter

Melville and the Marketplace

Sheila Post

in A Historical Guide to Herman Melville

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780195142822
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195142822.003.0005

Series: Historical Guides to American Authors

Melville and the Marketplace

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Although it is evident that Herman Melville and a number of other contemporary writers incorporated in their works the evident trends in the mid-nineteenth-century literary marketplace, it can be observed that this period could be attributed to a collection of marketplace conditions that appeared to be rather uncommon. Unlike the relatively affluent writers who wrote mainly for leisure, other American authors who wrote for profit had to have their works published first in England to avoid the risk of having their works pirated by publishers in Europe. With this, American writers were tasked to suit their writings to both American and British tastes, since the British focused more on socioeconomic issues while Americans had to accommodate varied readerships across the middle class and debates regarding style and genre.

Keywords: literary marketplace; marketplace conditions; American authors; European publishers; socioeconomic issues; middle class; style; genre

Chapter.  8815 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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