Nineteenth-Century Print Culture

Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Nineteenth-Century Print Culture

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies


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This article looks at nineteenth-century print culture and the way Transcendentalism dealt with the boom of print and manuscript production, dissemination, and reception. The field of print reproduction was at the time in question redefined by broader socioeconomic changes that turned America into a modern industrial nation. The period indeed was a turning point for Transcendentalism as by the midcentury publishers were beholding a vast mass market and they had the means of tapping into it. This nascent mass consumer culture of print provided opportunities as well as posing problems for the Transcendentalists, as they could not easily adopt an ethic of meeting consumer demand. The article also examines the lack of “reception” of Transcendentalism in print.

Keywords: print culture; publishers; mass market; consumer demand

Article.  5885 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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