The Dignitaries of the Trade Take on Routledge

in Steam-Powered Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226276519
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276540 | DOI:
The Dignitaries of the Trade Take on Routledge

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This chapter explains in detail the dignitaries of the book trade who undertook George Routledge. The key distinguishing feature of the series for travelers produced by Longman and John Murray was their claim to contain works of superior literary merit. Longman's Traveller's Library was the most successful of the “quality” series of cheap nonfiction. Longman's and Murray's volumes, which were very plain, with simple undecorated covers and title pages, would have looked sober and respectable alongside Routledge's on the railway bookstall. Routledge's most successful volumes attained truly impressive sales that were far beyond those achieved either by the railway series of Longman or Murray, or by the older series of Chambers and Charles Knight. It appeared that contemporaries were blinded by the success of Routledge's Railway Library, his largest and most famous series.

Keywords: book trade; George Routledge; Longman; John Murray; Traveller's Library; railway bookstall; Railway Library

Chapter.  5743 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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