Charles Edward Mudie made his first major foray into book lending in 1842. While libraries had existed in various forms in previous decades, they didn’t have the structure or ubiquity of libraries we’d recognize today. Charles Mudie would later become a primary mover and shaker in the Victorian world of letters by running Mudie’s Circulating Library. Along with its competitors, Mudie’s Circulating Library would later offer affordable subscription prices and redefine the middle-class public’s access to print. However, at this point in 1842, Mudie’s model was still reminiscent of the book-lending forms that had existed in previous decades: just like in the late 1700s, Mudie was lending books out of his bookshop for a fee. (Guinivere Griest’s book, Mudie’s Circulating Library and the Victorian Novel, provides a detailed overview of this history.)
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Add a Print Culture Timeline Detail
- Identify a historical development that will help this edition’s readers understand the changes occurring in the print culture landscape during the mid-1800s.
- Determine the level of detail that would be appropriate for a timeline explanation.
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Components to Include
(1) A timeline event description of about one to three sentences in length. If you like, you may also include a public-domain image relevant to the event.
(2) Citation information for the source(s) that you drew from to compose this description.
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Qualities of a Strong Timeline Description
- It is succinct and purposeful.
- Remember that your audience is learning about how different historical developments worked together to shape how Collins wrote and how his readers accessed printed media. You should highlight a relevant dynamic, provide brief information about how it is significant to Collins, the nineteenth-century publishing landscape, or readers of serial fiction during the 1860s, but you don’t need to delve into all of the details. The sweet spot for a description of this type is typically about one to three sentences.
- It is backed up by at least one reliable source. See the “Finding Primary and Secondary Sources for Your Research” section of this text for additional resources.
- It paraphrases secondary research findings and provides a clear citation.
- If it includes an excerpt from a primary source, that quotation is brief.
1842 – MUDIE’S CIRCULATING LIBRARY