A quantitative and qualitative study of English and Scottish chapbooks in the long eighteenth century

Start - End 
2015 - 2019 (ongoing)
Research Focus 
Research Period 
Additional tags 
English literature
Print culture



The eighteenth-century chapbook– a cheap, mass-produced, and widespread print form of between eight and thirty-two pages– usually functioned as the printed repository for an oral, collective, and popular-cultural body of texts. Focusing mainly on these prototypical chapbooks and largely reading the chapbook within the context of folklore, scholarship has often neglected a modest but significant number of chapbooks that derived its content from authorised, middle-class or high-cultural texts characterised by stylistic, structural, and often also thematic conventions, as well as by ideological and moral systems often diametrically opposed to those at work in the texts more typically contained within chapbooks. Focusing not only on their textual contents but also on their print-cultural identity and paratextual characteristics, such as information on publishers, pricing, illustrations, and advertising, this project examines how chapbook publishers negotiated these discrepancies in their redactions of authorised, middle-or high-class texts for consumption by lower-class or audiences.



Phd Student(s)