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At the start of the 18th century, literary "characters" referred as much to letters and typefaces as it did to persons in books. However, this text shows how, by the 19th century, characters in books became identified with the reader, as friends with whom they empathized. The story of this shift in meaning is usually told in terms of the "rise of the individual", but this text proposes an alternative solution. Elaborating a "pragmatics of character" it shows how readers used transactions with characters to accommodate themselves to newly-commmercialized social relations. Ranging from Defoe and Smollett to Burney and Austen, this account should interest those with a concern for the inner workings of consumer culture and the history of emotions.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226498201
ISBN-10: 0226498204
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Pages: 326
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 15-May-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Paperback, August 2000