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Reading History in Britain and America, c.1750–c.1840


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 'History now is the favourite reading'; 1. History and the life cycle of the reader; 2. Sceptical historiography and the problem of infidelity; 3. Contesting constitutional history; 4. A nation united? Histories of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales; 5. Rewriting the American nation; 6. Historical information and the management of Empire; Conclusion; Bibliography.

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Presents a dramatic account of how readers across the English-speaking world used history to understand the Age of Enlightenment and Revolutions.

About the Author

Mark Towsey is Professor in the History of the Book and Director of the Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Centre at the University of Liverpool. His previous publications include Reading the Scottish Enlightenment: Books and their Readers in Provincial Scotland, 1750–1820 (2010) and Before the Public Library: Reading, Community, and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650–1850 (2017).


'Reading History in Britain and America is a landmark study that captures a key moment in the development of the reading public in the English-speaking world.' Max Skjönsberg, Journal of British Studies

'Reading History is a densely researched, ambitious book which contributes to several conversations about long-eighteenth-century Anglophone history. Towsey writes cogently, supplementing his arguments with ample archival quotation … Reading History is a fine achievement.' R. J. W. Mills, Library & Information History

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