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Bestsellers Popular Fiction since 1900 by C. Bloom

Bestsellers Popular Fiction since 1900


Bestsellers Popular Fiction since 1900 by C. Bloom

This essential guide, now available in a fully updated new edition, is the only available study of all bestselling books, authors and genres since the start of the last century, giving an unique insight into a hundred years of publishing and reading and taking us on a journey into the heart of the British imagination.


Looking beyond dubious publishers
statistics, Bloom has found that while Christie, du Maurier, Innes et al can be numbered with today

's till-ringers such as Binchy, Collins and Welsh, so can such forgotten names as Dolf Wyllarde, Steve Francis and Sydney Horter. Bloom also examines the changing publishing industry, the coming of book clubs and reading groups and the cult of the author .' - Independent

'Clive Bloom delves incisively into the literary history of twentieth-century bestsellers, reminding us of the role popular authors such as Hall Caine, Marie Corelli, Dennis Wheatley and Catherine Cookson have played in sustaining not only the economic fortunes of British publishing, but also the social habits of a British mass reading public. Bloom offers us an archaeology of best-selling fiction that is impressively researched, thoughtfully argued and immensely readable.' - David Finkelstein, Head of Media and Communication, Queen Margaret University College, UK

'Clive Bloom's critical survey represents a new level of organised response to the vast magma of fiction underlying the quality novel and canonical titles of the twentieth century. His book is, in my judgment, the first attempt to look systematically and comprehensively at both the product and the machinery of production and their respectively changing nature from decade to decade. This is an important book in its own right; more importantly, it is a book that will be built on by other scholars in this expanding field of cultural exploration.' - Professor John Sutherland, University College London, UK

'Clive Bloom's Bestsellers will be an invaluable resource for both the student and the general reader of twentieth-century popular fiction. The book begins with a series of engaging and wide-ranging chapters on the principal publishing themes; but the bulk of the work comprises a very full series of pen-portraits of the best-known popular authors. For pleasure, and for study, Bestsellers will be a much-thumbed work of reference.' - Professor Dominic Head, Brunel University, UK

'A big topic is tackled with some gusto in Bestsellers...One of the most consistently interesting things about this highly informed book is the extraordinary amount of detail along the way.' - Robert Giddings, Tribune

'As an informed and witty companion to what people read and why, it is excellent.' - The Economist

'Bestsellers: Popular Fiction Since 1900 is invaluable for university staff, students, and the general reading public (of twentieth-century fiction).' - Georges-Claude Guilbert, Universite de Rouen, Cercles

'There are few studies out there that combine so effortlessly a clarity and ebullience of style with first-rate, high-level academia. This is not simply a romp through Jackie Collins and Jeffrey Archer, but a surprising and illuminating discussion of those authors that have shaped the way literature is viewed in this country today.'
(Amazon review)

About the Author

Clive Bloom is Emeritus Professor of English and American Studies at Middlesex University, UK. Widely published and Series Editor of Palgrave Macmillan's Crime Files series, he is the author of Violent London and Riot City , amongst many other titles.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th September 2008


C. Bloom

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Palgrave Macmillan


425 pages


Literary studies: from c 1900 -



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