‘If in this I have been tedious,’ admitted William Cowper in a letter published in 1750, ‘it may be some excuse, I had not time to make it shorter.’ In The Writing Culture of Ordinary People in Europe, c.1860–1920, Martyn Lyons has accomplished what Cowper could not. This is a short book but withal it successfully tackles an expansive agenda. It is in no way tedious. Indeed, it is an excellent book – ambitious and thought-provoking – and deserving of an equally large audience within the academy and beyond it.
History from below
An excellent study of scribal culture
The Writing Culture of Ordinary People in Europe, c.1860–1920
by Martyn Lyons
Cambridge University Press, $130 hb, 288 pp, 9781107018891
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