What’s the use of books?

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Leah Price’s How to do Things with Books in Victorian Britain for Open Letters Monthly, an online arts and literature review site. Price’s work is a rich and evocative study of the many uses to which books were put in Victorian novel, and I’d strongly recommend it to any Victorianist – it’s one of those books full to the brim of fascinating information you never knew you wanted to know, whilst producing some important overarching arguments about Victorian culture more widely and gesturing towards new directions for the intersection of literary studies and material culture. It’s also highly pertinent to the theme of this week’s BAVS conference, Victorian Values, raising questions about the value of books in the Victorian age and the meaning of books today as we shift towards digital media.

You can find my review here, and I’d also highly recommend checking out the rest of the September issue of OLM – a review of John Bew’s Castlereagh: A Life and a piece on “Therapeutic Wordsworth” by Stephen Akey are particular highlights.

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