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The 18th century in Britain was a transition period for literature. Patronage, either by a benefactor or through subscription, lingered even as the publishing and bookselling industries developed. The practice of reviewing books became well established during the second half of the century, with the first periodical founded in 1749. For the literary scholar, these gradual changes mean that different search strategies are required to conduct research into primary and secondary source material across the era.

Literary Research and the British Eighteenth Century addresses these unique challenges. It examines how the following all contribute to the richness of literary research for this era: book and periodical publishing; a growing literate society; dissemination of literature through salons, private societies, and coffee houses; the growing importance of book reviews; the explosion of publishing; and the burgeoning of primary source material available through new publishing and digital initiatives in the 21st century.

This volume explores primary and secondary resources, including general literary research guides; union library catalogs; print and online bibliographies; scholarly journals; manuscripts and archives; 18th-century books, newspapers, and periodicals; contemporary reception; and electronic texts and journals, as well as Web resources. Each chapter addresses the research methods and tools best used to extract relevant information and compares and evaluates sources, making this book an invaluable guide to any literary scholar and student of the British eighteenth century.

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