Pocket Books and Portable Writing: The Pocket Memorandum Book in Eighteenth-Century England and Wales

Colclough, S. (2015) Pocket Books and Portable Writing: The Pocket Memorandum Book in Eighteenth-Century England and Wales. Yearbook of English Studies: (The History of the Book), 45 (Th. pp. 159-177. DOI: 10.5699/yearenglstud.45.2015.0159

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From the mid-eighteenth century onwards, the pocket �memorandum book� was a particularly common object, found amongst the stock of almost all small stationer-booksellers in Britain. This essay begins with an investigation of the development of the memorandum book as a genre that was marketed at distinct audiences divided by gender. It argues that these books became steady sellers because they provided their purchasers with important (easily retrievable) information about modern life, combined with blank pages on which financial accounts and other personal information could be recorded, the whole packaged in a form that allowed the book to function as a kind of wallet in which manuscript texts and personal items could be stored. Picking up on recent work by Jennie Batchelor and Sandro Jung on how such books were consumed, this essay concludes with an examination of the marks left within surviving copies. These marks suggests that memorandum books were of particular significance to the expansion of print culture after 1750 because they were not so much read as remade in the image of their owners who used them as tools in the organization of new forms of sociability.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Arts and Humanities > School of English Literature
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2015 02:50
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 02:39
ISSN: 0306-2473
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/5366
Identification Number: DOI: 10.5699/yearenglstud.45.2015.0159
Publisher: Modern Humanities Research Association
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