Street Print: A Brief History of English Chapbooks

Jason Grand
MA English, 2014
McGill University


Tom Mole
Associate Professor + William Dawson Scholar
Department of English
McGill University

Funding for the work courtesy of the "Interacting with Print: Cultural practices of Intermediality, 1700-1900" research group.

These ten essays provide background scholarship on British chapbooks and were commissioned by the Interacting with Print Research Group. Beginning with an exploration of the definition of a chapbook, the essays provide researched summaries on their content, authorship, production and distribution. The Woodcuts essay describes the illustrations that are generally found in these small books. The role that chapbooks played in the literacy among the English population is explored in the Literacy essay. Early children’s literature was often published in the chapbook format and discussed in more detail in the Chapbooks and Children’s Book essay. The final essay concerns the Cheap Repository Tracts, a series of religious chapbooks that used the chapbook model for specific moral purposes.

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