From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
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She has written a good introduction to the bestseller phenomenon and its history:
- "A novel which sold well in the eighteenth century - and even the most successful book rarely sold more than a few thousand copies - did so within a fairly closed circle of readers, many of whom as writers also participated in deciding the prevailing criteria of literary excellence." -- page 21.
- "By the mid-nineteenth century cheaper editions and improved access to reading material through subscriptions and in France, through reading rooms, pushed sales of a popular novel as high as 10,000 copies. Although critics continued to function as the arbiters of taste, the critical elite could no longer claim literature to be their exclusive property." -- page 22.
Both quotes are from The Myth of Superwoman : Women's Bestsellers in France and the United States (1990) by Resa L. Dudovitz
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