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On the use of anecdotal evidence in reception study and the history of reading

Allington, Daniel (2010). On the use of anecdotal evidence in reception study and the history of reading. In: Gunzenhauser, Bonnie ed. Reading in History: New Methodologies from the Anglo-American Tradition. The History of the Book (6). London: Pickering and Chatto, pp. 11–28.

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From the editor's introduction: 'the reading historian needs some kind of tangible record to use as a starting point – and most often this record takes the form of a reading anecdote.... Reading historians, Allington argues, should focus less on the veracity of reading anecdotes and more on their structuring tropes and themes; doing so, he suggests, will enhance their evidentiary function by moving scholarly debates past questions of reliability and legitimacy and will, finally, generate richer histories of reading.� (pp. 3-4)

The chapter's main example is James Hogg's account of his first encounter with the work of Robert Burns, but I also re-examine some of the evidence used in Jonathan Rose's influential monograph, The intellectual life of the British working classes (Yale UP, 2001).

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2010 Daniel Allington
ISBN: 1-85196-628-5, 978-1-85196-628-8
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 23164
Depositing User: Daniel Allington
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2010 15:41
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 20:17
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