News from the Invisible World: The Publishing History of Tales of the Supernatural c.1660-1832
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This chapter explores the transmission of supernatural tales between c.1660 and c.1832 in anthologies of supposedly true stories. Any attempt to analyse the stories or their significance either in popular or educated culture, must begin by unravelling their publishing history. Entrepreneurial publishers, mostly operating from Paternoster Row in London, experimented with anthologising these stories in varied combinations, usually in publications aimed at the middling sort but sometimes in chapbook or serial format or compendia for a lower-class readership. A group of late seventeenth-century texts provided the majority of stories, but Defoe’s accounts, Gothic fiction and later stories published by evangelicals and/or in periodicals played a growing part from the 1770s onwards. Sceptical attacks on these stories clustered in the 1720-40 period and after 1790.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Palgrave Macmillan via the DOI in this record.
In: Cultures of Witchcraft in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present Editors: Barry, Jonathan, Davies, Owen, Usborne, Cornelie, pp. 179 - 212
978 3 319 63783 9
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