JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2014) calculate crime rates in the British countryside from the plots of Agatha Christie novels. In this chapter and elsewhere, Heyd does, however, capture the mix of literary attitudes toward the press. Playwrights and other commentators displayed an obsession with newspapers that did not stop them from making a stale joke of their unreliability, while sneering at common readers who depended on the press for their information. The final chapter highlights the reader as a collector, though it really only consists of a brief rundown of newspaper collections that appear in various auction catalogues, plus four-and-a-half pages about Thomas Jefferson's newspaper collection. The Jefferson section largely reprints his list of newspaper subscriptions, adding a few cursory and not entirely accurate explanations of what they were. Filled with ``lit review''-style passages copiously quoting other scholars by last name only, Reading News papers reads like the kind of traditional ``monograph'' that most U.S. academic publishers refuse to handle anymore. While produced with obvious care by the University of Oxford's Voltaire Foundation, the book would clearly have benefited from further development and heavier editing. While Heyd's overall point that newspapers tried to play a central
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
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