ABOUT THIS BOOK
The Printed Reader explores the transformative power of reading in the eighteenth century, and how this was expressed in the fascination with Don Quixote and in a proliferation of narratives about quixotic readers, readers who attempt to reproduce and embody their readings. Through intersecting readings of quixotic narratives, including work by Charlotte Lennox, Laurence Sterne, George Colman, Richard Graves, and Elizabeth Hamilton, Amelia Dale argues that literature was envisaged as imprinting—most crucially, in gendered terms—the reader’s mind, character, and body. The Printed Reader brings together key debates concerning quixotic narratives, print culture, sensibility, empiricism, book history, and the material text, connecting developments in print technology to gendered conceptualizations of quixotism. Tracing the meanings of quixotic readers’ bodies, The Printed Reader claims the social and political text that is the quixotic reader is structured by the experiential, affective, and sexual resonances of imprinting and impressions.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.