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Literature of the 1900sThe Great Edwardian Emporium$
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Jonathan Wild

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635061

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635061.001.0001

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Department of Administration: Office Clerks and Shop Assistants

Department of Administration: Office Clerks and Shop Assistants

(p.43) Chapter Two Department of Administration: Office Clerks and Shop Assistants
Literature of the 1900s

Jonathan Wild

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter registers the significant shift that took place in the social and cultural fabric of the publishing industry in the first decade of the new century, and traces its effects. To what extent, this chapter asks, did the office boys and counter-jumpers, who were so much a feature of the Edwardian literary scene, actually succeed in reshaping the literary world in their own image? The chapter begins by tracing the rise to prominence of two writers, Arnold Bennett and H. G. Wells, whose names have since become inextricably associated with the term ‘Edwardian’. Their ability to profit from the favourable literary conditions in this period is examined in context with other writers of their class and generation who were, to use a characteristic phrase of the day, ‘getting on’.

Keywords:   publishing industry, office clerks, shop assistants, Arnold Bennett, H. G. Wells, favourable literary conditions

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