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  1. Sean2112bd
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    Sean2112bd Member

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    Were European books ever distributed to the United States during the 1800's

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Sean2112bd, Jan 15, 2011.

    There were many famous books in the 1800's such as Frankenstein, Les Miserales, Time Machine, Tale of Two Cities, etc. but were European books ever distributed to the United States during the 1800's?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Yes, and vice versa. Even in the 18th century people would send across books, either directly to people or to be sold at markets or other communal locations. Bookshops as we know them didn't come into existence until quite late in the 19th century, nor did the kind of lending libraries we have today. And I think your definition of 'famous' would probably need to be changed a bit to reflect their literary tastes, which were considerably more refined than they are today.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My Great Auntie had some interesting penny reads she had got from her grandmother that came out of the late 1800s. Some were from the US.
     
  4. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    European books were also pirated in the US in the 1800's.
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Oh yeah! How do you think we got stuff like Dickens?

    Pirated? lol, I can see it now:

    Pirate Captain Harold Archibald: AARRRGGHH!! Gimme tha' book 'bout Ol'ver Twist or else ye be walkin' the plank, ye landlubber!!
     
  6. Clumsywordsmith
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    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

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    Actually, if my memory serves me right, Dickens was imported to America in similar manner to how he was released in England -- by serial publication. They claim that fans lined the docks when awaiting a particularly momentous arrival of a certain portion from The Old Curiosity Shop, some of them shouting up to those on the ship, demanding to know whether or not Nell had died, as the British got to receive the news first.

    Sad to think that an author like Dickens used to stir up so much emotion. Nowadays it takes something as awful as Harry Potter to stir the dumbed-down masses into such outbursts of excitement. I doubt if the vast majority of today's readers could even make it through a Dickens novel, much less appreciate them to anything nearing the same extent.
     
  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    That's an interesting peice of history there. =D Good stuff for my history nutty-ness.

    And I wouldn't call Harry Potter awful. Sure it's not the greatest fantasy of all time, but it's better than two other fantasy series I've read. *glares at Twilight and The Inheritance Cycle*

    I did read a bit of Oliver Twist and enjoyed it. However, I stopped at the middle when the kid got shot during a robbery. Really, Dickens. Do you have to torture your characters like that? Plus, every time I read it, I got depressed because Oliver kept having crap thrown at him at virtually every angle.

    I started David Copperfield, but suspected it'd follow the same pattern: Boy is born in a horrible situation and young life is full of crap being thrown at his face.
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    They do end reasonably happily, you know. :p He's not soulless.

    Also... WHY would those be the only 3 fantasy series you've read?! No wonder you don't like it... :/ Go read some decent fantasy! :p Starting with Terry Pratchett, then we can move you onto the hard stuff.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    As soon as mass publishing became available there were trashy novels lol Les Miserables includes a satire on them - when the Mother of Eponine (sp??) is naming her children.

    I like Rowling think she is as a good as Dickens at telling a story and deserves her place.

    Reason Dickens is miserable is he was Didactic Writer he was trying to change society and improve the terrible lives of many children - his books did indeed contribute to that. Rowling certainly seems to have just as developed a social conscience.
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    lol.

    Well, I didn't give up on the fantasy genre completely. I play decent fantasy games (Zelda and Elder Scrolls) and read mysteries.
     
  11. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't be too surprised if Rowling is compared to Dickens in 200 years' time. And Neil Gaiman is the Shakespeare of our time :)
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a funny feeling the Shakespeare equivelent will be Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice or other lyricists he has used.

    Starlight Express, Joseph etc the stories are so much fun, fabulous and I doubt many who don't know at least the odd snatch from the work.
     
  13. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    :eek:

    Link! Please give him another go. Dickens is the most warm, the most vivacious, the most optimistic writer I know. If he sometimes writes of dismal things it is like receiving bad news from an angel: the very voice mocks and diminishes the badness of the tidings it utters.
     
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  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    All right, I'll give him another round.

    And I do like his style, really gives me the idea of what life was like in the 1800s. :)
     
  15. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, Dickens is awesome :p Once you get through to the end, it's very worth it.

    Except Great Expectations. *shakes fist*
     
  16. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm guessing you had to read Great Expectations for your GCSEs?
    I did too. I still like it, but yep my rememberance of it is rather tainted by having had to write essays on it.

    Nice one, Link!
     
  17. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ I had to read Great Expectations for GCSE. The beginning was good but then it went downhill. It wasn't a bad read though, and I'd probably like it better if I reread it now.
     
  18. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great Expectations is Dickens worst offering in my opinion. Martin Chuzzlewit is my favourite.
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    What happened in the book?
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great Expectations or Martin Chuzzlewit ?

    Martin Chuzzlewit is about the said gentleman has travels to the US, it has everything lol murder, blackmail, travel etc. Dickens himself said it was his favourite.
     
  21. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read it last year for my course, and I enjoyed reading it, but the ending is open-ended (there are like 5 versions and we read them all) and all of them are bitter or sad in different ways.
     

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