"It is not true that men don't read novels, but it is true that there are whole branches of fiction that they avoid. Roughly speaking, what one might call the average novel - the ordinary, good-bad, Galsworthy-and-water stuff which is the norm of the English novel - seems to exist only for women."

George Orwell, 'Bookshop Memories' in Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, vol 1, An Age Like This, 1920-1940 (London: Secker and Warburg, 1969; article first published 1936) p. 244.


NB Please note that some of the following references have annotations which are accessed by clicking on the linked reference text.

Section I: Early and Mid-Twentieth-Century Texts

  • Altick, Richard D., The English Common Reader (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1957)
  • Benedict, Ruth, Patterns of Culture (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1935)
  • Bennett, Arnold, How to Become an Author (London: C. A. Person, 1903)
  • Bennett, Arnold, Literary Taste (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1909)
  • Blackwell, Basil et al., The Book World (London: Thomas Nelson, 1935)
  • Brook, Donald, Writers' Gallery, "Biographical Sketches of Britain's Greatest Writers, and their views on Reconstruction." (London: Rockliff Publishing Corporation, 1944)
  • Chapman, Guy, Culture and Survival (London: Jonathan Cape, 1940)
  • Connolly, Cyril, Enemies of Promise (London: Routledge, 1938)
  • Davies, Margaret Llewellyn ed. Life As We Have Known It (London: Hogarth Press, 1931; Virago, 1977) [contains introduction by Virginia Woolf]
  • Drew, Elizabeth, The Modern Novel: Some Aspects of Contemporary Fiction (London: Jonathan Cape, 1926)
  • Goldring, Douglas, The Nineteen Twenties (London: Nicholson and Watson, 1945)
  • Hunt, Cecil, Ink in my Veins (London: Robert Hale, 1948)
  • Hutchinson, A. S. M., Bring Back the Days (London: Michael Joseph, 1958)
  • Jackson, Holbrook, The Eighteen Nineties (London: Grant Richards, 1913: Harmondsworth: Pelican, 1939)
  • Jenkinson, A. J., What do Boys and Girls Read? (London: Methuen, 1940: Second edition with new Appendix, 1946)
  • Kunitz, Stanley Jasspon and Howard Haycraft, Twentieth Century Authors: A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Literature (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1942)
  • Leavis, F. R., Mass Civilisation and Minority Culture (Cambridge: The Minority Press, 1930)
  • Leavis, F. R. and Denys Thompson, Culture and Environment. (London: Chatto and Windus, 1933)
  • Leavis, Q. D., Fiction and the Reading Public (London: Pimlico, 2000; first pub. 1932)
  • Lefebvre, Henri, Critique of Everyday Life 1, trans. John Moore, (London: Verso, 1991. Orig. published as Critique de la vie quotidienne I: Introduction, Paris: Grasset, 1947)
  • Lynes, Russell, 'High-Brow, Low-Brow, Middle-Brow', Life, (April 11 1949)
  • Lynes, Russell, The Taste-Makers (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954)
  • Mackenzie, Compton, Literature in My Time (London: Rich and Cowan, 1933)
  • Mannin, Ethel Confessions and Impressions (London: Jarrolds, 1930; Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1937)
  • Mitford, Nancy (ed), Noblesse Oblige: An Enquiry into the Identifiable Characteristics of the English Aristocracy (London: Penguin, 1956)
  • Orwell, George, Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters, eds. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (London: Secker and Warburg, 1969)
  • Priestley, J. B. 'High, Low, Broad.' In Open House: A Book of Essays (London: Heinemann, 1927)
  • Swinnerton, Frank, Background with Chorus: A Footnote to Changes in English Literary Fashion Between 1901 and 1917 (London: Hutchinson & Co, 1956)
  • Swinnerton, Frank, Figures in the Foreground: Literary Reminiscences 1917-1940 (London: Hutchinson & Co,1937, rev. edn. 1963)
  • Swinnerton, Frank, The Georgian Literary Scene 1910-1935 (London: Hutchinson & Co,1935; rev. edn. 1969)
  • Ward, A. C., The Nineteen-Twenties: Literature and Ideas in the Post-War Decade (London: Methuen, 1930)
  • West, Rebecca, "The Tosh Horse." The Strange Necessity: Essays and Reviews (London: Jonathan Cape, 1928)
  • Woolf, Leonard, Hunting the Highbrow (London: Hogarth Press, 1927)
  • Woolf, Virginia, The Death of the Moth (London: Hogarth Press, 1942)
  • Woolf, Virginia, The Sickle Side of the Moon: The Letters of Virginia Woolf 1932-1935, Vol. 5 of 6. Ed. Nigel Nicolson. (London:The Hogarth Press, 1994)
  • Young, G. M., "The New Cortegiano" in Daylight and Champaign (London: Jonathan Cape, 1937) Reprint in Davison, Meyersohn, and Shils, vol.5, 3-21.

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Section II: Modern Critical Discussions

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Section III: Manuscript Collections

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre, The University of Texas at Austin:

  • The Alfred A. Knopf Inc. Archive
  • The Grant Richards Collection
  • The PEN Collection
  • The Theatre Arts mss Collection
  • The Jessica Mitford Archive

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Section IV: Periodicals

  • The Bookman. London. 1891 - 1934.
  • The Bookseller. London. 1933 - present.
  • The Calendar of Modern Letters. London. March 1925 - July 1927.
  • The Evening Standard. London. 1827 - present. Arnold Bennett wrote weekly reviews of contemporary fiction for the paper from 1926 - 1931.
  • The Lady. London. 1885 - present
  • The London Mercury. London. 1919 - 1939. Incorporating The Bookman 1935 - 1936.
  • The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art. London. 1855 - 1938.
  • The Sunday Dispatch. 1928 - 1961. Published as The Weekly Dispatch 1801 - 1927.
  • The Tatler
  • Time and Tide. 1920 - 1979.
  • Titbits. London. 1881 - 1970.
  • Vanity Fair. New York. 1913 - 1936.

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Section V: Other Selections

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