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The history of Pendennis, his fortunes and misfortunes, his friends and his greatest enemy.

The history of Pendennis, his fortunes and misfortunes, his friends and his greatest enemy.

“We are a locomotive people, and during these last twenty years in no way has the national taste for literature been so developed as in the arrangements made for facilitating railway reading.” In this way Anthony Trollope described the reading landscape of England, 1855. Rail had increasingly become the way to travel, and businessmen such as William Smith (founder of W. H. Smith and Son) took advantage of the new customer base by providing reading material for train journeys.

Novels published in installments, such as William Makepeace Thackeray’s The History of Pendennis, were ideally suited to the traveling public. A reader could keep up with the plot from one journey to the next. It should not be surprising, then, that the paper wrappers of such books include advertisements for warm garments to wear while riding the train.

 
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