Spectrum of Fiction

10. Volume-form literature anthology for school or drawing-room

Volume-form anthologies of literature for school or home were common, although too expensive for most people. Content could include fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose. Such collections enabled the careful selection of ‘classics’ or useful works intended to amuse and instruct. Changing attitudes to parenting and childhood, expansion of the print industry, and increased attention to literacy, reading, and education led to such anthologies aimed at a juvenile audience. Many adults were also interested in a general knowledge of upmarket or ‘standard’ literature, indicative of an interest in upward mobility and the importance of social status.