Spectrum of Fiction

11. Single- or several-volume fictional work such as the ‘triple-decker’ (three-volume) and ‘circulating-library’ novel

Romance, gothic, national, sentimental, historical, adventure, society, Newgate, silver spoon and other sorts of novels for men, women, and children were published upmarket and downmarket in a variety of forms. Single- or several-volume novels were usually sold in paper or in boards. Due to the high price of new novels (10-30s.), most novel readers were at least middle-class. Novels could be rented from circulating libraries by the volume. Cheaper out-of-copyright novels became more widely available throughout the period, as did pamphlet novelettes and ‘parts and numbers.’ Downmarket collections also increased the dissemination of both new and older works.