People's Pamphlets

2. Chapbooks were small, short, cheap, paper-covered books popular among many downmarket readers and some upmarket readers from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century in Britain. Most chapbooks were 8-32 pages in length and sold for as little as a halfpenny and usually for less than sixpence, thus making them widely available to the working classes – rural and urban. The traditional chapbook included rough woodcut images; the quality of the paper and print was generally low. Early popular stories such as Valentine and Orson (Company of Walking Stationers, 1790) and religious works aimed at children such as Sister’s Gift, or the Naughty Boy Reformed (London: Harris, 1804) were carried to rural areas by travelling salesmen or colporteurs.