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Sex education, songs, and spiritual guidance: an eighteenth-century servants' library

Bigold, Melanie ORCID: 2022. Sex education, songs, and spiritual guidance: an eighteenth-century servants' library. The Library 23 (3) , pp. 301-322. 10.1093/library/fpac033

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This article brings to light a record for the largest known servants’ library of the eighteenth century. Found in a manuscript list in the hand of Elizabeth Percy, duchess of Northumberland (1715–1776), a keen collector and cataloguer of books, it comprises 131 titles. The list reinforces what we know about increased book use among the lower classes, particularly servants, but also provides new evidence of specific titles and, by extension, genres and formats of the books. Numerous chapbooks of prose-fiction, songs, and jests exist alongside evangelical tomes and pedagogical works. While the list cannot inform us about the extent of reading or use in the Northumberland household, the titles and genre statistics offer new insights, as well as some surprising anomalies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0024-2160
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 April 2023
Date of Acceptance: 1 January 2022
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 10:45

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