Professional Literary Agent in Britain

Professional Literary Agent in Britain

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By Mary Ann Gillies
Studies in Book and Print Culture
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2007
World Rights
304 Pages
ISBN 9780802091475
Published Dec 2007
Online discount: 25%
 $79.00    $59.25

Breaking new ground in the study of British literary culture during an important, transitional period, this new work by Mary Ann Gillies focuses on the professional literary agent whose emergence in Britain around 1880 coincided with, and accelerated, the transformation of both publishing and authorship.

Like other recent studies in book and print culture, The Professional Literary Agent in Britain, 1880-1920 starts from the central premise that the business of authorship is inextricably linked with the aesthetics of literary praxis. Rather than provide a broad overview of the period, however, Gillies focuses on a specific figure, the professional literary agent. She then traces the influence of two prominent agents - A. P. Watt (generally acknowledged as the first professional literary agent) and J. B. Pinker (the leading figure in the second wave of agents) - focusing on their respective relationships with two key clients. The case studies not only provide insight into the business dynamics of the literary world at this time, but also illustrate the shifting definition of literature itself during the period.

Mary Ann Gillies is a professor in the Department of English at Simon Fraser University.

Raymond Klibansky Prize awarded by Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme (Canada) - Short-listed in 2008