One more question...
ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Fri Jul 27 14:38:44 EDT 2001
Those few I think are read a lot. Conan Doyle I'm sure still sells
well (well, OK, the Holmes stories sell well, and probably not the
rest), and I think some of the lighter, kids' Kipling (Jungle Books,
Just So Stories) also do quite well. The adult Kipling probably less
so, but I'll bet KIM still does OK, and the poetry.
Twain (especially Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn) and Alcott (at least the
first couple books) still definitely have a following, and are
regularly revived in other media, although as you say, there are a
lot of forced buys (both college and high school).
Dickens is harder to tell, but he is certainly invoked a lot
(Victorian Christmas Bazaars, et al). And A Christmas Carol gets
trundled out every year. I suspect these are all excellent backlist
titles for the publishers like Penguin who maintain a "classics"
list. Probably list leaders, even. And they don't have to pay
royalties or promotional budgets...
On the other hand, how many of the copies of these that are read are
new purchases? There are so many copies of THe Collected Sherlock
Holmes out there, or Dickens, that I'll bet many or most of the reads
are made of older copies.
All speculation, of course. Anyone know anything about real figures
on 100+-year-old book sales?
At 12:22 PM -0600 7/27/01, Jacob Proffitt wrote:
>Right. How popular are they, really? How many novels have Kipling,
>Doyle, Twain, Alcott and Dickens sold in the last year. How many
>English speaking people could tell you the story of any of those
>authors? I could summarize one from each author, but then, I have a
>more or less traditional English degree. How many people would know
>any of those names if you take out forced buys by college students?
>I suspect that even the college student purchases have been dropping
>as the idea of canon is reviewed.
>From: Nat Case [mailto:ncase at hedbergmaps.com]
>Sent: Friday, July 27, 2001 12:12 PM
>To: dwj at suberic.net
>Cc: Jacob Proffitt
>Subject: RE: One more question...
>At 11:34 AM -0600 7/27/01, Jacob Proffitt wrote:
>>Interesting. I'm wondering if any Victorian authors are popular any more.
>Dickens, who to many casual readers IS Victorian literature...
>Conan Doyle is probably more Edwardian, as is Kipling.
>Twain is Victorian American, as is Alcott.
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