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By Lise Jaillant

In the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties the fashionable Library sequence introduced out affordable variants of modernist works. Books by way of writers together with H G Wells, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, have been released and advertised along detective fiction and different books that we might now type as ‘middlebrow’. Jaillant presents a radical research of the combination of intellectual and well known literature within the sleek Library and argues that the supply and occasional rate of modernist works helped to extend modernism's impression as a literary circulate. She makes use of formerly unknown fabric from publishers' information to convey clean perception into the function of the marketplace on either modernist writers and their readers.

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Extra resources for Modernism, Middlebrow and the Literary Canon: The Modern Library Series, 1917-1955

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George, who has trained as a scientist, overcomes his moral scruples and works for his uncle in order to make a sufficient living to marry the woman he loves. 88 In Tono-Bungay, George’s passionate nature is opposed to the frigidity of his wife Marion. The narrator sees her as a victim of a repressive society: ‘Her training had been one not simply of silences, but suppressions’. 89 Following his affair with an employee, George leaves his wife and engages in a string of unsatisfactory relationships with women.

The physical attributes of each partner therefore mattered enormously. 57 In short, Wells’s novel and Evolution in Modern Thought are both concerned with the major breakthroughs in biology, which had an immediate effect on humans’ perception. The Darwinian concept of sexual selection is central to Ann Veronica but also to Evolution in Modern Thought. 58 In other words, secondary sexual characteristics play a large role in attracting females to males. Weismann uses the metaphor of the tribunal or the beauty contest to explain sexual selection.

108 Although Modern Library books were much cheaper (and therefore more at risk of attacks by censors anxious of the impact of ‘obscenity’ on a wide audience), Ernst was confident that John S. Sumner, Comstock’s successor as the head of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, would not press charges. Ernst even predicted that if his H. G. Wells, Science and Sex in the Modern Library, 1917–31 39 name appeared in the Modern Library edition, ‘it might deter to a slight degree our friend Mr Sumner’.

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