Drew University Professor Jonathan Rose Publishes The Edinburgh History of Reading

The four-volume collection includes contributions from Drew alums, professor

May 2022 – Drew University’s William R. Kenan Professor of History Jonathan Rose adds to his impressive list of published work with The Edinburgh History of Reading.

Through essay contributions, the four-volume collection, co-edited with Mary Hammond, provides a global perspective and scholarship on readers and reading practices from medieval times to the twenty-first century.

“The history of reading is a new academic field that was largely pioneered at Drew University,” said Rose. “Historians used to think that it would be impossible to recover the inner reading experiences of ordinary people in history, but we have developed methods to explore not just what these people were reading, but how they read it.”

The Edinburgh History of Reading contains a strong Drew connection. Several of Rose’s students and a fellow Drew professor studied this field, and their work is showcased within the volumes.

  • Jessica Brandt C’93, G’19, “Just Send Zhivago: Reading Over, Under, and Through the Iron Curtain,” a part of her Drew PhD dissertation.
  • Valerae Hurley G’03, “Hawking Terror: Reading the French Revolutionary Press,” a part of her Drew PhD dissertation.
  • Cheryl Oestreicher G’11, “Peace of Mind in the Age of Anxiety: Rabbi Joshua Liebman and America’s Post-war Therapeutic Faith,” a part of her Drew PhD dissertation.
  • Carol Ueland, Drew Professor Emerita of Russia, co-author of “F.F. Pavlenkov’s Literacy Project: Popular Serials and Reading Rooms for the Russian Masses.”
  • Brian Watson G’14, “Hellfire and Cannibals: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Erotic Reading Groups and Their Manuscripts.”
  • Angelle Whavers C’18, “Amazing Stories 1950-1953: The Readers Behind the Covers,” whose work was written as an undergraduate at Drew.

The volumes add to Rose’s extensive list of published work—all available at the Drew University Library—which includes the groundbreaking and award-winning The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, which won the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, the Longman-History Today Historical Book of the Year Prize, and the British Council Prize. First published in 2001, the book is still selling in its third edition. 

Rose has also published The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor, A Companion to the History of the Book, The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation, The Revised Orwell, British Literary Publishing Houses 1820-1965, Reader’s Liberation, and The Edwardian Temperament 1895-1919. He was a founding editor of Book History, which won the Council of Editors of Learned Journals award for the Best New Journal of 1999.

Rose’s current research concerns Playboy‘s woman readers, who comprised approximately one-third of the magazine’s readership.


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