Although the Minerva Press is commonly remembered today as an early publisher of Gothic and sentimental romance, from 1790 to 1820 it was not only the largest publisher of popular fiction in Britain, it also published books in various genres from fiction to reference materials, covering a range of subjects from adventure stories to books of manners and systems of education. Founder William Lane was an astute businessman who promoted circulating libraries (at a time well before the rise of public libraries, borrowers paid subscription fees to borrow books from circulating libraries) in order to significantly expand the market for the books he published. Bruce Peel Special Collections has an extensive collection of Minerva Press editions. Many Minerva titles were published in multi-volume formats often called “triple-deckers” or “three-volume novels” despite the fact that many have two or four or more volumes. Jane Austen fans are often intrigued to discover that six of the seven “horrid novels” listed by Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey (1818) were published by Minerva Press.
Collection Formats: 18th Century, 19th Century, Books -- click to see other collections with this format