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Old December 19th, 2012, 01:52 PM   #1

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What are the best selling books of the 18th century?


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Old December 19th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #2
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bible
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Old December 19th, 2012, 02:21 PM   #3

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Dei delitti e delle pene was widely readed (and translated) both in europe and in the Us
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Old December 19th, 2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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The answer would depend quite a bit on "bestseller where?" methinks.

But this is a bit of a classic classic on the French 18th c. at least — Robert Darnton on the publication, censorship and the big business of book smuggling in Ancičn Regime France:

The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France: Robert Darnton: 9780393314427: Amazon.com: Books
The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France: Robert Darnton: 9780393314427: Amazon.com: Books

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Old December 20th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #5

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Indeed, it all depends where. Largely, however, there is generally a pattern in terms of production, if not consumption. Oddly enough, despite earlier work that stressed the distinction(s) between high and lowlife Enlightenment trades, some sort of conflation helps to track book flows. Apart from Darnton and his successors in studying the Grub Street/(but also) high Enlightenment book trade, a recent project is quite fascinating on this topic:
The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe
It focuses on France, but is well worth taking a look at. See this review (freely accessible - you won't need JSTOR/database access) The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe, 1769-1794 | Reviews in History by Darnton that discusses it.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #6

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The life and strange surprizing adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe was very popular in XVIII century. The book was published in 1719 and before end of the year it had for editions.
"By the end of the 19th century, no book in the history of Western literature had more editions, spin-offs and translations (even into languages such as Inuktitut, Coptic and Maltese) than Robinson Crusoe, with more than 700 such alternative versions, including children's versions with mainly pictures and no text"
Some historians claim that New Heloise by Rousseau was best seller of the century. “Publishers could not print copies fast enough so they rented the book out by the day and even by the hour. According to Darnton, there were at least 70 editions in print before 1800, "probably more than for any other novel in the previous history of publishing”
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Old December 26th, 2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson
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Old February 14th, 2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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I think one of the the best selling books is Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I love to read books and so far, i browsed for top selling books list and this book is on the top list of reviews.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 02:22 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy2013 View Post
I think one of the the best selling books is Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I love to read books and so far, i browsed for top selling books list and this book is on the top list of reviews.
Hardly bestselling during the 18th century, though.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 06:09 AM   #10
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I assume Gullivers Travel's was a fairly popular book of the 18th century. Tristram Shandy as well, perhaps? As for foreign language authors I suppose anything by Voltaire would have been popular.
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