In the early years of the twentieth century, publishing underwent a technical revolution. The arrival of rotary presses and Linotype machines, together, crucially, with the cheap and ready availability of paper, meant that the cost and the speed of newspaper, journal and book production changed rapidly. This led to the publication of mass-circulation newspapers such as Lord Northcliffe’s Daily Mail and mass-market magazines such as Strand and Tit-bits (read on the lavatory by Joyce’s protagonist Leopold Bloom in Ulysses) in Britain; and the Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan and Vanity Fair in the US. In terms of books, there was a drastic fall in the price of the novel, which led to a broader book-buying readership, able to ‘keep up’ with the latest bestsellers, and a sudden flood of inexpensive editions of classic literary works from publishing houses such as J. M. Dent (the ‘Everyman’ and ‘Temple Classics’ series), and Grant Richards (the ‘World’s Classics’). The broad allusiveness of modernist writing, its perpetual reference to texts from earlier literary moments, owes a debt in part to the sudden availability, at prices all could afford, of editions, including translations, of classical poetry, drama and fiction, with handy contextualizing introductions by experts in their respective fields, including Ernest Rhys, Arthur Symons, A. C. Swinburne, and others.
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