Asian Classic Literature and the English General Reader, 1845–1915

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The subject of this chapter is popular, accessible English translations of classical literature from Asia, which were developed for the general readership in nineteenth-century Britain and America. The reception of these translations by their intended audience is studied by examining readers' commonplace books, as well as marginal annotations left behind by Victorian readers in their personal copies of these translations. From this study emerges a picture of a late nineteenth-century reading public with much more diverse and ecumenical tastes in foreign literature than has been hitherto imagined.

© 2020, The Author(s). The attached document (embargoed until 29/04/2023) is an author produced version of a chapter published in THE EDINBURGH HISTORY OF READING: COMMON READERS uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Edinburgh History of Reading
Subtitle of host publicationCommon Readers
EditorsJonathan Rose, Mary Hammond
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781474461894
ISBN (Print)9781474461887, 9781474461917
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2020


  • Translation
  • Asian
  • Oriental
  • Reception
  • Marginalia
  • Victorian
  • Reading
  • Popular

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