2022 年 52 巻 p. 95-115
Charles Edward Mudie (1818–90) first opened a small lending library in 1842. The library succeeded in attracting a large number of subscribers, eventually delivering the books to the colonies as well as all over Britain. He is well-known for encouraging reading among the Victorian middle-class, but he is rarely chosen as the subject of study.
I have therefore analyzed in detail a series of Mudie’s advertisements mainly in the Athenaeum from 1847 to 1863. As a result, it became clear that he tried to impress the public with the arrival of a sophisticated circulating library by placing a full-page advertisement with a high level of design ahead of other circulating libraries. He also used advertisements to refute criticism about his selection of works; he always added information, when he refuted, that would be useful for potential subscribers in the advertisements. In addition, both the subscribers and the library benefited by simultaneously buying and selling a large number of popular books, which could only be seen through advertisements. He also lent out novels that failed to meet his selection criteria in order to satisfy some subscribers, but kept his library’s established reputation by not listing them in advertisements.
From these facts, it is obvious that Mudie displayed his talent as a great businessman in advertising.