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Chapter Summary

With the expansion of the eighteenth-century book market, more people were able to acquire a more varied range of books. This participation in the market was the result of a general rise in both financial capability and reading ability within a broad section of the population. Many individuals were able to acquire on the Norwegian book market works that were not of the more standard religious type; esoteric literature, for instance, circulated among the learned classes. Material that was patently entertaining was also available, typified both by an increasing number of novels as well as by traditional storybooks that remained classics. One should also note the increased presence of travel accounts in late eighteenth-century upper-middle-class libraries, works that were valued by book collectors and read for entertainment, but that also provided their readers with access to an ever-expanding world, whether fictional or not.

Keywords: book collections; eighteenth-century book collections; entertainment; esoteric literature; Norwegian book market; travel literature



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