This book examines the consequences of the spread of mass literacy across the whole range of popular culture in England and argues that the impact of reading and writing can be discovered in the use that was made of these skills, and the meanings attached to them.
'David Vincent's history of the teaching of reading and writing, and its cultural implications, shows how, once you take the winning of literacy as a serious issue, it opens up new perspectives on a whole series of major themes. His topics range from family relationships and social mobility, through politics and election broadsides, to the cultural influences of literacy on the working-class generation before that of Richard Hoggart.' Times Literary Supplement 'This is an ambitious, scholarly and fascinating book of interest not only to specialists and historians but also to a wider public.' The Times Higher Education Supplement