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Enter the middleman: legitimisation of literary agents in the British Victorian publishing industry 1875-1900

Joseph, M. (2018) Enter the middleman: legitimisation of literary agents in the British Victorian publishing industry 1875-1900. Business History. ISSN 1743-7938

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2018.1514013

Abstract/Summary

The literary agent is a recent addition to the publishing industry, yet in a relatively short space of time has become instrumental in the production of literature. This paper examines the origins and development of the A. P. Watt Literary Agency to explore how it became a dominant organisation in the late nineteenth century. The paper analyses how its founder Alexander Pollock Watt despite being met with resistance, gained legitimacy to be accepted by authors and publishers. Through an analysis of historical sources this paper argues that by using contract law, Watt was able to disrupt existing business practices.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:75265
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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