September 27, 2018

Jim Hood Publishes Article on Nineteenth Century Reading Practices in Quaker Studies

Jim Hood’s article, “’Novel Reading and Insanity’:  Nineteenth-Century Quaker Fiction Reading Practices,” appeared recently in Quaker Studies and is available here.

Based largely on archival research at the Library of Birmingham and the library at Friends House London, as well as additional research at the Friends Historical Collection here at Guilford, Hood’s article makes the case that, despite numerous public prohibitions by Quakers throughout the nineteenth century against the reading of fiction, in private or semi-private setting (such as reading groups or libraries like the Friends Book Society of Birmingham and the Manchester Friends Institute) Quakers were regularly acquiring works of fiction as early as the 1820s.  His article complicates historical understanding of how the Religious Society of Friends adapted to a new information technology, engaging a powerful tension between their testimony of integrity and their belief in continuing revelation.  

Hood is Professor of English in the Department of English and Creative Writing and also serves currently as the Clerk of the Faculty.