All those who are struggling for success have forced upon them the idea that their strongest effort should be made in touting for praise. Those who are not familiar with the lives of authors will hardly believe how low will be the forms which their struggles will take: — How little presents will be sent to men who write little articles; how much flattery may be expended even on the keeper of a circulating library; with what profuse and distant genuflexions approaches are made to the outside railing of the temple which contains within it that great thunderer of some metropolitan periodical publication! The evil here is not only that done to the public when interested council is given to them, but extends to the debasement of those who have at any rate considered themselves fit to provide literature to the public. (Harold Innis citing Anthony Trollope in ‘An Economic Approach to English Literature in the Nineteenth Century’1 from Trollope’s 1883 Autobiography)
Legal notice: Any resemblance of this passage to the machinations of contemporary academic publishing, and to “the debasement of those who have (…) considered themselves fit to provide literature to the public” by submitting themselves to it, are purely coincidental.
- Included in Political Economy in the Modern State. Renamed in PEMS from ‘The English Press in the Nineteenth Century: An Economic Approach’, UTQ. 15:1, October 1945. ↩