Cheap Repository Tracts

(230 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

The enormous popular success of Tom Paine's The Rights of Man (1792), which may have sold as many as 200,000 copies in its first year of publication, made Britain's conservatives and evangelicals aware that the spread of literacy in the working people, notably by Sunday schools (post 1790), was granting them access to radical ideas of the kind that encouraged the Revolution in France. The Cheap Repository Tracts were a strategic ideological response, comprising a series of ballads and tales designed with rakish titles and woodcuts so that they resembled the pamphlets usually sold for a penny or so by itinerant hawkers and chapmen.

The tracts were originated by Hannah More, following the success of her Village …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Editors. "Cheap Repository Tracts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 April 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1540, accessed 29 August 2014.]