Here's What A Bestseller Looked Like In The 1920s

July 21, 2014 12:50 PM

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Here's What A Bestseller Looked Like In The 1920s

Assiduous bibliophiles know their T.S. Eliots and F. Scott Fitzgeralds -- the authors who shaped our modern conception of the 1920s. But which books were readers buying en masse? A close look at the bestseller lists from the era reveals that literary trends haven't changed much since then. While some now-classic writers weren't widely popular at the time of publication, others were. Sinclair Lewis, Edith Wharton and H.G. Wells, for example, were both critically-acclaimed and oft-purchased.

The idea of genre-bending appears not to be a new one, either; writers such as John Erskine imbued academic topics with page-turning plots. There was also a pleasantly surprising gender parity among the bestseller lists. While the books deemed "most influential" might've been penned by men, books by...

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