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p. 815. The British Bestsellerlocked

  • John Sutherland

Abstract

‘The British bestseller’ highlights the influence of cultural and commercial differences between Britain and the USA. The bestseller ‘machine’ arrived with Walter Scott. The early twentieth century was characterized by romances. John Buchan's espionage thrillers were immensely successful, as were Agatha Christie's detective novels. Wartime alliances saw the popularity of more literary American authors, such as Steinbeck. Television and films helped to popularize new works, such as Orwell's 1984, and revive others. With the TMA's disappearance, American books were aggressively exported to the UK and, by 2000, while British titles were often entirely absent from the American weekly bestseller lists American novels were conspicuous in the British lists.

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