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The Adventures of Roderick Random

The Adventures of Roderick Random... The Adventures of Roderick Random...

Tobias George Smollett (1721-1771).
The Adventures of Roderick Random... Third edition. London: Printed for J. Osborn, 1750. 2 volumes.
(SPL) PR 3694 .R6 1750

For the 1748 edition of Roderick Random, bookseller James Rivington in a 1757 trade sale offered a 1/32 share, along with half of a 3/32 share of 1719's Robinson Crusoe (by Defoe). This type of transaction - selling parts of current stocks and shares of literary properties - had become common by the mid-1700s; formerly, only whole or remaining publishers’ and booksellers’ stocks were offered for sale.

Tobias Smollett also wrote in other genres besides novels. For example, he wrote a Complete History of England, published in 1757-58, which was a continuation of David Hume’s history and was among the most popular multivolume works of the 1700s. Scholars credit the success of Smollett’s history to an extensive advertising campaign - including advance advertisements in newspapers and prospectuses for forthcoming volumes, which were available at bookstores.