British Library Paratexts

My research on Maria Polack and her novel, Fiction Without Romance, led me to realize that the paratexts in the British Library copy of the novel are different from those included in every other copy. Paratexts include things like the title page, the footnotes, subscription lists, forwards, conclusions, etc. GĂ©rard Genette explains that "More than a boundary or sealed border, the paratext is rather a threshold, or. . . a 'vestibule' that offers the world at large the possiblity of either stepping inside or turning back. It is an 'undefined zone' between the inside and the outside" of the book.1 He adds, the paratexts create a zone of "transaction" whereby they exert "an influence on the public" aimed at "the service of a better reception for the text."2 

I have digitized the unusual set of paratexts published in a single copy of this novel, housed in the British Library, who have generously allowed me to reproduce these pages. 

Follow this link to access digital copies of paratexts in the British Library's (BL) copy of Fiction Without Romance.

The paratexts from the BL can be compared to those included in the digital copies of the novel on this site:

Fiction Without Romance, Vol. 1

Fiction Without Romance, Vol. 2


1. Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, Translated by Janet E. Lewin, Forward by Richard Macksey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 1-2.

2. Genette, 2

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