K_MacDonald-2I’m a literary historian, interested in British 19th, 20th and 21st-century literature and publishing. My book history research has been based on the reading choices of people like my great-grandparents and their friends and families: the ordinary novel for the ordinary British reader from the beginning of the 20th century who didn’t have a lot of time or spare cash for books, but enjoyed what the library could offer. I wanted my students to think about how books were written, marketed, sold and presented to the reader in exchange for money. If the books I study had to compete with buying daily food, or a new pair of shoes, I want to know how and why that novel, or those books of essays, or the cookbook, won that choice. My publishing history research has been focused on British publishing during the First World War, with an unexpected jump to the 1960s and 1970s in the permissive era.

I’ve taught in several mainland European universities and at the Open University and at the University of Reading (no pun intended), in the UK. I’m now a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University. The list of my scholarly publications is here. The link to my page in academia.edu is here. And you can find me on LinkedIn here.

HP_Social_Media_Avatar_Square2I’m also a publisher. Read all about Handheld Press, and what we publish, here.

As a spin-off from teaching, I wrote three years of podcasts, for Why I Really Like This Book, from May 2011 (now closed down). In autumn 2014 I stopped messing about with technology I didn’t really understand to focus on the writing, because that’s the bit I always enjoyed most. I’ve reposted most of the podcast scripts here, not necessarily in the order they were first broadcast..

In between podcasts I wrote over a hundred book reviews with Vulpes Libris, and still operate as a vociferously barking BookFox.

Do you have a question? Send me a message here:












Some time in the future, photos and knitting patterns will appear too, but not this day …

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