Giving it a name

The historian Matt Houlbrook has written recently about the intellectual and emotional significance of the titles we bestow on book projects. The titles authors select are not always, as Stuart Elden has reminded us, necessarily those which publishers deem suitable. Questions of marketing, audience, and discoverability inevitably come into play when deciding on the final title of a published book. Such issues notwithstanding, I took advantage of a rainy day in the office today to decide on a working title for the book which will, I hope, emerge in due course from this research project.

For a long time, I had toyed with the title Readers of revolution, since a significant portion of the book will focus on the diverse readings and influences of Macintosh’s book. Ultimately, however, I have settled for The forgotten radical: William Macintosh and the transnational circulation of seditious print in the Age of Revolution. Whilst it is unlikely that title will ever grace a book cover in precisely this form, it feels useful to have given a name to the thing that has been taking shape in my mind slowly over the last three-or-so years.

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