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The changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readers of the novel in eighteenth century Europe were manifold. The creation of libraries, cost-cutting printing techniques and hiring out of books on an hourly basis allowed readership to expand beyond the aristocratic class. Socially, as the market for books grew, novelists were freed of aristocratic patronage, and could now explore different dimensions of the society in their novels, for example, the lives of women and the working class. All this led to an obvious increase in the number of people who read books in eighteenth-century Europe.

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