Acts of Modernity focuses on uses of the historical novel to communicate chronotopic interpretations of modernity, but it is also about how scholars make histories of literature and reading available to others. Whereas material histories have contributed to the expansion of scholarship on the historical novel in recent years, thematic prioritization and close reading have too often obscured the historical contexts and reading practices that made historical novels meaningful to readers throughout the nineteenth century. History is a contested field of interpretation, but the "mere skeleton of history" is written to dissuade misinterpretation, and official history is something taught, remembered, and regurgitated – an institutionalized form of meaning production. This chapter focuses on the sociological approaches and book history methodologies that have since the 1980s become prominent components of scholarship linking the historical novel and the nation-state, and even more, on recent work connecting Scott to modernity.