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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Victorian period saw the power and mystique of ‘celebrity’ become an established part of cultural life. Authors were both subjects and objects of a celebrity culture that were equally evident in theatre, music, painting, fashion, and the sporting world. Victorian celebrity marks the democratization of the public sphere but at the same time its advent is infused by a commercial dynamic, making it more liable to fabrication and an inherent transience. Numerous factors coalesced between 1780 and 1830 to form the recognizable dynamics of modern celebrity and publicity culture. The commercial development of the newspaper and periodical press, coupled with the advent of media like photography, provided a host of new ways for writers like Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde to interact with readers, overcoming, or perhaps disavowing, their own commodification in order to make a genuine psychological and affective connection with them.

Keywords: celebrity, media, New Journalism, Dickens, popular culture, publicity, photography

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