Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The presence of orality or improvisation in literary texts implies a process of remediation, or the reworking of one medium (speech) into another (print). This chapter addresses ways in which British Romantic writers effected this remediation, especially when portraying the creative processes of minstrels and improvisers in literary works. After introducing key works of theory and criticism bearing on Romantic orality, the chapter analyses the rise of literary minstrelsy in the work of writers such as Walter Scott, who used editorial paratexts to frame the content of minstrelsy in the scholarly conventions of print. It then examines the growth of improvisation as an alternative mode to minstrelsy and shows how literary improvisation was notable for the prominence of women writers in its creation and practice. The chapter closes with a treatment of later blackface minstrelsy’s complex relationship to Romantic representations of orality.

Keywords: orality, improvisation, minstrelsy, inspiration, paratexts, antiquarianism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.