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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although melodrama has in recent years been recognized as a genre of central importance to modern culture, its emergence in the Georgian era remains little studied and poorly understood. This chapter assesses the genre’s re-evaluation, explores the various ways in which we might understand its formation in the early nineteenth century, and offers an outline of melodrama’s primary formal developments in the first three decades of its existence.

Keywords: melodrama, theatre history, genre, spectacle, affective drama, literature and trauma

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