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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the European dimension of nineteenth-century celebrity culture, the extent to which it involves international media networks and figures who, in person and by reputation, crossed borders to engage with multiple publics. Fame on an international scale was facilitated by the reopening of the continent to travel and tourism after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815—but the post-Napoleonic era also altered the conditions of fame, and as the effects of celebrity culture made themselves felt, so did some ironic counter-currents. In the wake of the personality-driven poetry of Byron or the novels and essays of Mme de Staël, late Romantic literature manifests certain anti-celebrity impulses. All of this brings the issue of personal identity to the forefront in the literature and culture of the early nineteenth century, a moment when Romanticism’s recently awakened concern with unique subjectivity confronts the spectre of externalized, commodified, reproducible selves.

Keywords: celebrity, media, commodity, identity, anonymity, doubles, frauds

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