Reading Popular Romance in Early Modern England

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

With the expansion of the publishing industry between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, reading for pleasure became possible for an increasing number of people, not just the wealthy and educated. The growth of the book trade produced, alongside elite literature, a parallel popular literature. Lori Humphrey Newcomb examines the proliferation of romances in early modern England, as well as their vilification by elite writers. Using as her case study Robert Greene's Pandosto (1585), an Elizabethan prose romance that inspired Shakespeare's late play, The Winter's Tale, she shows that the two forms of literature influenced each other profoundly.

Because Shakespeare's works are considered timeless literary achievements, critics have distanced his plays from his romantic sources—a separation that until now has gone unquestioned. Newcomb undermines this assumption, providing a fascinating account of an early bestseller's incarnations over 250 years of literary history.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherColumbia University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780231504850
ISBN (Print)9780231123792, 9780231123785
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Early Modern England
Elites
William Shakespeare
Romance
Elizabethan Age
The Winter's Tale
Incarnation
Book Trade
Robert Greene
Writer
Prose
Bestsellers
Industry
Popular Literature
Pleasure
Literary History

Cite this

Reading Popular Romance in Early Modern England. / Newcomb, Lori Humphrey.

New York : Columbia University Press, 2002.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Newcomb, Lori Humphrey. / Reading Popular Romance in Early Modern England. New York : Columbia University Press, 2002.
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