How did romanticism define its relationship with its sources? How has romanticism since been understood and misunderstood across a range of cultural activities? These are among the questions taken up in this reexamination of the place of adaptation within romanticism. Renegotiating the cultural topography of the period and the place of romanticism in subsequent cultural history, the volume focuses on the adaptation of source material by romantic writers and the adaptation in subsequent periods of the tropes and ideologies associated with romanticism. In place of a hierarchical distinction between source and text, between ’romanticism’ and its contexts, the collection identifies distinct but overlapping and mutually constitutive genres such as the Gothic and romance. Whether their essays deal with early nineteenth-century periodical reviews, affordable editions of Pride and Prejudice aimed at the late nineteenth-century mass audience, or the ongoing cultural presence of romanticism in late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century debates about embryology and stem cell research, the contributors remain cognizant of the tension between the processes of adaptation and the apparent ideology of romantic originality.
'The very idea of a collection of essays on the topic 'romantic adaptations' - counter-intuitive for an era whose ideology of originality is infamous - makes this an appealingly contrarian volume from the start. It is well set-up by an able critical, theoretical, and historical introduction that deconstructs various commonly accepted hierachies: those of 'original' source material and adaptation, as well as high art and popular culture.' BARS Review