Romantic Circles is pleased to announce a new volume in the Praxis series (series editor, Orrin Wang), Romanticism, Forgery, and the Credit Crunch, edited by Ian Haywood:
This Praxis volume looks at the impact on Romantic print culture of the suspension of cash payments in 1797 and the subsequent rise in prosecutions (and executions) for forgery. The four essays cover mainstream novelists (Austen, Scott) as well as radical journalists (Cobbett, Hone) and caricaturists (Gillray, Cruikshank). Ian Haywood edits and contributes to the volume, along with Robert Miles, Alex Benchimol, Alex J. Dick, and Nick Groom. The aim of the collection is to explore the Romantic credit crisis of 1797-1821. The decision to end cash payments and flood the economy with low denominational banknotes led to a spectacular increase in executions for banknote forgery. Many Romantic writers saw this bloody debacle as a sensational illustration of the dangers of an economic system based on mere "paper" value. While some critical attention has been given to the cultural history of credit (Brantlinger, Poovey), the issue of forgery has been overlooked. Yet, as the essays in this volume show, the impact of the credit crisis and its thousands of victims affected literature, journalism and art in often profound ways.