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Romanticism, Forgery and the Credit Crisis

About this volume


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This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes essays by Ian Haywood, Robert Miles, Alex Benchimol, Alex J. Dick, and an afterword by Nick Groom.

The aim of this volume 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.

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The image associated with this volume includes elements from a forged banknote from 1819, an illustration from Ian Haywood's article. The original may be found here. This image is used courtesy Trustees of the British Museum

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About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series

The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and most exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.

About the Contributors

Ian Haywood is Professor of English at the University of Roehampton, London. He is co-Director of the Centre for Research in Romanticism at Roehampton, and Vice-President of the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS). His latest book is The Gordon Riots: Politics, Culture and Insurrection in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2012), co-edited with John Seed. He has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2012-13 to complete a book on Romanticism and caricature.

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Robert Miles is currently the Chair of the Department of English at the University of Victoria. His publications include Romantic Misfits (2008) and Jane Austen: Writers and their Work (2003)

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Alex Benchimol is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His books include the recent monograph Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Romantic Period: Scottish Whigs, English Radicals and the Making of the British Public Sphere (2010), and the essay collection, Spheres of Influence: Intellectual and Cultural Publics From Shakespeare to Habermas (2007), edited with Willy Maley. He has also published articles on Romantic period culture in Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Textual Practice, and most recently, The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Romanticism. He is currently working on a monograph project, Printing Enlightenment: The National Press and Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century Scotland.

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Alex J. Dick is in the English Department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is the co-editor (with Angela Esterhammer) of Spheres of Action: Speech and Performance in Romantic Culture (Toronto, 2009) and (with Christina Lupton) of Theory and Practice in the Eighteenth Century: Writing Between Philosophy and Literature (Pickering and Chatto, 2008). He has also authored a dozen articles and chapters on various literary, economic, and philosophical topics. He is now completing a book on the cultural and literary significance of the 1816 introduction of the gold standard entitled Realms of Gold: British Romanticism and the Standard of Value.

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Nick Groom has written widely on literary and cultural forgery. He is the author of the Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course of Literature (Picador, 2002) and has edited the poems of Thomas Chatterton (Cyder Press, 2003). Among his articles in the field are "Romanticism and Forgery" (Literature Compass Online, Blackwell’s, 2007) and ‘Unoriginal Genius: Plagiarism and the Construction of “Romantic” Authorship’ (Copyright and Piracy: An Interdisciplinary Critique, Cambridge University Press, 2010).

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Published @ RC

February 2012