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Writers, Readers, and ReputationsLiterary Life in Britain 1870-1918$
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Philip Waller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.001.0001

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The Commemoration Movement

The Commemoration Movement

(p.232) 6 The Commemoration Movement
Writers, Readers, and Reputations

Philip Waller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines why this period saw the establishment of so many memorials in honour of particular writers, together with societies designed to promote the study of their work and to advance their reputations. It begins by considering how and why Rupert Brooke was elevated to iconic status during the Great War; then Victorian and Edwardian centenary commemorations of Robert Burns and Shakespeare are analysed, along with anniversaries relating to a host of other writers such as Byron, Keats, and Shelley, Dr Johnson, Christopher Marlowe, John Milton, Robert Browning, and Thackeray. Edmund Gosse and Robertson Nicoll were protagonists in several of these movements, which were seized on by publishers to market special editions and collected works; but there were many differences of opinion over how best to commemorate this or that writer, and these are pinpointed and explained.

Keywords:   shakespeare, burns, commemorations, rupert Brooke, special editions, collected works

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