- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: March 2020
- Print publication year: 2020
- Online ISBN: 9781108656832
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108656832
During the 1820s, British society saw transformations in technology, mobility, and consumerism that accelerated the spread of information. This timely study reveals how bestselling literature, popular theatre, and periodical journalism self-consciously experimented with new media. It presents an age preoccupied with improvisation and speculation – a mode of behaviour that dominated financial and literary markets, generating reflections on risk, agency, and the importance of public opinion. Print and Performance in the 1820s interprets a rich constellation of fictional texts and theatrical productions that gained popularity among middle-class metropolitan audiences through experiments with intersecting fantasy worlds and acutely described real worlds. Providing new contexts for figures such as Byron and Scott, and recovering the work of lesser-known contemporaries including Charles Mathews' character impersonations and the performances of celebrity improvvisatore Tommaso Sgricci, Angela Esterhammer explores the era's influential representations of the way identity is constructed, performed, and perceived.