The multimedia afterlives of Victorian novels: The Readers Library photoplay editions in the 1920s
Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, 37, (2), .
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While much critical attention has recently been devoted to theatre and film adaptations of nineteenth-century literary texts, one important aspect of the recycling of these narratives which has left useful material traces has hitherto tended to be overlooked. The ‘Photoplay’ edition or ‘film tie-in’ book became popular in Western Europe and the US from about 1912, and provides a rich source of evidence for the multimedia afterlives of Victorian texts. This paper examines one successful example of the phenomenon in the 1920s, arguing that it not only provides scholars with potential new evidence for the ways in which readers and audiences engaged with texts in a dawning multi-media age, but that it can also help to test the usefulness of recent adaptation methodologies for understanding long-past performance events.
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