Romantic Celebrity

  • Tom Mole
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print book series (PERCP)


Celebrity culture does not want to be understood. It functions best when consumers remain mystified by it, attributing a celebrity’s success to his or her magical star quality. Only recently have cultural theorists begun to map celebrity’s structures, and scholars of literature, theatre and the visual arts to trace its historical contours. This chapter elaborates a theory and a history of celebrity, which not only underpin my reading of Byron’s career, but are also, I hope, more widely applicable. Celebrity is a cultural apparatus consisting of three elements: an individual, an industry and an audience. Modern celebrity culture begins when these three components routinely work together to render an individual personally fascinating. This kind of fascination is unlike the pre-modern interest with an individual’s public role, and its genesis is historically specific. I argue that we’ve had celebrities since the late eighteenth century and a celebrity culture since the beginning of the nineteenth.


Public Sphere Romantic Period Public Profile Branded Identity Public Personality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • Tom Mole

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