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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 Star Turn

The Star Turn

Chapter:
(p.364) 9 The Star Turn
Source:
Writers, Readers, and Reputations
Author(s):

Philip Waller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541201.003.0009

Another aspect of writers' celebrity status was the hero worship they attracted. Poets such as Swinburne and Tennyson were famed for their dramatic readings. Literary tourism developed, with fans visiting authors' birthplaces, homes, or haunts. Many moaned about the invasion of privacy but many more cultivated attention. Autograph collectors pursued famous writers, who were also the recipients of a vast and varied correspondence arising out of their work. Fans named children and pet animals after favourite writers or their characters. Aspirant writers would seek out well-known writers in the hope of gaining encouragement and endorsement; but well-known writers equally abased themselves before the more distinguished, by signing memorial addresses or celebrating anniversaries. Writers featured here include J. M. Barrie, A. C. Benson, Samuel Butler, Hall Caine, Lewis Carroll, G. K. Chesterton, Conan Doyle, Thomas Hardy, Silas K. Hocking, George Meredith, Alice Meynell, and H. G. Wells.

Keywords:   celebrity status, fans, autograph collectors, correspondence

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