Evolution Of Popular Literature - Essay

Evolution Of Popular Literature

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Harriet E. Hudson

SOURCE: "Toward a Theory of Popular Literature: The Case of the Middle English Romances," in Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 23, No. 3, Winter, 1979, pp. 31-47.

[In the following essay, Hudson reconsiders the notion of "popular" as it applies to English romances of the Middle Ages.]

Among modern forms of popular literature, romance is unique in its continuity with the Middle Ages. Even before the advent of popular romance as we know it, medieval romances were referred to as "popular antiquities" by early scholars such as Bishop Percy and Joseph Warton. In spite of this long standing identification of romance with popular...

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