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. Heidi Breuer’s Crafting the Witch (2009) is another gender-focused study covering a longer time period, moving from the early Arthurian literature of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, where Breuer finds witches to be peripheral figures, through to later medieval romances and the sixteenth-century continuation of the romance tradition in Malory and Spenser. Breuer goes on to consider Shakespeare’s dramatic representations of magic and witchcraft, before looking at the persistence of witchcraft imagery in present-day culture. Like Willis, Breuer regards witches as

in Scepticism and belief in English witchcraft drama, 1538–1681
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New retro movies in 1990s Hollywood cinema

Seattle was a huge box-office hit, grossing $228m in worldwide theatrical receipts alone, and proving extremely successful as a video and soundtrack album. On its release, many of the reviewers noted Sleepless in Seattle ’s emphasis on ‘retro-romance’, seeing it as a nostalgic revisiting of the classical Hollywood romantic comedy. 33 The trajectory of the film works gradually

in Memory and popular film

than half of sports films had a racing or betting focus, although the quality of them in film critics’ eyes was often poor. Research carried out on audience preferences in the 1930s does not suggest that these British sporting films were particularly popular in comparison with other genres – films of plays or books, musicals and dance films, epics, historical and adventure films. Mass Observation in Bolton, for example, found musical romance, drama and tragedy, history and crime the most popular, with male youths being particular devotees of crime films.69 However we

in Horseracing and the British 1919–39

latterday feminists. As Nancy Hirschman has written, ‘since feminist political theory began as a subfield … that famous sexist Jean-Jacques Rousseau has been the political theorist that feminists love to hate’. Nancy Hirschman, ‘Rousseau’s Republican Romance’, review article, Political Theory, vol. 30, no. 1 (2000), 164. A new approach by feminists is contained in Elizabeth Rose Wingrove’s Rousseau’s Republican Romance. Wingrove reads Rousseau metaphorically, arguing that Rousseau’s ‘republicanism consists in proper performance of masculinity and femininity’. She goes on

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Incest and beyond

Correlia, or The Mystic Tomb, A Romance ( 1802 ); and not at all least of these is the vast archive that comprises the Gothic fiction of the popular eighteenth- and nineteenth-century periodical the Lady’s Magazine (1770–1832). The latter is a large body of primarily anonymous fiction that frequently takes up the conventions and concerns of the Gothic, yet the short stories and

in Gothic incest
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is easy to perceive the appeal of royal movies – costumes, carriages and national celebration vie with martial display, violence and, as we shall see, romance. And, not incidentally, the prominence of Britain’s queens, from the Celtic Boudicaa (played by Alex Kingston in 2003) to Elizabeth II (played by Helen Mirren in 2006), offers plentiful leading roles to women as representatives of an institution deemed to have become

in The British monarchy on screen
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The cinematic afterlife of an early modern political diva

would build up her navy, he is drawn into her passion. Yet as he brings into play the issue of romance, assuring her that he envies the man who will be her admiral, the tone of the scene changes, and we realise that her political ambition is shown to be in conflict with her romantic desire. The passion she has for her (future) empire transforms into a jealousy that she must contain as Seymour leaves her side to embrace his

in The British monarchy on screen
Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs

the present Queen Elizabeth. These films are much more focused on the private sphere: romance, family and the life of the royal household. The public sphere of politics and events outside the royal household tends to function as a backdrop, only intruding on the drama in so far as it is the consequence of what happens in the private sphere. Films and monarchs that fall into this category, again ordered

in The British monarchy on screen
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Female sexual agency and male victims

disastrous. 39 This adherence to viewing incest as tragic is described by Frank as a critical failure: ‘Considering that high tragedy has been the privileged mode in Freud’s centring of sexuality in the family through incest and its prohibitions, it is not altogether surprising that psychoanalytic accounts have failed to appreciate Walpole’s parodic family romances.’ 40 Incest itself is not repugnant as a

in Gothic incest
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chronicles, most especially Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae, written in the 1130s, which had contributed significantly to the propagation of the Arthurian myth across Britain. In addition to these chronicles, a variety of manuscripts preserved fragments of the ancient bardic tradition of story and song, such as the Black Book of Carmarthen, a manuscript of c. 1200 containing poems in which 20 Introduction reference is made to the mystery of Arthur’s burial place. Among the three manuscript collections of prose romances now known collectively as the

in The spoken word