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The Invention of Celebrity

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Frequently perceived as a characteristic of modern culture, the phenomenon of celebrity has much older roots. In this illuminating new book cultural historian Antoine Lilti shows that the mechanisms of celebrity were developed in Europe during the Enlightenment, well before films, yellow journalism and television, and then flourished during the Romantic period on both side ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 16th 2017 by Polity Press (first published August 27th 2014)
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Susan
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a scholarly, academic examination of the origins of celebrity, between 1750 to 1850. The author states that the concept of celebrity first appeared during the eighteenth century, in a time of profound change, when leisure first became commercialised.

The book begins in February, 1778, when Voltaire – aged 85 – returned to Paris for the first time in thirty years. His arrival generated immense excitement; he was recognised, celebrated, but also mocked. Even those who had never read his bo
...more
Niklas Pivic
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite the well-versed book; seemingly vain and vapid, the subject of fame is handled with sophisticated care throughout this book. Defining and tracing fame throughout millenniae, this books is much other than what teflon and tabloids lend to the word nowadays. An interesting and engaging book.
Kristine
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Invention of Celebrity by Antoine Lilti is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late August.

First published in French in 2015 before being translated into English by Lynn Jeffress, Lilti charts fame from the mid-18th century with Voltaire, Italian castrati singers, politicians, stage actors and actresses, criminals, writers, and world explorers by what they're capable of (extraordinary achievements, like heroism, newspaper articles, and repeat performances/expanded editions), a viewing pu
...more
Gio
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lilti believes celebrity was invented in the middle of the 18th century. In this book, he chronicles its first 100 years, from 1750 to 1850. The first celebrities, he argues, were the Enlightenment philosophers like Voltaire and Russeau. These literary men were born at a time when literacy rates were high, allowing a wider number of people to read their works, and engravings and portraits were reproduced cheaply for the public. As a result, everyone - including those who couldn't read - knew who ...more
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Antoine Lilti teaches social and cultural history at the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and is former editor of the Annales journal. He is the author of Figures publiques : l'invention de la célébrité (1750-1850) and co-editor of Penser l'Europe au XVIIIe siècle: commerce, civilisation, empire.