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Bigger Than Ben-Hur: The Book, Its Adaptations, and Their Audiences - Television and Popular Culture (Hardback)
  • Bigger Than Ben-Hur: The Book, Its Adaptations, and Their Audiences - Television and Popular Culture (Hardback)
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Bigger Than Ben-Hur: The Book, Its Adaptations, and Their Audiences - Television and Popular Culture (Hardback)

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£69.95
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 30/12/2015
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First published in 1880, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ became a best-seller. The popular novel spawned an 1899 stage adaptation, reaching audiences of over 10 million, and two highly successful film adaptations. For over a century, it has become a ubiquitous pop cultural presence, representing a deeply powerful story and monumental experience for some and a defining work of bad taste and false piety for others. The first and only collection of essays on this pivotal cultural icon, Bigger Than ""Ben-Hur"" addresses Lew Wallace's beloved classic to explore its polarizing effect and to expand the contexts within which it can be studied.

In the essays gathered here, scholars approach Ben-Hur from multiple directions-religious and secular, literary, theatrical, and cinematic-to understand not just one story in varied formats but also what they term the ""Ben-Hur tradition."" Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, contributions include the rise of the Protestant novel in the United States; relationships between and among religion, spectacle, and consumerism; the ""New Woman"" in early Hollywood; and a ""wish list"" for future adaptations, among others. Together, these essays explore how this remarkably fluid story of faith, love, and revenge has remained relevant to audiences across the globe for over 130 years.

Publisher: Syracuse University Press
ISBN: 9780815634171
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 594 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The fascinating essays in this book, written

by specialists in a broad range of disciplines,

show that the Ben-Hur tradition

is not only "bigger than Ben-Hur" but still

very much with us today, as we await the

release of yet another cinematic interpretation

of this iconic story.--Adele Reinhartz, professor of classics and religious studies, University of Ottawa


A wonderful contribution to the study of

American popular culture, and especially

valuable to scholars interested in reception

across genres. Taken together, these

essays beautifully illustrate the multiple

dimensions literary, religious, historical

of Wallace s text, illuminating larger issues

of appropriation in the process.--Joan Shelley Rubin, Dexter Perkins Professor in History, University of Rochester"


Bigger Than Ben-Hur is nothing short of amazing. It will become
a standard work on the text. By offering incisive essays on
everything from the novel s narrative structure to its religious,
political, and gendered resonances to its constantly evolving representations
on the stage, screen, and in commodity culture, Ryan
and Shamir shed much-needed light on a book that absolutely
dominated late nineteenth-century print culture but that has
been almost totally forgotten today.--Paul Gutjahr, professor of English, American studies, and religious studies, University of Indiana"


The fascinating essays in this book, written
by specialists in a broad range of disciplines,
show that the Ben-Hur tradition
is not only "bigger than Ben-Hur" but still
very much with us today, as we await the
release of yet another cinematic interpretation
of this iconic story.--Adele Reinhartz, professor of classics and religious studies, University of Ottawa


A wonderful contribution to the study of
American popular culture, and especially
valuable to scholars interested in reception
across genres. Taken together, these
essays beautifully illustrate the multiple
dimensions literary, religious, historical
of Wallace s text, illuminating larger issues
of appropriation in the process.--Joan Shelley Rubin, Dexter Perkins Professor in History, University of Rochester"


Bigger Than Ben-Hur is nothing short of amazing. It will become
a standard work on the text. By offering incisive essays on
everything from the novel s narrative structure to its religious,
political, and gendered resonances to its constantly evolving representations
on the stage, screen, and in commodity culture, Ryan
and Shamir shed much-needed light on a book that absolutely
dominated late nineteenth-century print culture but that has
been almost totally forgotten today.

--Paul Gutjahr, professor of English, American studies, and religious studies, University of Indiana"

The fascinating essays in this book, written
by specialists in a broad range of disciplines,
show that the Ben-Hur tradition
is not only "bigger than Ben-Hur" but still
very much with us today, as we await the
release of yet another cinematic interpretation
of this iconic story.

--Adele Reinhartz, professor of classics and religious studies, University of Ottawa

Bigger Than 'Ben-Hur' is nothing short of amazing. It will become
a standard work on the text. By offering incisive essays on
everything from the novel's narrative structure to its religious,
political, and gendered resonances to its constantly evolving representations
on the stage, screen, and in commodity culture, Ryan
and Shamir shed much-needed light on a book that absolutely
dominated late nineteenth-century print culture but that has
been almost totally forgotten today.

--Paul Gutjahr, professor of English, American studies, and religious studies, University of Indiana

A wonderful contribution to the study of
American popular culture, and especially
valuable to scholars interested in reception
across genres. Taken together, these
essays beautifully illustrate the multiple
dimensions--literary, religious, historical
--of Wallace's text, illuminating larger issues
of appropriation in the process.

--Joan Shelley Rubin, Dexter Perkins Professor in History, University of Rochester

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