The Romantic Cult of Shakespeare: Literary Reception in Anthropological Perspective (Romanticism in Perspective) : This is the first book to look at the quasi-religious aspects of the romantic cult of Shakespeare. Focusing on England, Hungary, and some other European countries, the book explores the latent religious patterns in the appropriation of Shakespeare from the 1769 Stratford Jubilee to the tercentenary of 1864. Surveying both the verbal and non-verbal manifestations of the Shakespeare cult, the author highlights their analogies with those of traditional religious cults and shows the appropriation of Shakespeare and his texts to be inseparable from quasi-religious acts of reverence such as literary pilgrimages, relic worship, the erection and dedication of monuments, and public celebrations of anniversaries. This cult made use of some important romantic notions (genius, originality, imagination, transcendental analogies of artistic creation), and the ensuing quasi-transcendental authority was to be utilized for political purposes. The book suggests a theoretical framework and a comprehensive anthropological context for the interpretation of literature.