Continuations and Adaptations

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Adaptations and continuations come in different shapes and sizes. Some come in book form, though not all are novels – there are comics, poems, and much more besides. Some rework material for the stage, screen, or other transmedia outlets. Some will appear under a new name, that of the adapter or sequelist, but some will be authentic-seeming plagiarisms. Robinson Crusoe abridgements followed within weeks of the original book’s first appearance in 1719. Questions about literary property or paternity rights (the main metaphors used in eighteenth-century copyright debates) raise further questions about what exactly is being continued and what we mean by continuation with unstable, unfinished, or orphaned texts. At least six different reworkings of Roxana (1724) circulated in the half century after its initial publication. Running to seven editions within two years of its first publication, Moll Flanders (1722) also coexisted throughout the eighteenth century in multiple iterations with starkly different, often abrupt endings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDaniel Defoe in Context
EditorsAlbert Rivero, George Justice
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781108872140
ISBN (Print)9781108836715
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Publication series

NameLiterature in Context


  • Daniel Defoe
  • continuations
  • adaptations


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