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Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema$
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Ian Christie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226105628

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610115.001.0001

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(p.1) Prelude
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema

Ian Christie

University of Chicago Press

Understanding the origins of moving pictures is important because of what the industry became, and debates about its significance as a symptom or cause of modernity. Robert Paul needs to be reinserted into this early history, having dropped out in comparison with Edison and the Lumières, and especially in his native Britain. Yet the obstacles lie in a lack of any personal documentation, and the disappearance of much of his output. In face of these absences, and little evidence of audience response to his work, any reconstruction of Paul’s achievement must remain speculative.

Keywords:   Edison, Lumière, Friese-Greene, Terry Ramsaye, biography, film studies

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