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Loving Faster Than Light: Romance and Readers in Einstein’s Universe

In November 1919, newspapers around the world alerted readers to a sensational new theory of the universe: Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Coming at a time of social, political, and economic upheaval, Einstein’s theory quickly became a rich cultural resource with many uses beyond physical theory. Media coverage of relativity in Britain took on qualities of pastiche and parody, as serious attempts to evaluate Einstein’s theory jostled with jokes and satires linking relativity to everything from railway budgets to religion. The image of a befuddled newspaper reader attempting to explain Einstein’s theory to his companions became a set piece in the popular press.

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