By Anna Mercer
This conference, held at Edge Hill University on 13-14 September 2018, was part-funded by BARS. You can see tweets from the conference here. Anna Rowntree reports from the event.
Substance Use and Abuse in the Long Nineteenth Century:
a report by Anna Rowntree
Substance use and abuse: can there be a subject that more intimately and richly connects the long nineteenth century with our own modern moment of being? We live in a world of blurred boundaries – our food, our clothes, our drugs, and our technology grown, mined, manufactured and designed in a cross-pollinated global world where nothing is ever straightforward.
But perhaps we can track something – perhaps we can go back and pay attention to the time which from this vantage point looks a little like a beginning. We can burrow into the literature, art and artefacts of the long nineteenth century and we can draw lines which trace the moving, trading, inhaling and consumption of substances such as tobacco, hashish and opium. We can look at the ships facilitating the new globalising world economy and political landscape of colonisation, revolution and capitalism. We can chart the psychological landscape of the individual drug user and observe the blooming …read more
RIN’s Mary Shannon will present her new work on 19th-century Newman Street in a special Nineteenth Century Studies Seminar on November 2nd.
In the early-nineteenth century and into the 1840s, London’s Newman Street (just off Oxford Street) was popularly known as ‘Artists’ Street’ because of its intense concentration of artistic residents. Many significant names of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century art world had addresses there: Thomas Stothard, Benjamin West, and James Heath, and other members and associate members of the Royal Academy. Alongside them were the homes and studios of less well-known artists who worked in many different media: sculptors, engravers, portrait painters and animal painters. Of the artists of Newman Street, a significant proportion worked on book illustration or literary subjects, or had close connections to famous nineteenth-century literary figures. They collaborated with, socialised with, and employed one another. They also dealt with other businesses on Newman Street, including the printers McQueen and Co., and the Hering family bookbinders. This talk will focus on the networks of ‘Artists’ Street’ and the surrounding parish of Marylebone, and use methodologies from cultural geography to show how interactions between art and literature played out on the ground in the print culture and visual …read more
By Anna Mercer
A slightly different ‘Archive Spotlight’ post today, as we go back to the early eighteenth century to celebrate the work of the poet Allan Ramsay, ‘the founding father of Romanticism’, who was born on this day in 1684. Craig Lamont is a Research Associate on the projects ‘The Collected Works of Allan Ramsay’ and ‘Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century’ at the University of Glasgow. Here he tells us about his work on Ramsay at the National Library of Scotland, illustrated with images from the archives.
Archive Spotlight: Allan Ramsay and the National Library of Scotland by Craig Lamont
Allan Ramsay (1684-1758) the poet has been somewhat overshadowed by his son of the same name (1713-1784), who was Principal Painter in Ordinary for George III. When Ramsay senior is in the spotlight instead we tend to celebrate his pastoral play above all else. The Gentle Shepherd (first published 1725, first performed 1729) was the first pastoral piece to be set within a recognisable locale rather than an anonymous idyll. For Ramsay the best choice was the region of the Pentland Hills, beyond the boundaries of Edinburgh where he lived, with a particular focus on Penicuik. In nearby …read more
By Anna Mercer
The recipient of the inaugural BARS Chawton House Travel Bursary reports back from her time conducting research in Hampshire…
It is always a special circumstance when a household library remains relatively intact over the centuries and more impressive still when such a collection contains its own historical catalogues. Such is the case of the Knight Collection at Chawton House. Owned by the descendants of Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen Knight, the Knight Collection is housed and maintained by the exceptional staff and volunteers at Chawton House. Its two 1818 catalogues allow researchers to determine which books in the collection Jane Austen likely had access to and provide fascinating insight into the texts which a family in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century such as the Knights deemed fit and enticing enough to want to own. These two aspects of household libraries – the circulation among familial networks and the counterweight of an individual’s desire for personal ownership – are made evident in the act of inscribing a text. The inscriptions of Jane Austen’s nieces found in both the Knight Collection and the general collections are what drew me to Chawton House in …read more
By Anthony Mandal When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, —I saw … Continue reading Celebrating 200 Years of Frankenstein …read more
By Anna Mercer
Here is a report by Colette Davies from the recent ‘Romantic Novels 1818′ seminar (September 2018). This series is sponsored by BARS and seminars are held at the University of Greenwich.
A Discussion of Anna Maria Porter’s The Fast of St. Magdalen (1818) with Professor Fiona Price (Chichester)
Professor Fiona Price’s illuminating talk on Anna Maria Porter’s three-volume novel, The Fast of St. Magdalen (1818), engaged her audience in considerations of the role of the romance novel in national politics, the disposition and conduct of the hero, and characterology. Contextualising Anna Maria Porter as an author who produced an extensive oeuvre of historical romance novels, yet who has (as Peter Garside observed) often been eclipsed by the works of Walter Scott, Price moved past this overshadowing and drew links between Anna Maria Porter’s writing and the works of Jane West, Maria Edgeworth and Joanna Baillie in terms of the writers’ characterology and participation in ongoing debates about the role of romance in constructing the nation, its politics, and its leaders.
Particularly interesting was Price’s reading of Porter’s modifications of her heroes and heroines; Price focused on the role and construction of the novel’s hero, Valombrosa, arguing that Porter used this character …read more
The first seminar in the 2018-19 series of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar will take place on Friday 19 October 2018 at 5.30 in the Bloomsbury Room (G35) at Senate House, University of London. To launch the new series, we are delighted to welcome Marc Porée, Professor of English Literature at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris). A renowned scholar, critic and translator, Marc is also Paris Director of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar. His talk, entitled A Grammar of Surprise, will be followed by a discussion and wine reception.
As with all our events, the seminar is free and open to everyone, including postgraduates and members of the public. No registration is necessary.
Marc Porée is an alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he teaches British literature. He also teaches at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and is currently Vice-President of the Société d’Études du Romantisme Anglais. His publications includes articles on British Romanticism, on Victorian novelists and poets, and on British contemporary fiction and poetry. He co-authored a critical study, La Différence en partage, on the Lyrical Ballads (PUF, 2011). He also translates (Ann Radcliffe, Byron, De Quincey, Conrad) and has recently completed the three-volume …read more