BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

Aggregated blogs on Romantic Studies – please click through to read full posts.

Archive for May 2013

‘The Next Time(line)’: Creating a Digital Timeline for Wordsworth’s ‘Prelude’

By Catherine Redford Back in February, I published a post reflecting on time in Wordsworth’s Prelude, a topic I’d been considering in my role as Research Assistant on a project called ‘The Next Time(line)’. The aim of this project was to create a new kind of literary timeline for the digital age, using the touch-screen device to offer an interesting, compelling, and ultimately more in-depth experience for the user than a traditional print counterpart could provide.

We considered three great works of literature – Wordsworth’s Prelude, Hugo’s Les Misérables, and Shakespeare’s Henry V – over the course of the project, but for our final prototype app concentrated on Wordsworth. The timeline we produced allows the user to trace the development of The Prelude from its earliest manuscript form through to its final rewriting, with the visualisation on the screen demonstrating how the poem grows and transforms over time.

The user is able to isolate a single episode from the text and see how it changes across versions; perhaps it moves position within the body of the work, contracts, expands, or splits as the text goes through a series of rewritings. Layered over this are a series of contextual timelines which offer an …read more


Eighteenth Century Evening at Oxford Brookes University

By jf

The Cheerful Companion’: Poetry, Music
& Performance in Eighteenth-Century
Poetic Miscellanies

Oxford Brookes University Headington Hill Hall, May 21, 2013, 19.00 h

If we were able to step inside the parlours and drawing rooms of the eighteenth century, we’d find homes busy with home-made culture – book groups and tea table parties; amateur dramatics; groups of women reading and weeping their way through popular sentimental fiction, and men at punch parties singing songs about dogs.
This interactive event (1,5 hours) will explore the varied world of eighteenth-century poetic miscellanies, popular collections of verse, prose and music that were the main way in which many ordinary people consumed literature in contemporary parlours and drawing rooms.

The evening will consists of a series of short talks, readings and music, followed by an interactive session, in which participants will be able to experience an authentic sewing session of a ‘huswif’ hosted by Nicole Pohl (Oxford Brookes) – no previous experience needed!

The evening will be a unique collaboration between the Brookes Poetry Centre, and the Digital Miscellanies Index Project at the University of Oxford, supported …read more


Romantic biodiversity …


Happy Face Spider (Theridion grallator)

Yesterday evening I spoke at Aberystwyth University’s Bioblitz. Over 200 participants spent the day, and much of the night, dashing around collecting as many specimens as they could find. It was an inspiring sight. My co-presenter, John Warren, one of the day’s organizers along with Pippa Moore, capped his amazing talk by showing slides of the Happy Face Spider, native to Hawaii. I challenge anyone to gaze on this little surfer dude and not smile.

The theme of our talk was: “What have bugs ever done for us?”. My brief was to look at the cultural dimensions. I found myself thinking about how Romantic science did much to establish modern taxonomies of the natural world, and also about ways in which Romantic poets alerted us to the wonders of what we now term biodiversity.

The history of collecting and curating biodiversity is relatively recent. Early examples are to be found in Renaissance “Cabinets of Curiosity”. A foundational volume of work was Thomas Muffet’s Theatre of Insects (1634). Systematic categorization of biodiversity, however, really gathered momentum as a Romantic enthusiasm. The most famous naturalist of the eighteenth century …read more