Jeremy Davies is Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds; prior to taking up this post in 2011, he studied and taught at Cambridge, Glasgow and Queen Mary. His research focuses principally on the intersections between Romantic poetry, medical thought, and ecology, and he has published essays and articles on Percy and Mary Shelley, Jeremy Bentham, and sustainability and nostalgia. Below, we discuss his first monograph, Bodily Pain in Romantic Literature, recently published by Routledge. The first thirty pages of this fascinating book can be viewed here.
1) How did you come to work on the history of bodily pain, and how did you select the four authors you concentrate on (Jeremy Bentham, the Marquis de Sade, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Shelley)?
It probably goes back to the first time I opened Prometheus Unbound. I remember being fascinated and a bit revolted by the monologue with which Shelley’s drama begins. Prometheus describes in grisly detail the tortures to which he’s being subjected, and welcomes them as a glorious empire over which he has dominion. I wasn’t sure what …read more
A few months ago, Hardeep wrote a blog post about the importance of the XML element in our manuscript encoding tag set. The main benefit is for the Blake Archive’s search function to allow users to search for regularized spellings of words that might be abbreviated or non-standardized in Blake’s manuscripts. For example, a user searching for “Tiger” would never be directed to “Tyger” without a choice tag attached to Blake’s non-standard spelling.
Last month, I began the transcription and encoding of a typographic work titled Blake’s Chaucer: The Canterbury Pilgrims. The work is a one-page printed advertisement for a [proposed] Blake engraving of Chaucerian characters, “in a correct and finished Line manner of Engraving, similar to those original Copper Plates of ALBERT DURER, LUCAS, HISBEN, ALDEGRAVE.” Of course, the Blake advertisement here is appealing to the fame of some historically relevant engravers, but the manuscript itself only refers to them in abbreviated/non-standard/anglicized forms.
Respectively, “ALBERT DURER, LUCAS, HISBEN, ALDEGRAVE” in fact refers to:
Lucas van Leyden (also sometimes referred to as ”Lucas Hugensz” or “Lucas Jacobsz”)
Hans Sebald Beham
Heinrich Aldegrever (or sometimes ”Aldegraf”)
So obviously, in order to make our encoding of …read more
In the second of our pieces following on from Romantic Locations, Anna Fleming, of the University of Leeds, reflects on the conference and its aftermath.
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Over three days, thoughts on the Romantic conception of place were explored from within perhaps the most Romantic of locations: Dove Cottage, in the heart of the Lake District. Papers addressed the relationship between different authors and particular locations. From the Wordsworths’ process of making Grasmere a home, to continental tours, literary tourism, and the history of mountaineering, the papers were wide-ranging and probing. Alongside the stimulating discussions, the place itself provided the opportunity to directly experience a location in which Romantic ideas and poems were composed. (A candlelit drinks reception in the cottage itself certainly added to my sense of how the Wordsworths inhabited that space!) Jeff Cowton, curator of the Wordsworth Trust, treated us to a glimpse of some physical treasures from the archive, including manuscripts by Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I then found many of the ideas raised in the conference were played out in the wider ‘Romantic location’ when I left the conference to explore another part of …read more
All members of BARS will have been very sad to hear of the death of Professor Marilyn Butler on 11 March 2014 after a long illness. There will be a memorial service held on Thursday April 24th at 3.30 pm in Exeter College Chapel, Oxford.
Those of us who were lucky enough to be taught by her at Oxford, Cambridge and elsewhere will remember her with great affection, but her influence in the field was far more widely felt. Her scholarly work was always remarkable for its originality and sweep, from her early biographical work on Maria Edgeworth (which reinvigorated the idea of looking at women novelists of the period other than Austen), and her ground-breaking and controversial account of Jane Austen as a politically-engaged writer in Jane Austen and the War of Idea (1975), to her remarkable monograph on Thomas Love Peacock, Peacock Displayed (1979). Her survey of the literature of the period, Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries (1981) remains a standard work even today. She was a key figure in the resurgence of left-wing historicist criticism in the period, not least because she replaced Bloomian ideas of romantic genealogies with a practice of intensive contextualisation of …read more
Thomas Tyrrell, of Cardiff University (pictured above), has very kindly written up his impressions of the Romantic Locations conference for the blog (below). Enjoy reliving the conference if you were there; get a flavour of what you missed if not! …read more
By Elias Greig I’m Elias Greig, a PhD student at the University of Sydney, and the Postgraduate Representative for the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia. I’m also, for better or worse, a Wordsworthian. In deference to my generous Welsh hosts, I’ll begin with Dylan Thomas’s appraisal of one William Wordsworth: old Father William was a human nannygoat with […] …read more
Recently, Megan and I (the undergraduate Project Assistants to the Blake Archive at the University of Rochester) applied for Discover Grant funding to support our continued work this coming summer. Without funding, we really won’t be able to participate as much as we do during the fall and spring semesters—possibly not at all.
This is a relevant concern for undergraduates trying to be involved in research-based projects and internships. It seems like it’s a necessary experience to know what you’re doing (you get practical experience, academic immersion, networking potential, a line on your résumé or CV) and to get where you’re going (graduate school, further internships, potential jobs). But, if you’re an undergrad trying to make a dent in your tuition (maybe with an eye to master’s degree debt coming up) and you can’t afford a job that doesn’t pay, then it’s especially a catch-22.
Seeking research grant funding is an excellent way for undergraduates to resolve this problem. Most obviously, it materially facilitates the edifying and rewarding work that you want to be doing. Further, taking on the responsibility to make a coherent and convincing statement …read more
By Helen Stark By Helen Stark, Newcastle University In September 2013 I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in the Pforzheimer Collection at the New York Public Library, largely – despite the myriad treasures there – consulting just one item: Teresa Guiccioli’s copy of Ugo Foscolo’s Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis (1802), annotated by Lord Byron in […] …read more
Please see below for the CfP for Making, Breaking and Transgressing Boundaries: Europe in Romantic Writing, 1775-1830, which will take place later this year. As well as responses to the CfP, the organisers are also keen to hear from students who would be interested in contributing to the conference’s discussion blog – please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the conference on Twitter @RBoundaries.
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Making, Breaking and Transgressing Boundaries: Europe in Romantic Writing, 1775-1830
Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers Interdisciplinary Conference
Newcastle University – 15 July 2014
From William Blake to Germaine de Staël, Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Thomas Robert Malthus, the Romantic period is fraught with attempts to define and redefine concepts of European boundaries. This one-day conference invites papers which consider the making, breaking and transgression of boundaries in response to revolution and national struggle across Europe between 1775 and 1830. As the borders of political territories move, expand and collapse, how is this then translated into political, philosophical and literary discourse? What does it mean for a writer in this period to cross boundaries as an exile and travel in a way distinct from the Grand Tour? How …read more