BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

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

Archive for June 2015

BARS 2015 abstracts available to view

By Anthony Mandal You can now read through all keynote papers, delegate abstracts and panel descriptions. The 55,000-word document contains details of 228 presentations across 71 panels, plenaries and workshops/roundtables, covering a range of topics including: nation and print, producing and consuming print, intertextual exchanges, textual scholarship, Romantic legacies and professional skills. …read more


Romantic Women’s Travel Writing

By Catherine Redford

I became interested in women’s travel writing of the Romantic period entirely by accident during the course of my PhD research. Part of my doctoral thesis explores the link between depictions of abandoned cities in Romantic Last Man literature and contemporary accounts of visits to the newly-rediscovered cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. What fascinated me about these travel accounts was the way in which Pompeii and Herculaneum are not presented as ruins in the traditional sense; rather, they are described by early nineteenth-century tourists as appearing to have been only recently abandoned, Mary Celeste-style. Just as the Last Man wanders around deserted cities encountering half-eaten meals in people’s homes, so, too, did contemporary visitors to the sites come across chilling scenes of abandoned domesticity.

A street in Pompeii
An article printed in an 1824 edition of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine suggests a strange feeling of the uncanny in its account of Pompeii. The city is described as rooted in the ancient past and yet simultaneously imbued with a sense that it was inhabited up until the previous day, with the author stating that ‘the narrow streets, the little Greek houses, with their remnants of ornamental painting, their corridores [sic] and their …read more


Vipers and Treacherous Men: Moral Tales in the Lady’s Magazine

By jd359

fatal wreath title and engraving info

The moral tales in the Lady’s Magazine form a distinct genre that consists of short, often illustrated, didactic stories intended to convey a lesson or moral to the reader. One might imagine that such a genre communicates a consistent or coherent ideology, but the fictional content of the moral tale varies widely in both instructive message and writing style – even in works by the same author.

LM XXII (March 1781): 117. Image © Adam Matthew Digital / Birmingham Central Library. Not to be reproduced without permission

The prolific correspondent ‘R—.’ contributed moral tales for well over a decade, penning stories such as ‘Surgi, or the Stoic’ (LM IV [April 1773]: 193), ‘The Unexpected Meeting’ (LM IV [May 1773]: 233) – which takes place in Margate –, ‘Alphonso; or the Cruel Husband’ (LM V [April 1774]: 183), ‘Celadon and Florella; or the Perils of a Tete-a-tete’ (LM V [February 1773]: 65), ‘Penelope, or Matrimonial Constancy’ (LM V [September 1774]: 457) and ‘The Unwary Sleeper’ (LM V [May 1774]: 233). All of these tales have accompanying engravings and ‘R—.’ also contributed essays, opinion pieces, and serial fiction.

LM V (May 1774): 233. Image © Adam Matthew Digital / Birmingham Central Library. Not to …read more


Musings on the Romantic Illustration Network: The Story So Far

By marylshannon

This year, facilitating the Romantic Illustration Network has taught me three things: be ready shift furniture and sweep floors at 9am in your best conference jacket; never underestimate the importance of the well-timed tea break; and the most important work is often done in the pub after the symposium, so always choose a good watering-hole and book a large table.

It’s been a great pleasure developing the Network and getting to know the regulars and the new faces who attend each event. I’ve become familiar with the inside workings of the British Academy, the Tate, and the House of Illustration, and I now have a really good sense of the goals and constraints of what are often loosely termed ‘heritage organisations’. It’s exciting to see, particularly after our recent event on Saturday June 6th, how our convivial gatherings, individual research papers, and gallery tours are actually building towards an understanding of shared interests and emerging research questions. Intellectually the awareness of a shared agenda and new theoretical approaches is growing, and alongside this, there is now a real sense of the Network as a collaborative international team of scholars. I hope we can continue to build on this.

The great strength of …read more


Conference Report: Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth Century

By Matthew Sangster

BARS recently provided support for the Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth Century conference at the University of Hull, organised by Anna Barry and Emma Butcher. We’re very grateful to Elly McCausland and Tai-Chun Ho (who were awarded conference bursaries) for the following reports on what sounds to have been a really fascinating and useful event.

Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth Century, University of Hull
20 – 21st May 2015

Day One – Report by Elly McCausland

Held to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, the Military Masculinities conference at the University of Hull offered a fascinating range of papers on subjects ranging from children’s literature and war trauma to heroism and Napoleonic song, exploring the multiple manifestations of the military man in the long nineteenth century and the ways in which he was appropriated, questioned and critiqued by diverse forms of literary, material, visual and musical culture.

The opening panel, ‘Heroes and Hero-Worship’, explored changing definitions of heroism in the literature of the nineteenth century and the role of choice and agency in heroic activity. Helen Goodman from Royal Holloway began by examining the ways in which the novels of Rider Haggard promote inter-generational masculinities centred around …read more


Frankenstein and Fantasmagoriana, Story 5: L’ Heure fatale

By by Maximiliaan van Woudenberg The fifth story in both Gespensterbuch and Fantasmagoriana (vol 2), ‘L’Heure fatale’ / ‘The Fated Hour,’ is the second story in Tales of the Dead. It appears to have been more of an influence on Byron’s Manfred (1817) than Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Provenance Paths and Variants First, the provenance path from […] …read more


LONG POST: Report from the Newcastle University Research Symposium on the Shelley-Godwin Circle

By annamercer90


I wrote this blog in April for BARS (the British Association for Romantic Studies). I am very pleased to be part of their blog writing team, and very thankful to their support of my research: I have just recently been awarded a Stephen Copley Postgraduate Research Award to help fund an upcoming research trip to the USA.

Here is my report from the fantastic Shelley-Godwin research symposium in Newcastle earlier this year (my first visit to the city, and the university!)

Image credit: Shelley’s Ghost online exhibition , Bodleian Library, Oxford:

On 13th April 2015 I visited Newcastle University to attend a Research Symposium in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics (SELLL). This event, organised by Will Bowers, began with two panels of presentations by Newcastle researchers and a poetry reading, all of which paid specific attention to William Godwin, Percy and Mary Shelley and their circles. This was followed in the evening by the literature visiting speaker programme, with talks by Elizabeth Denlinger (New York Public Library) and Gregory Dart (University College London). Their talks focussed on ‘Editing Romantic-Period Writings in the 21st Century’.

Research symposiums like this are important in that they bring eighteenth …read more


REGISTRATION OPEN: The Arts And Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Birkbeck, University of London, 16-18 July 2015

By marylshannon

The Arts And Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
Birkbeck, University of London, 16-18 July 2015

Keynote Speakers: Caroline Arscott, Tim Barringer, Meaghan Clarke, Kate Flint, Hilary Fraser, Michael Hatt, Lynda Nead, Jonah Siegel, Alison Smith

This conference will explore the ways in which nineteenth-century authors, artists, sculptors and musicians imagined and represented emotion and how writers and critics conceptualised the emotional aspects of aesthetic response. It aims to map the state of the field in this growing area of interest for nineteenth-century scholars by locating recent interdisciplinary work on sentimentality and art and writing and the senses within wider debates about the relationship between psychology and aesthetics in the long-nineteenth century.

Speakers will investigate the physiology and psychology of aesthetic perception and the mind/body interactions at play in the experience of a wide range of arts. Key questions include: How did Victorian artists represent feeling and how were these feelings aestheticised? What rhetorical strategies did Victorian writers use to figure aesthetic response? What expressive codes and conventions were familiar to the Victorians? Which nineteenth-century scientific developments affected artistic production and what impact did these have on affective reactions?

Registration is now open for the main conference. To register, please visit:

For more …read more


Event Report: ‘The Art of Quotation and the Miniaturised Gallery’, RIN 4, Saturday 6 June 2015

By marylshannon


The fourth

We had two inter-related themes for the symposium:

1.Miniaturization: Drawing on Peter Otto’s work on virtual culture in the Romantic period, is the illustration a form of virtual gallery? How does visual meaning change when an image is resized?
2.The Art of Quotation: How were literary quotations used to conceptualise visual images? How important are framing devices to the meaning of an image?

However, speakers were free to interpret the terms ‘quotation’ and ‘miniaturised gallery’ in any way they saw fit, and to raise any other questions they chose.

We kicked off with David Worrall (Roehampton/Nottingham Trent) who presented us with his concept of ‘locations of curation’. After crediting William St Clair in RIN 3 for inspiring his quest for a new theory of illustration, Worrall explored what he described as two currently disconnected narratives – Romanticism and eighteenth-century theatre – to consider the changing moments when images interact with other objects, such as the people who view them. He used the example of theatrical portraits to demonstrate how images moved from stage, to page, to prints, to household objects.

Susan Matthews’s (Roehampton) paper interrogated questions of scale, domesticity, and artistic encounter, the idea of ‘meeting’ an artist though …read more


University accommodation available to book

By Anthony Mandal We have secured 100 en-suite and 65 semi-en-suite rooms just by the conference venue, at £28.70 and £26.71/night respectively (including breakfast). Here are the instructions. Go to: Location should be kept as: Any location. Nights between 15th – 20th July need to be selected and BARS2015 entered as the promotional code. Accommodation at Colum Hall […] …read more