Detail from the frontispiece to The Ladys Magazine , or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex for 1780 .
Last week, Koenraad posted about our project trip to the biennial BARS (British Association of Romantic Studies) conference at Cardiff. It was a brilliant event: the papers were wide-ranging, innovative and rigorous; the company was convivial and generous.
One of the great pleasures for me, beyond participating in our own project panel, was chairing another on ‘The Minerva Press and the Romantic Print Marketplace’, convened by Yael Shapira (Bar-Ilan University) and comprising papers by Yael, Elizabeth Neiman (University of Maine), Hannah Doherty Hudson (University of Texas, San Antonio) and Olivia Loksing Moy (CUNY). The pleasure was threefold: hearing the research of four scholars who used various disciplinary approaches to make clear just how important and influential William Lane’s much-derided press was; allowing me to revisit an immense body of page-turning work that I have been long interested in but realise I have only ever really skimmed the surface of; and making me think more about the relationship between the popular fiction and the Lady’s Magazine.
In some ways, the Lady’s Magazine is the Minerva Press fiction of the Romantic periodical marketplace. Both …read more
By Anna Mercer
Welcome to a new series of posts on the BARS Blog. We have been inspired to create this series following the popularity on Twitter of the ‘OnThisDay’ hashtag, featured by the accounts @1815now and @Wordsworthians. As we reach the bicentenaries of many Romantic events, we want to present a catalogue of #OnThisDay blog posts that relate to events happening exactly 200 years ago. The premise of the blog is to give readers a snapshot of 1815 in 2015 (and on into 2016 and beyond!), relevant to that month or even that particular day. We will welcome contributions to this as 1815 and subsequent years mark many interesting milestones in the history of Romanticism. In the post below on the 28th July, we begin with the Shelleys…
28th July 1815 – The First Anniversary of the Shelleys’ Elopement
In July 1815, after a summer tour of Devon, Mary Godwin (the future Mary Shelley) remained in the Clifton area of Bristol while Percy Shelley went to London in search of a house. On the 27th July, Mary (who was pregnant at the time) writes to her lover. What appears to be a simple forlorn love letter actually tells …read more
William Blake, Sealing the Stone and Setting a Watch (c.1800-1803). Watercolor, with pen, in gray ink, black ink and graphite on moderately thick, slightly textured, wove paper. Yale Center for British Art, Yale Art Gallery Collection, Everett V. Meeks, B.A. 1901 Fund.
In an ‘Image of the Month’ in February, I wrote about Blake’s watercolour Mary Magdalen at the Sepulchre (c.1805). In this post, I’m jumping back a bit to another of Blake’s watercolour illustrations to the Bible, Sealing the Stone and Setting a Watch (c.1800-03), which depicts a moment slightly earlier in the biblical narrative, and was probably also produced several years earlier (the exact dates of these works are not known, but they have been assigned dates based on stylistic features).
The text illustrated is Matthew 27:66 which describes the sealing of Jesus’ tomb on the day after his death and burial. The chief priests and Pharisees had heard Jesus say that he would rise again on the third day, and they feared that the disciples would try to take away the body to fabricate a resurrection. They therefore asked Pilate to secure the tomb, so he sent a watch and instructed them make the tomb …read more
This post by Anna Mercer was originally written for The Wordsworth Trust blog.
[Image credits to The Wordsworth Trust]
Stephen Gill’s biography of William Wordsworth is a carefully considered, detailed and incredibly readable account of the poet’s life and – most importantly – his works. A chronological survey of Wordsworth’s writing is given here as well as attention to the facts of his biography, and observations on the nature of his personal relationships.
The importance of Wordsworth’s formative years is examined in compelling detail – but always alongside the poetry. In reading about his early childhood or adolescence in the Lake District we are repeatedly reminded of the impact of these events on that great work The Prelude, and this mirrors the poet’s aims in The Prelude itself: childhood is a prerequisite to the adult mind, and part of its formation, not just an idealised state of innocence that must be lost. Gill’s attentiveness to Wordsworth’s autobiographical writing in The Prelude allows this work to do exactly what should be done in literary biography: we remember that William Wordsworth is a poet, and that is why we are interested in him. This is not simply the documented tales of any man …read more
Last week Team Lady’s Magazine attended the wonderful 2015 BARS conference “Romantic Imprints” at Cardiff University. This was very exciting: BARS conferences always draw an international crowd with diverse research specialisms, and as we have so far mostly engaged with eighteenth century scholars, we were eager to present our work to people who at least to some extent identify as Romanticists. We learned much from the generous feedback of our audience, and we flatter ourselves that we had a thing or two to suggest in turn.
After all, although the magazine runs until 1832 and therefore spans the whole of the Romantic era as it is traditionally demarcated, and features a great number of authors, themes and social issues that Romanticists are interested in, it is usually mentioned only in the footnotes to studies of early-nineteenth-century print culture. To help clarify this neglect, I will in this post briefly touch upon two prejudices that persist in literary studies, and which I think could quite easily be remedied. It goes without saying that not all discussions of the Romantic-era Lady’s Magazine betray these popular misconceptions, and when they do appear, this is often the case for understandable reasons …read more
Please see below for a Call for Papers for an exciting upcoming conference on new directions in the study of topography, which will take place at the British Library in May next year. Full details can also be seen on the website of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, which is sponsoring the event.
The British Library and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art are delighted to announce a call for papers for an international conference on transforming topography.
The conference will be interdisciplinary in nature, and we invite contributions from art historians, architectural historians, map scholars, historians, cultural geographers, independent researchers, and museum professionals (including early-career) which contribute to current re-definitions of topography. We welcome contributions that engage with specific items from the British Library’s topographical collections and highlight the copious nuances that can be explored within topography, including, but not limited to:
On Sunday, the 2015 BARS International Conference, Romantic Imprints, wrapped up in Cardiff after four tremendously successful days of scholarship and conviviality. Jane Moore, Anthony Mandal and the conference team did a phenomenal job for which they were justly acclaimed by over 250 engaged and joyful delegates. We’ll be publishing, I hope, a lot more about the conference over the next two or three weeks and updating the main site to provide a permanent record to sit alongside the conference’s site, Facebook page and the #2015BARS hashtag on Twitter. To begin, though, I just wanted to provide an executive summary of some major announcements made at the conference for those who were unable to attend – more details on all of these happenings will follow.
After extensive discussion among the judges, the inaugural BARS First Book Prize was awarded to Orianne Smith for her book Romantic Women Writers, Revolution and Prophecy: Rebellious Daughters, 1786 -1826 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). During the announcement at the drinks reception on the first night, Professor Emma Clery, chair of the judging panel, stressed the high quality and particular virtues of all …read more
“Tracing Types: Comparative Analyses of Literary and Visual Sketches (1830-1860)”, Ghent University Belgium, 3-4 June 2016.
Deadline for abstracts: October 1, 2015
In the wake of the pioneering work of Nathalie Preiss and Martina Lauster, a new wave of scholarship has emerged in recent years, which examines nineteenth-century sketches (sometimes referred to as ‘panoramic literature’) from a transnational perspective.
Two recent examples of this interest are the special issue of Interférences littéraires, “Croqués par eux-mêmes. La société à l’épreuve du panoramique” (2012), directed by Nathalie Preiss and Valérie Stiénon, and the recent NYU conference “Dissecting Society: Periodical Literature and Social Observation (1830-1850)” (March 2015), organized by Christiane Schwab and Ana Peñas Ruiz.
The present call for papers seeks to continue this comparative reflection by placing the spotlight on the comparative analysis of texts and images of specific types and by tracing how these representations vary across sketches from different places, media and editorial contexts.
We welcome presentations that address the following types of questions:
– How do the representations and definitions of a type (or group of related types) vary from one national context to another?
– How do different collections, periodicals or editorial contexts inflect a type in different ways?
– How do visual representations of …read more