BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

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

Archive for May 2016

Stephen Copley Research Awards 2016: Announcement

By Matthew Sangster

Please see below for a notice from Daniel Cook on this year’s Copley Awards. We’d also like to remind you that BARS’ new bursary with the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature has a deadline coming up tomorrow and that applications for the BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellowship are due on July 1st.

The BARS Executive Committee has established these bursaries in order to support postgraduate and early-career research in the UK. They are intended to help fund expenses incurred through travel to libraries and archives necessary to the student’s research. As anticipated, this year we received a large number of applications, many of which were of a very high quality indeed. Please do join us in congratulating the winners.

  • Raid Hussein Althagafy (Swansea)
  • Amy Boyington (Cambridge)
  • Colleen English (UCD)
  • Freya Gowrley (Edinburgh)
  • Sarah Louise Lovell (Durham)
  • Genevieve Theodora McNutt (Edinburgh)
  • Matthew Ward (St Andrews)

Once they have completed their research trips each winner will write a short report on their projects. These will be published on the BARS website and circulated through our social media. For more information about the bursaries, including reports from past winners, please see this page.

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Dentifrice and lotteries: advertising in the Lady’s Magazine (part 2)

By knlc

Cardiff Castle; LM VII (1776): 428. Image © Adam Matthew Digital / Birmingham Central Library. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Cardiff Castle; LM VII (1776): 428. Image © Adam Matthew Digital / Birmingham Central Library. Not to be reproduced without permission.

As Jenny told you in her post of last week, the three of us recently went to Cardiff to lead a workshop at the first annual conference of the Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Seminar (CRECS). I second Jenny’s enthusiasm about this initiative and want to join her in thanking our kind hosts for their hospitality. It was not only great to test out new ways to discuss our work with an audience that mostly had little prior knowledge of the Lady’s Magazine; while we were there, we also had the opportunity to check the holdings of the magazine in the Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) section of the Cardiff University library. Despite their similar names, Caerdydd and Caergaint (Canterbury) are quite far away from each other, and I had been eager to spend some time in this excellent research library since Jennie on an earlier visit discovered in the SCOLAR collections some copies of the magazine with the advertisements still in them. In a previous post on advertising I have already explained …read more


Curating a Blake exhibition: Part 2

By Sarah Jones

Part 1 of Michael Phillips’s description of organizing the Ashmolean Blake exhibition of 2014–15 appeared last week. Here is the continuation.

SJ: Once you had the framework of Blake as apprentice and master, how did you determine which other works you wanted to include? What came next?

MP: First I needed to see the galleries that would be used for the exhibition. I also needed to obtain a floor plan to use at home to be able to check the wall space available for hanging exhibits and the floor space available for display cases.

There were four large rooftop galleries that had recently been built as an extension to the Ashmolean specially for temporary exhibitions. The three largest galleries would be used for the exhibition proper. With the help of the museum’s designer we established that together they could exhibit upwards of 200 objects of the sizes I had in mind. The much smaller fourth gallery would be used for ticket and catalogue sales, but there was also space to do something rather special to complement the exhibition. Here I would set up a nineteenth-century star-wheel rolling press and on specified days, as visitors exited the exhibition, I would print impressions …read more


Details, Disagreements, and Decisions

By jsingles

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 8.54.25 AM

While finishing up work on a set of Blake’s letters from the Westminster Archives, I ran across a question that has made me a minor expert on a very minor piece of history: the difference between wafers and wax seals in nineteenth century England. My curiosity about the difference in these two methods of sealing letters came about when I encountered the following seal on Blake’s Letter to Mr. Butts, 10 January 1802:

Without glancing at Bentley’s Annotated Catalogues of William Blake’s Writings, I noted in the letter’s provenance information that a wax seal was used for this letter. I then turned to check my description with Bentley’s who, you guessed it, disagreed. He claims that the seal pictured above is actually a wafer. This was the first time I have been forced to pause and ask myself what the difference between these two types of seals is, as I’ve always either agreed with Bentley’s observation or somehow felt that I could discern the kind of seal on a letter with a quick glance.

Since asking this question to myself last week, I have visited a few historical and antiquarian websites and have learned some interesting details about letter seals.

Wax …read more


BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellowship 2016

By Matthew Sangster

Below are the details of our new BARS/Wordsworth Trust Fellowship, which is designed to help an early career researcher not currently in permanent employment to spend a month living, researching and collaborating in Grasmere. Please share widely.

BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellowship 2016

We would like to invite Early Career Researchers who are not in permanent employment to apply for a one-month residential Fellowship with the Wordsworth Trust at Grasmere. The Trust is centred around Dove Cottage, the Wordsworths’ home between 1799 and 1808, where Wordsworth wrote most of his greatest poetry and Dorothy wrote her Grasmere journals. Dove Cottage opened to visitors in 1891, and the Trust will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the first day of opening on 27th July 2016. The first museum opened in 1935, coinciding with the bequest of the Wordsworth family archive to the Trust from Gordon Graham Wordsworth. The Trust collection has grown to 65,000 books, manuscripts and works of art, but at its heart remains the manuscript poetry, prose and letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth. The Trust is embarking on an exciting new HLF-funded project leading up to the commemoration of Wordsworth’s 250th birthday on 7 April 2020. It is an …read more


Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807): the artist as businesswoman

By marylshannon

Reveries Under the Sign of Austen, Two

Angelica Kauffman, Hector Taking leave of Andromache (1768)

‘All I possess has been attained by my work and industry … ‘ (from Angelica Goddden’s Miss Angel, Kauffman)

Friends and readers,

I return to my series of blogs on women artists. Thus far in this second round, we’ve looked at Giovanna Garzoni (1600-70), Strange and magnificent still lifes; Sofonsiba and Lucia Anguissola (1535/6-1625; 1546/8-1565), Sober, contemplative and self-aware portraits; and Mary Beale(1633-99), An unknown famous Restoration painter. As in the first series I can’t ignore altogether those women artists whose work has been paid a great deal of attention to, at least at times, and if not uniformly respectfully. So we come to Angelica Kauffman, one of two women to help found and be inducted into the Royal Academy of Art in England.

A self-portrait In the Traditional Costume of the Bregenz Forest (1781)


View original post 3,035 more words

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Frankenstein: A New Ballet

By Catherine Redford

Image: © British Library

When I first heard that the Royal Opera House was planning to stage Frankenstein as a ballet I was hugely excited and intrigued, but also a little wary: how would this classic Romantic work – and seminal Gothic masterpiece – translate to dance? Of course, Frankenstein has been adapted for stage and screen numerous times; in the decades following the novel’s publication, it was the inspiration for Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption; or, The Fate of Frankenstein(1823) and H. M. Milner’s The Man and the Monster! Or, the Fate of Frankenstein (1852). More recently, the text has inspired several films, including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), I, Frankenstein (2014), and Victor Frankenstein (2015). In 2011, the Royal National Theatre staged an adaptation written by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle in which the two lead actors swapped the roles of Frankenstein and the Creature on alternating nights.

As far as I know, though, there’s never been a dance version of Frankenstein, so I was really interested to see how this new adaptation by Liam Scarlett, the Royal Ballet’s Artist in Residence, would work. I have to admit, I was a bit cynical about how a text …read more


The Lady’s Magazine Team Goes to Cardiff: CRECS

By jd359

cardiff workshop

This week the Lady’s Magazine team travelled to the first annual CRECS conference at Cardiff University, where we were invited by Anthony Mandal, Sophie Coulombeau and James Castell to deliver a workshop on researching the periodical. Cardiff University’s Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) was particularly suited to our delivery of a hands-on workshop as the library has an impressive run of the Lady’s Magazine. Attendees, including undergraduates, postgraduates and academics focusing on eighteenth-century studies were able to examine copies of the magazine to explore questions we posed regarding the periodical’s audience, content and form.

Koenraad, Jennie and I asked the audience to look at the volumes in groups of six to ten – each table was able to have two copies of the magazine so everyone was able to look at, touch and search through two different years in the magazine’s history. They then reported back to us with their assumptions about who the magazine was marketed to and designed for, using evidence from the physical copies to support their responses.

As researchers on the Lady’s Magazine, hearing the audience responses about the publication’s intended audience was particularly interesting in that it allows us to consider how we …read more



By Matthew Sangster

01 - Papworth - St James's Palace

I’ve been having a bit to trouble with the back end of the site over the past month, but I’ve now resolved these issues, so over the next few weeks the site’s content will be almost doubling as I add further topographical plate series, courtesy of the British Library, and begin to work on mapping different literary versions of London. I’m currently updating the site with a second Ackermann publication to complement the Microcosm: the collection of Select Views of London that he issued in 1816 along with a text by the architect John Buonarotti Papworth (the first plate in the series, showing St James’s Palace, is above). I’ll also be adding Thomas Malton’s Picturesque Tour Through the Cities of London and Westminster (1792-1800), which is one of my personal favourites. I talked about both of these works at a conference on Transforming Topography a couple of weeks ago; the recordings of that event should be available in due course.

After these two curations have been added, I have plates from three other publications lined up. The continuing development of Maps Marker Pro also means that I’ll be able to improve the …read more


Report on first Annual CRECS Conference, 17 May 2016

By stephaniejaneclayton On Tuesday 17 May 2016, Cardiff University’s Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR) opened its doors to welcome the attendees of the first annual CRECS student conference. After partaking in a welcome hot beverage—at a safe distance from the special collections of course!—the morning was devoted to student papers. These papers were delivered by a wide array of students […] …read more