BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

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

Archive for July 2016

Pedagogy and cosmopolitanism: Reader translations in the Lady’s Magazine

By knlc


This conference season has been busy for Team Lady’s Magazine. In the past two weeks alone, we attended two events that we were looking forward to very much, because we were to soft-launch our index there in anticipation of its official publication in September: the annual conference of the European Society for Periodical Research (ESPRit) at Liverpool John Moores University, and ‘Victorian Periodicals Through Glass’, held at the Athenaeum Club in London. Writing papers and presenting them, and giving the hard work of your colleagues the attention it deserves, can be exhausting work, although I would be less tired if I had the discipline to go straight to bed after conference dinners. Furthermore, when the conferences in question are as good as these two were, they are also very inspiring. We went home with ideas for last-minute tweaks to the index, with a better understanding of how the index will likely be used, and with a renewed sense of how the diverse contents of the Lady’s Magazine remain topical. One subject discussed at both events was the importance of transnational contacts to cultural production, throughout history, even for phenomena that may at first sight seem of a strictly …read more


On This Day in 1816: 18 July, apocalypse, and Byron’s ‘Darkness’

By Anna Mercer


July’s ‘On This Day’ post is by Patrick Vincent, Professor of English and American literature at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. With Angela Esterhammer and Diane Piccitto, he recently published Rousseau, Romanticism, Switzerland: New Prospects (Palgrave 2015). This year he helped organize the “Byron is Back! ” exhibition at Chillon Castle as part of the bicentenary commemoration of the summer of 1816.

In the post below he considers the way in which the idea of apocalypse shaped the writing of those present during the 1816 Geneva summer, and the extant sources (including the weather reports) that tell us about early July 1816.

We are looking for future contributors to this series, which seeks to celebrate the 200th anniversaries of important literary/historical events of the Romantic Period. Please contact if you are interested.

On this Day: 18 July 1816

by Patrick Vincent

When the last sunshine of the expiring day

In summer’s twilight weeps itself away,

Who hath not felt the softness of the hour

Sink on the heart—as dew along the flower?

– Byron, “Monody on the Death of the Righ Honourable R.B. Sheridan”

On 18 July 1816, the world was expected to come to an end. As Jeffrey Vail and others have …read more


Five Questions: Michael Bradshaw on Disabling Romanticism

By Matthew Sangster

Disabling Romanticism

Michael Bradshaw is Professor and Head of the Department of English, History & Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. He has previously taught at a number of different institutions in Britain and Japan and has published on a wide range of Romantic-period subjects, including Thomas Hood, the poetry of the 1820s and 1830s, Walter Savage Landor, Romantic drama, George Darley, fragment poems and Thomas Lovell Beddoes. His latest publication is a collaborative endeavour: the essay collection Disabling Romanticism, which has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Below, we discuss the contexts for this collection and the new intellectual contributions that it makes to the field of Romantic Studies.

1) What first made you want to put together a collection on Romanticism and disability?

Critical disability studies (DS) is an expanding field; its impact is being felt across the full range of arts and Humanities disciplines. I was particularly interested in the potential of critical DS to re-contextualise and re-interpret historical literature. Being a Romanticist, I thought it was time this connection was made more explicit and visible. I was also curious to find out how much independent scholarship was already going on ‘out there’; …read more


1815: Modish Dresses, Modest Women and Bonaparte’s Brother

By jd359


The frantic barking of the dog at the sound of the doorbell today didn’t result in the usual volley of curses but saw me leaping out of bed shouting “It’s the mailman! It’s the mailman!”

“Postman!” corrected my partner, grumbling irritably and pulling the duvet over his head.

Fashions for October, LM XLVI (October 1815), p. 427

My unusual excitement at being woken by man and beast was because of the anticipated delivery: a volume of the 1815 Lady’s Magazine. Ever since I bought a 1775 edition of the magazine I’ve been looking for another good deal (which for me means damaged but with as many engravings/plates/patterns as possible) and when 1815 appeared for sale with four fashion plates the opportunity was too good to miss.

For today’s post I leave off my ‘researcher’ hat and simply share my excitement at my new (old) edition of 1815 and some pictures of the engravings and plates that I’ve edited a bit to show off the really extraordinary skill of the artists. Although the engravings are one of the aspects of the magazine that we know little about (for most of the first series of the periodical they have no artist signatures or printer’s details) …read more


The Sherborne House Macready-Dickens screen

By marylshannon

The Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Kent is pleased to announce the launch of its website for display of the Sherborne House Macready-Dickens screen at

The Macready-Dickens screen is a four-leaf, folding scrap-work screen that was created at Sherborne House, Dorset, by William Macready and Charles Dickens (according to family report) in the 1850s. The screen was donated to the Trustees of Sherborne House by Sir Nevil Macready. It has just been restored and conserved and will shortly go on display at the Sherborne Museum. Covered with almost 500 images cut from prints, it provides a unique window onto the world of nineteenth-century theatrical, literary, historical and political cultures. Approximately 70% of the images have so far been identified.

The website has been created to provide for public display of the screen. It enables users to study individual images in detail and provides research information about them where it is available. It forms an ongoing resource for anyone interested in Macready, Dickens or the ways in which Victorian objects relate to the lives of those who owned or made them.

For further information, please contact Professor Cathy Waters at …read more


Nineteenth-Century Matters: Chawton House Library 2016-17

By Matthew Sangster

Please see below for an exciting opportunity for early career researchers who do not currently hold a permanent position. This is a new collaboration between BARS and BAVS, brokered by Jo Taylor and Matthew Ward, with the help of Gillian Dow.

Nineteenth-Century Matters: Chawton House Library 2016-17


Nineteenth-Century Matters is a new initiative jointly run by the British Association for Romantic Studies and the British Association for Victorian Studies. It is aimed at postdoctoral researchers who have completed their PhD, but who are not currently employed in a full-time academic post. Nineteenth-Century Matters will offer these unaffiliated early career researchers a platform from which to organise professionalization workshops and research seminars on a theme related to nineteenth-century studies, relevant to the host institution’s specialisms. The focus should be on the nineteenth century, rather than on Romanticism or Victorianism.

For the coming academic year Nineteenth-Century Matters will provide the successful applicant with affiliation in the form of a Visiting Fellowship at Chawton House Library and the University of Southampton. This fellowship includes a University of Southampton e-mail address, and access to its library and electronic resources for the full academic year. It …read more


Conference Report, ‘Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil’, University of Sheffield

By Anna Mercer


Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil (24-27 June, University of Sheffield)

Conference report by Carly Stevenson

On an aptly stormy weekend in June, the University of Sheffield hosted an international conference commemorating the bicentenary of the infamous summer of 1816, when P.B. Shelley, Mary Godwin (later Shelley), Lord Byron, John Polidori and Claire Claremont gathered to share ghost stories at the Villa Diodati in Geneva. Organised by Professor Angela Wright and Dr Madeleine Callaghan, this conference celebrated the extraordinary literary output of this circle with a diverse array of papers from scholars in the fields of Romanticism, Gothic, eighteenth and nineteenth century studies.

Jane Stabler

On the Friday, keynote speakers Jerrold Hogle, Jane Stabler and Michael O’Neill lead a series of masterclasses for postgraduates and early careers researchers before the conference began in full the following day. After the first day of papers, Michael O’Neill gave a plenary lecture that examined the ways in which Byron and the Shelleys influenced each other in 1816-17. Afterwards, delegates headed over to 99 Mary Street for the conference dinner and drinks. This event was followed by another full day of parallel panels on the Sunday, rounded off with Jane Stabler’s …read more


Why we should be talking more: office chat and DH

By jsingles

When I look back over many of the most recent blog posts—Rachel’s about how to use notes with a sense of audience, Oishani’s about Blake’s quirky punctuation, my own about the differences between red wax seals and wafers, and other posts from the past several months—I am not surprised to realize that many of these posts began in the William Blake Archive office as informal conversations about digital editing. I remember Oishani asking my input about how to encode a period under a superscript, and I recall spending the better part of an hour with Laura and Lisa discussing why and how we decide that a letter is sealed by wax or wafer. These conversations are illustrative of one of the greatest benefits of digital humanities projects: the opportunity to collaborate and work with a team of scholars from a variety of backgrounds.

In general, the life of a PhD candidate can be pretty isolated, especially after finishing coursework, but working on the William Blake Archive enables myself and other undergraduate and graduate students to stay in touch with one another, to build on each other’s ideas, to remember that academia really is a community and not just …read more


The Scottish Romanticism Research Award: Result

By Matthew Sangster

(From Daniel Cook, BARS Bursaries Officer.)

The executive committees of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) and the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature (UCSL) are delighted to announce the winner of their inaugural Scottish Romanticism Research Award: Christine Woody, a recent doctoral candidate and adjunct instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Her project, ‘Romantic Periodicals and the Invention of the Living Author’, examines the ways in which the periodical culture of the Romantic period reshapes the meaning of authorship. Drawing heavily on the Edinburgh Review, Quarterly Review, and Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine in her research, Dr Woody will spend the duration of the award at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, where she will have the opportunity to consult the Murray Archive, the Blackwood & Sons archive, and other collections pertinent to her work.

BARS and UCSL have established the annual award for postgraduates and early career scholars to help fund expenses incurred through travel to Scottish libraries and archives, including universities other than the applicant’s own, up to a maximum of £300. A postgraduate may be a current or recent Master’s student (within two years of graduation) or a PhD candidate; a postdoctoral scholar is defined as …read more


CfP: Reputations, Legacies, Futures: Jane Austen, Germaine de Staël and their contemporaries, 1817-2017

By Matthew Sangster

(From Gillian Dow and Sandy White at Chawton House Library and the University of Southampton.)

Reputations, Legacies, Futures:
Jane Austen, Germaine de Staël and their contemporaries, 1817-2017

Chawton House Library, Hampshire, July 13-15, 2017

Keynote Speakers:
Benjamin Colbert, University of Wolverhampton
Alison Finch, University of Cambridge
Deidre Lynch, Harvard University

July 1817 saw two deaths – of Jane Austen, an English novelist with a solid but relatively modest success, and of Germaine de Staël, a long-standing superstar of pan-European intellectual, political and literary life. Over the two centuries since, the relative reputations of these two writers have re-aligned in ways that would have astonished their contemporaries, admirers and critics alike.

This joint anniversary provides an unrivalled opportunity to bring scholars together to reflect on the connections, continuities, and contrasts between these two writers’ careers both in their lifetimes and after, and to think about the waxing and waning across Europe and beyond of the literary reputations of eighteenth-century and Romantic-period women writers more generally.

The organisers invite submissions of 20-minute papers. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
• Connections and continuities between Austen and Staël (including, for instance, Austen’s familiarity with/awareness of the writings of Staël and vice versa, or their dealings with the firm that published them both, …read more