BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

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

Archive for October 2017

Five Questions: 2017 BARS First Book Prize Winner Julia S. Carlson on Romantic Marks and Measures

By Matthew Sangster


Julia S. Carlson, the winner of the 2017 BARS First Book Prize, is Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. She completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her graduate degrees at the University of Michigan. She has published numerous essays on Romantic poetry, poetics, cartographies and sensation; is a member of the Multigraph Collective, co-authors of the forthcoming Interacting with Print: Elements of Reading in an Era of Print Saturation, 1700-1900 (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and is one of the co-editors of Romanticism on the Net. She received the First Book Prize for Romantic Marks and Measures: Wordsworth’s Poetry in Fields of Print (Penn Press, 2016), which we discuss below.

1) How did you begin the research that led you to write this book?

My research on this project began after a Comparative Literature seminar in which we read Mallarmé’s Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard and the poems of Emily Dickinson followed by a facing-page edition of Wordsworth’s Prelude, a sequence which primed me to observe typographic and topographic differences between the 1805 and 1850 texts. Why …read more


‘Becoming Manfred’: Tchaikovsky and Byron

By Lynn Shepherd

Tchaikovsky in 1884

by David Perkins

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s festival overture, The Year 1812, (popularly known as the 1812 Overture), is probably one of his most famous works. Tchaikovsky didn’t think much of it as it was a commission piece to open the All-Russian Arts and Industry Exhibition. “It is impossible to set about without repugnance music that is destined for the glorification of something that delights me not at all,” he grumbled. To his patron he wrote, “The Overture will be very loud and noisy…I wrote it without any warm and loving feelings, and consequently it will probably be lacking in artistic merit.” The Year 1812, much to Tchaikovsky’s chagrin, was a great success—and continues to be. But it also demonstrates his uncanny facility as a musical craftsman, able to create music that stirs human emotions, even if his heart was not in it.

Tchaikovsky in 1884

His letters and his diaries reveal that the works he was most proud of were those pieces that deeply engaged his emotions, which evoked those “warm and loving feelings.” This was true when it came to literature as well. He was a voracious reader: philosophy, poetry, novels, and plays. Fluent in many languages, he adored Pushkin, Dickens, Schiller, …read more


Institutions as Actors Programme

By msangster

We’ve now finalised the programme for the ‘Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900′ network’s last workshop, ‘Institutions as Actors’, which can be viewed here. The workshop is open to a limited number of non-speaking delegates; if you’d be interested in coming along, we’d love to hear from you on We’ll be publishing some thoughts on where the network’s discussions have got to thus far in the period leading up to the workshop and will also be publishing reflections from our participants after it’s happened as we move towards the end of this initial phase of the project and think about where it would be useful to go next.

…read more


London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar

By dustinfrazierwood

The Autumn programme of the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar features two sessions of interest to scholars of illustration:

3rd November: Historical Fiction

Dr Brian H Murray (King’s College London) and Prof. Rosemary Mitchell (Leeds Trinity)

8th December: Nineteenth-Century Illustration

Prof. Julia Thomas (Cardiff) and Dr Mary Shannon (Roehampton)

Information, including details of how to book, are available on the …read more


Join us in the Big Wordsworth Bonanza

By Lynn Shepherd

RIww 2

by Jenny Uglow

I know it’s almost three years away – or only three years away – but 7 April 2020 is the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth, and the Wordsworth Trust want to celebrate it in style. There will be conferences, parties, walks on fells, radio and television programmes readings among daffodils, on Westminster Bridge – and wherever you can think of. We’ve even got hopes of ‘Romantics’ stamps, though nothing may come of this! So this is an invitation to all Wordsworth fans, and everyone interested in the Romantics, to join in looking ahead, planning, getting together with ideas world-wide.

No one ‘owns’ a great poet, and the Wordsworth Trust (where I’m a Trustee) is far from being the only group who want to mark this anniversary. However, it seemed a good idea to post something to tell you what we’re thinking. A small team has gathered, co-ordinated by Simon Bainbridge of Lancaster University, and including the Wordsworth family, the Wordsworth Trust, the team at Rydal Mount and the National Trust, who run Wordsworth’s House in Cockermouth. In time, there will be a separate website for Wordsworth 250, which will publicise all the events. Your ideas are welcome!

In …read more


Wordsworth Annual Lecture 2017: Byron and Wordsworth

By Anna Mercer


Please see below for details of the Wordsworth Annual Lecture 2017, to be held in London on Halloween.

Byron and Wordsworth: Art and Nature

Tuesday 31 October, 6.00 – 7.00pm

The 2017 London Lecture with Professor Sir Drummond Bone

Wordsworth and Byron fell out in a not very dignified way over politics, and there was heavy co-lateral damage in their opinion of each other’s poetry. But there was a fundamental intellectual difference too. Despite his flirtation with Wordsworthean pantheism at P B Shelley’s behest in 1816, Byron came to believe that moral and existential value could only be human constructs, whereas Wordsworth of course saw these very constructs as the barrier to an existential value inherent in Nature, the perception of which was the necessary ground of moral behaviour. Sir Drummond Bone will use this contrast as a way into reading their poetry, and spend some time specifically on their differing attitudes to city life and the nature of art.

Sir Drummond Bone graduated from Glasgow University, and was a Snell Exhibitioner at Balliol from 1968 to 1972. He is an acknowledged expert on the poetry of Byron and is President of the Scottish Byron Society. He became Professor of English Literature and Dean of …read more