Here is a report by Merrilees Roberts from the first ‘Romantic Novels 1818‘ seminar. This series is sponsored by BARS and seminars are held at the University of Greenwich.
BARS also provides bursaries to support postgraduates and early career researchers who wish to attend. You can find more information on the application process and see details of upcoming seminars in the series here.
A Discussion of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) with Dr James Grande
Romantic Novels 1818 Seminar January 2018
James Grande delivered a fascinating paper on Frankenstein intended to spark ideas about how to capture the neglected ‘1818′ context of the novel’s first edition, which comprised only 500 copies sold mostly to circulating libraries. Grande took James Chandler’s England in 1819: The Politics of Literary Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism as an inspiration for thinking through a microhistory of 1818 which would capture the novel’s historical – rather than literary – context. Resisting the critical orthodoxy of readings focused on biographical and ‘family romance’ narratives about the Shelley-Godwin family, Grande suggested possible ways of thinking through Frankenstein‘s reception in 1818. These included setting the dedication to Godwin in the context of the repressive measures enforced …read more
By The Keats Letters Project Keats’s “Pleasure Thermometer” letter–for which Brian Rejack and Michael Theune have developed a prototype pleasure thermometer (PT2K18–trademark and patent pending). …read more
By The Keats Letters Project We’re running out of days in January, and the best guest for the date of today’s letter is sometime in January 1818, so we’ll go with today! There’s a lot we don’t know about this letter. We’ll count among the uncertainties that it was even written in January 1818. The note was acquired by Amy… Letter #47: “To any friend who may call” (on John Taylor), January (?) 1818 …read more
In January 2018 I signed the contract to publish an edited monograph of my PhD thesis with Routledge.
This book will be part of the new series: ‘Routledge New Textual Studies in Literature’:
The Routledge New Textual Studies in Literature series seeks to shift the priorities of existing scholarship within the field, producing ground-breaking studies using archives, manuscripts, papers, collections, digital and facsimile collections, and all forms of primary texts and material. It will capitalise on the opportunity represented by the unprecedented wealth of primary materials now available to scholars working across this broad period. Amongst other things, the outputs in this series might
• Reappraise canonical authors or movements in relation to new or overlooked archival evidence, asking how the canon might look different in light of this
• Re-evaluate a well-known genre, movement, or idea through attention to a wide range of texts or primary material
• Exploit and explore the rich variety of texts and primary sources now available digitally or in newly accessible physical archives
1) How did you come to realise that you wanted to write a book about what the Victorians made of Romanticism?
This project grew out of my previous work on Romanticism and celebrity culture. One of the things I discovered in that research was that people at the beginning of the nineteenth century often talked about celebrity as a second-rate kind of fame. Celebrity was a kind of fleeting recognition you received in your own lifetime; true fame was usually posthumous, but it …read more
Does Mary Shelley need rescuing from neglect? Has the young woman who created the most iconic figures in Gothic literature apart from Bram Stoker’s Dracula — Frankenstein and his benighted, stitched-together creature — languished in the shadow of her husband and lover Percy Bysshe Shelley, her friend Lord Byron and her celebrated parents Mary Wollstonecraft (author of Vindication of the Rights of Woman) and William Godwin?
The poet Fiona Sampson, author of this extremely readable biography, considers that Mary Shelley has been eclipsed of late, but it might be argued that the fascination with the young woman who created her durable monster and creator at a famous Italian literary gathering with Shelley, Lord Byron and others has more of a comprehensive hold on the popular imagination than others in her circle of family and friends. Not least for the fact that this quiet, well-educated English girl counter-intuitively forged a gruesome horror myth that continues to inspire imitations to this day.
Sampson, however, clearly thinks that more attention should be paid to her heroine, and attacks her proselytising task (in the bicentennial of the publication of Frankenstein) with some panache.