By Anna Mercer
Here’s an insightful report by Ruby Tuke for those that missed the most recent Romantic Novels 1818 seminar, held at the University of Greenwich. This seminar series is sponsored by BARS.
Postgraduate/ECR bursaries are available for future seminar meetings. Details here.
(Click to zoom and see future meetings)
A Discussion of Sydney Owenson’s Florence Macarthy (1818) with Dr Sonja Lawrenson
Romantic Novels 1818 Seminar March 2018
Dr Sonja Lawrenson delivered an illuminating talk on Sydney Owenson’s mighty four-volume novel Florence Macarthy: An Irish Tale (1818), which generated much lively discussion afterwards. Lawrenson argued that Florence Macarthy, less known and less studied than Owenson’s earlier novel The Wild Irish Girl (1806), deserves greater critical attention. Her paper teased out unusual links between the politically ambiguous later novel and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). She drew a convincing parallel between Frankenstein’s monster, and the multifarious identities of Florence Macarthy. The rejected monster is first constructed out of various different materials and narratives, and Macarthy is forced to spin yarns literally, as well as figuratively, for money. Thus Lawrenson intriguingly suggested that the challenges of female authorship in 1818 are necessarily woven into the form as well as the content of both novels.
Lawrenson’s paper …read more