The Love Letters and Poems of Anna Beddoes, Humphry Davy and Davies Giddy — an open access online edition

How does a woman brought up in the era of sensibility – the revolutionary era of the 1780s and 90s – write about love and sex when free of the self-censorship that comes with publication? The love letters of Anna Beddoes are one of the few bodies of writing from the period in which we can access a woman’s romantic and erotic voice unmediated by ‘propriety’. Anna (1773-1824) was the wife of the doctor, chemist, poet, political campaigner and social reformer Thomas Beddoes (1760-1808). The Beddoes were friends of Coleridge, Southey, Thomas and Josiah Wedgwood, James and Gregory Watt, and Thomas and Catherine Clarkson. Born an Edgeworth, Anna was connected though family ties and friendships not just to her sister Maria but also to the Darwins and the Aikins. Based in Clifton, Bristol, where her husband established the Pneumatic Institution to research the curative effects of gas inhalation, where Coleridge and Southey planned Pantisocracy and gave political lectures, and where Wordsworth worked on his ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey’, Anna was at the hub of a group of intellectuals and experimentalists pioneering new kinds of science, medicine, politics and poetry. She was an unconventional woman, with advanced ideas about women’s conduct and language, and she put these ideas into practice in her intimate correspondence and relationships. Between 1799 and 1809, she engaged in at least three love affairs — with William Wynch (1750-1819), and with two men of science who would go on to become Presidents of the Royal Society — Humphry Davy (1778-1829) and Davies Giddy (1767-1839). Letters survive from each of these relationships, mainly hers rather than her lovers’,  the overwhelming majority being to Giddy. In this open access online edition, we present them fully annotated, and in a format designed to replicate as far as possible Anna’s informal habits of lineation and punctuation. We also present the poems that Anna exchanged with Davy and Giddy — a rich resource of manuscript verse written after the style of Mary Robinson and Wordsworth.

LitSciConf Call for Papers

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International Conference of Three Societies on Literature and Science
University of Birmingham, 10-12 April 2024

For 2024, the annual conferences of the British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS) and the European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSAeu), together with the biennial conference of the Commission on Science and Literature (CoSciLit), will be combined into a single meeting. This will be the first time that these three societies have joined together to share research at the many intersections of literature and science. The conference will be held at the University of Birmingham, UK, over 10-12 April 2024. Confirmed plenary speakers include Brian Hurwitz, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and the Arts at King’s College London; Isabel Jaen Portillo, Professor of Spanish at Portland State University; and the Directors of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, the Birmingham Institute for Sustainability and Climate Action, and the Institute for STEMM in Culture and Society at the University of Birmingham. 

In addition to the main programme, there will be tours available of the Lapworth Museum of Geology, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Winterbourne House and Garden, and the National Buried Infrastructure Facility, with an additional optional visit to the BIFoR FACE forest research facility and the Ruskin Land forest site on 13 April. The conference will be semi-hybrid, with differential pricing for attendance in person and online and for waged and unwaged participants. Papers may be presented in person or online, and online delegates will be able to watch the plenary sessions live and recordings of papers from other panels. There will also be a follow-up session online (date to be confirmed) for all delegates, including a panel for postgraduate students specifically. For more details of the conference as planning develops, please see the conference website. For other enquiries about the conference, please email the conference organiser, Prof John Holmes (, directly. 

We would like to hear about as wide a range of research on literature and science as possible, so there will be no set theme for this conference. We welcome proposals for papers of 20 minutes and for panels of 90 minutes including three or more speakers and time for questions from the audience.  Individual papers may be delivered in person or online, and panels may be in person, online or combine presentations in both formats. We especially welcome panels and presentations reporting on collaborations between literature scholars or writers and natural scientists; showcasing the work of research institutes and networks; or taking stock of the state of the field in specific regions or countries. We encourage participation by scientists and creative writers as well as scholars, and we are happy to consider papers on creative writing, teaching practice and public engagement as well as research. While papers should be presented in English, we are keen to hear about literary and scientific texts and encounters in any language, from any period and from anywhere in the world. 

Please send proposals to by 18:00 (UK time) on Friday 1 December 2023. Proposals should be up to 250 words for individual papers or up to 750 words for a panel. Please include a biography of up to 50 words per speaker and specify whether you hope to attend the conference in person or online. Proposals will be evaluated by a panel drawn from all three societies. 

The conference fee will be waived for two graduate students in exchange for written reports on the conference, to be published in the BSLS newsletter. If you are interested in being selected for one of these awards, please mention this when sending in your proposal. To qualify you will need to be registered for a postgraduate degree at the time of the conference.

John Holmes
Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, University of Birmingham, UK
President, Commission on Science and Literature

Jenni Halpin
Professor of English, Savannah State University, Georgia, USA
Chair, British Society for Literature and ScienceAura Heydenreich
Chair of Modern German Literature, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
President, European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts

BARS Announcement: Dr Andrew McInnes appointed as Secretary

Dear BARS Members, 

Following the election of Dr Jennifer Orr to Vice President, the Executive is delighted to announce that Dr Andrew McInnes has been appointed as Secretary. 

On behalf of BARS, we would like to welcome Andrew to the role, and look forward to working with him over the next two years.

If you would like to contact Andrew, please email

We would also like to thank Jennifer for her work as Secretary from 2018 to 2023, and particularly for performing the role alongside serving as Vice-President in recent months. 

A list of our current Executive and their contact details are available here: 

Very best wishes,
Amy Wilcockson, on behalf of the BARS Executive

Stephen Copley Research Report: Serena Qihui Pei on Thomas Manning

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to BARS for offering me a Stephen Copley Research Award in support of my research trip to China for the project on Thomas Manning. I used the funding to carry out my research in the National Historical Archive, Peking University and Fudan University. Through these experiences, I gained more information about Manning’s record in China, which has been forgotten for centuries. 

At the library in Peking University, I found the very first publication on Thomas Manning in China – the Chinese translation of Clements R. Markham’s Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle to Tibet and of the Journey of Thomas Manning to Lhasa, which was published in 2002. The book was entitled with a poetic line before its direct translation from the original title: “Knocking on the door of the snowy plateau” (Original texts: 叩響雪域高原的門扉). For many years, in mainland China, Manning’s name only exists in Chinese Tibetology among Chinese academic research. For example, there is one article entitled “Notes on Thomas Manning’s Journey to Lhasa according to Chinese sources” written by the influential Tibetologist professor Liu Shengqi in English in 2014. This is the only publication from mainland China about Manning, except that translation of Markham’s Narratives.

A person standing next to a statue

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(the sculpture of Laozi in Peking University)

My research in the National Historical Archive was fruitful, as there exist a series of documents about Manning, which were sent by Yang Chun and Qing Hui, (the Ambans, who were given order by the Emperor as local officials in Tibetan area) to the Emperor Jiaqing, dated through the period from 1811 to 1812, the time when Manning was in Tibet. This is the only place in the mainland China, as found so far, containing the first-hand materials about Thomas Manning. We can see that, as for Chinese people, it is more striking to know that Manning was the first European to visit Lhasa since the Capuchins, and to know that unlike his predecessors, George Bogle and Samuel Turner, Manning followed a proper procedure to apply for an official permission to visit Lhasa as a foreigner from Calcutta. Although, they shared the same ultimate goal: reaching Beijing through the pathway from Tibet, and Manning must have been inspired by their previous plan after experiencing all the obstacles on entering interior area of China, when he was in Canton. However, his ultimate goal was luckily kept unknown to Tibetan officials, as they thought that Manning was one of the missionaries. Particularly, in one document in the Nationalities Category of the Historical Archive in Beijing, dated on the 14th day of the 12th month of the 16th year of Jiaqing (same as January 27, 1812), it is recorded that Manning attempted to secretly preach Christianity in the guise of a Buddhist pilgrim. (Original texts: “夷人馬吝… 假借朝佛之名,希圖暗中傳教.” And ‘馬吝’ is the Chinese name for Manning given by those Tibetan officials.)

After my visit in Peking University, I visited Fudan University in Shanghai, where I had a wonderful discussion with Professor Chen Zhenghong, one of the leading experts in Chinese Special Collections and Rare Books. He mentioned that several books in Manning’s Chinese book collection are rare books indeed. For example, one Daoist work Zhuangzi (ca. 3rd BC, the second Daoist canonical masterpiece after Dao De Jing), one Confucianist work Xing Li Da Quan (ca.1415) and some secular novels in Ming and Qing Dynasty. In the meantime, he gave me much practical advice on the development of archival research skills.

Once more, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to BARS for offering me a Stephen Copley Research Award. With its support, I gained better understanding of Thomas Manning’s life in China with more helpful first-hand materials about Chinese officials’ attitudes towards him at that time as well as his stay in Tibet. I was inspired so much by those archival materials which I found during my research trip in the National Archives, Peking University and Fudan University. From these experiences, I obtained new ideas of my project, and helpful suggestions from local experts on those specific questions.

Serena Qihui Pei

Serena Qihui Pei is a PhD candidate at University College London. Her research interests focus on British Romanticism and its connections to China and Chinese traditions, such as culture, literature, and philosophy. Her current project explores the life of Thomas Manning in China as well as his Chinese book collections, to investigate Manning’s understanding of old Chinese philosophies; particularly, Daoism and Confucianism.

Five Questions: Hannah Doherty Hudson on Romantic Fiction and Literary Excess in the Minerva Press Era

Hannah Doherty Hudson is Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University in Boston. Her interests include Romantic-era fiction, intertextuality, periodical culture, the affordances of biography and the commercial history of print. Her new monograph, Romantic Fiction and Literary Excess in the Minerva Press Era, which we discuss below, was published by Cambridge University Press earlier this year.

1) How did you first become interested in the Minerva Press?

I first became interested in the Minerva Press while I was preparing for my PhD oral exams — I was doing a lot of reading about Romantic fiction and gothic novels and I started to notice that only one publishing house was ever mentioned by name in the scholarship I was working through. Before doing my PhD I had worked for a large trade book publisher with many, many imprints, so this caught my attention. I started to wonder what exactly the “Minerva Press” was, and why it seemed to be the only publishing company to have an imprint name that differed from the publisher’s name (e.g. Longman or Johnson). It was also very clear that the press’s name had a negative connotation, and I was very interested in the origins of the stereotypes surrounding the press. When I looked into it more deeply and discovered that the Minerva Press was the largest publisher of fiction, by far, in the period, I just really wanted to know how this massive group of novels — more than 800 of them, at a time when many publishers put out only a few novels a year — could have essentially disappeared from so much of literary history. I eagerly read the work of Dorothy Blakey and Deborah McLeod, and the scholarship (especially on the Gothic) that paid most attention to the Minerva Press, and then started to read as many of the novels as I could access. The bibliographic information in The English Novel, 1770-1829 (ed. Peter Garside, James Raven and Rainer Schöwerling) was also a crucial part of my early fascination with Press, both for the data it provided about the Press’s dominance, but also for the way it allowed me to observe potential patterns in titling, trends, and genre cues, which I could later follow up with more extended research.

2) How did you decide that excess would be the key term for your enquiry?

Excess was a theme that I didn’t explicitly identify until fairly far along in the process of writing the book. When I began this project, for my doctoral dissertation, I organized the chapters by genre (with one chapter for the Minerva gothic novel, one for the Minerva sentimental novel, and so forth). Some parts of that structure still remain in the book, but as I worked to revise it, I kept wrestling with the idea that I didn’t (just) want to talk about what Minerva novels were like — I also really wanted to explore their relationship with Romantic literary culture on a larger scale. As I started to think through the ways that Minerva novels were talked about, reviewed, imitated, and stereotyped, and to draw connections between them and the many other novels published during the Romantic period, I realized that the thing that united them all was a sense of, for lack of a pithier term, ‘too-much-ness’: there was an overwhelming number of novels, all of a sudden, and so readers, authors, and especially reviewers had to figure out how to cope with them, which they often did by establishing hierarchies that identified some (few) novels as worthy, and others as trash that could safely be ignored. What I really liked about the term ‘excess’ is that it captures the utter subjectivity of this process: who decides what is enough, and what is too much? Almost nobody wanted to argue that all novels were superfluous, so the constant problem was trying to draw and redraw the boundary of where sufficiency ends and excess begins. For most people, of course, there really was no such thing as an ‘excess’ of novels — a reader could happily choose as many or as few as they wanted, and the more choices, the better. Lack of access and scarcity were surely more of a problem for most average people who were reading novels at all. But authors worried that if there were too many books their own work might be lost or ignored, while critics were frustrated that they had more books to review than they could read, and irritated by the repetitive tropes of new genres. I was interested in understanding the influence that these conflicting pressures had on the evolution of the novel genre and, especially, on our own scholarly approaches to studying these novels.

3) What are the most important gains we stand to make as scholars by following your suggestion that we view the Romantic period as the Minerva Press Era?

When I made this argument I realized that it would likely be a polarizing one: I can’t even tell you how many times while writing this book I’ve been asked questions along the lines of: “how can you stand spending all your time reading these terrible books? Are any of them any good?” Clearly many scholars would be reluctant to rename the entire period after these novels! (For the record, I would say that some of them are good, many of them are bad, but, to me at least, all of them are interesting). There are a few reasons why I think this re-conception is really important and valuable, though. First, the ‘Minerva Press Era’ shifts the focus away from poetry alone to capture the popularity of novels and novel-reading in the Romantic period. I love Romantic poetry and teach it every semester, but I don’t think poetry in isolation captures the full spirit of the Romantic Period. It also reminds us that Minerva authors like Regina Maria Roche and Eliza Parsons, along with non-Minerva authors like Walter Scott and Ann Radcliffe, helped to define the terms on which novels were consumed. Additionally, thinking of the Romantic period as the Minerva Press Era turns our attention to the marketing and publicity that played such a key role in developing new genres and determining which novels would be praised and which maligned. For me, calling the period ‘the Minerva Press Era’ really reminds us that this was arguably the first age of industrial fiction production, and that literary works of all kinds, including those published by more prestigious presses or only circulated in manuscript, were written against — or in direct response to — this backdrop. The years around 1800 are such a tipping point in terms of changing print and paper technologies and the evolution of marketing, periodicals, and the novel itself, and re-centering the Minerva Press helps us to keep our critical eye on these crucial developments. In recent years many scholars have begun to do exciting work on the Minerva Press, all of which serves to reveal different facets of its importance to the period; it’s so exciting to me to see such a groundswell of interest in the Press and related topics. (Anyone interested in knowing more about the current state of the scholarship should absolutely read the recent special issue of Romantic Textualities dedicated to the Minerva Press, edited by Elizabeth Neiman and Tina Morin).

4) Which of the novels that you read for the project did you find most surprising and revealing?

This is such a hard one! There were so many, with all different kinds of surprises. One of my favorites has got to be Rosella, by Mary Charlton — I read this early on in the project and found it not only very funny, but also surprising in its extreme self-awareness about novels, and the reputation of popular, gothic, and women’s novels in particular (for those who would like to experience this novel for themselves, Natalie Neill has just completed a new edition, now available from Routledge). Now, having read so many more Minerva novels, I don’t actually find that quality surprising at all: because of the dismissiveness with which many of these novels have been treated by criticism, I didn’t initially expect them to be as clever, self-satirizing, and often metafictional as they are. This is not to say that some of them aren’t very silly, or flawed, or boring, but as a body the authors really do show an extremely high level of awareness of their own place in the market, the expectations their readers are likely bringing to the text, and the choices they are making in terms of genre. In the same vein, I was surprised by the elaborate playfulness of the marketing and publicity that surrounded a lot of these novels. William Lane, the founding publisher of the Minerva Press, wrote a mock-gothic advertorial in which all the places and characters were titles of Minerva Press novels, for example; later on, after the Minerva Press had ceased publication, I came across a satirical magazine piece in which the editors claimed to have received a letter from a “Czarina Amabelle St. Cloud,” who was devastated not to be able to publish with Minerva, and instead had sent them excerpts of her work and a long list of her novel-titles, which  imitate the typical Minerva two-part structure and include such gems as A Nympholept Lover; or, the Whispering Fungus and The Fatal Furbelow; or, The Tempted Templar.

5) What new projects are you currently working on?

Right now I am working on a new book, tentatively called Romantic Magazines and Imperial Knowledge: Commodity, Identity, Miscellany, which examines the role of the miscellaneous magazine (including prominent titles like the Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazines, the European Magazine, and the Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure) in developing new models of imperial collection and knowledge-formation in the years around 1800. I have been working on this project on and off alongside the Minerva book for years, so I am really excited to be able to give it my full attention now. I seem to be drawn to projects that leave me absolutely swimming in reams of print—now that I’m done reading Minerva novels for the moment, I’ve turned to reading thousands of pages of magazines. But in some ways I would say both books are motivated by very similar questions and interests: I like paying attention to what real people were commonly reading in the Romantic period, even or especially if what they read was inexpensive, ephemeral, or now little-known, and I’m very interested in the systems that surround publication, including advertising, reviewing, and reception. I also like the surprises and weird discoveries that come with reading through a profusion of print sources: you really just never know what you’re going to find. I’m also working on a few articles relating to magazines, including one about magazine portrayals of revolution around the globe in the 1780s and 1790s, and another on Eliza Haywood’s periodical legacies. Finally, and unsurprisingly, I do have some more Minerva-related projects on the back burner as well.

Nineteenth Century Studies Association: Call For Papers, “Thresholds”, 45th Annual Conference

Louisville, Kentucky    March 14-16, 2024

Proposal Deadline: September 30, 2023


From its early history as an important trading hub along the Ohio River, Louisville, Kentucky stood as an important gateway between the south and the north as well as between the east and west. As the city grew rapidly throughout the nineteenth century due to its favorable geography, it served as a threshold to nearby Indiana enslaved people longing for freedom and simultaneously as one of the largest centers for the trade and trafficking of enslaved individuals. Despite Kentucky remaining within the Union, many in the state sympathized with the Confederacy, and the political clout of Confederate soldiers returning after the Civil War earned Louisville its reputation as the city that joined the Confederacy after the war was over. During reconstruction and into the twentieth century, the city continued to wrestle with its history while also creating opportunities for those newly freed. Thus, the image of Louisville as a threshold offers fruitful ground for considering the individuals, institutions, conditions, and movements that shape the nineteenth century.

As an interdisciplinary organization, we welcome (15-20 minute) papers and submissions that explore thresholds from a broad range of perspectives, especially diverse national and international frameworks. In discussing physical manifestations of thresholds, papers may explore thresholds in nineteenth-century art, architecture, geography, history, literature, and material culture. Papers may address temporal thresholds into and from the long nineteenth century, including events, figures, and perspectives from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Since thresholds also imply the midpoint from one state of existence to another or from one social status to another, we also welcome broader interpretations of the conference theme such as: thresholds between wilderness and civilization, ecological thresholds, threshold states (e.g. vampirism), visual thresholds, economic thresholds, musical thresholds, and ontological thresholds. Submissions may also address the abundant scientific and technological thresholds in the nineteenth century and the ways they shaped our modes of existence and understanding, e.g. electricity, the phonograph, atomic particles, and the standardization of time. While thresholds often imply advancing through a transition, papers may also conceptualize them as limits that are not transgressed. Topics on the state of nineteenth-century studies might also include thresholds of teaching and scholarship, academic labor practices, or innovative approaches to humanities education.

Please send 250-word abstracts with one-page CVs to  by September 30, 2023.

Abstracts should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and paper title in the heading. The organizers welcome individual proposals, panel proposals with four presenters and a moderator, or larger roundtable sessions. Note that submission of a proposal constitutes a commitment to attend if accepted. 

Presenters will be notified in November 2023. The organizers encourage submissions from graduate students, and those whose proposals have been accepted may submit complete papers to apply for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. See the sidebar at right for more information about conference grants. Questions about submissions or the conference may also be directed to:  .

Notices and Events: Davy’s Notebooks Project

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Dear all, 

We have a number of important things to tell you about. Firstly, I’m writing partly to urge you to please continue to transcribe Davy’s Notebooks. We are supposed to get everything done and online by the beginning of next year, but there’s still so much to do. Transcription rates seem to be slowing down and we still have about 1000 pages to transcribe. Please do as much as you can to get us over the finish line on time and encourage others to help too! 

Secondly, we have substantially revised and updated our online course on Humphry Davy and will run it again, with a start date of Monday 9th October 2023. You can enrol here:

We’ve developed the course to include some of the findings that we’ve made during the last few years on the Davy Notebooks Project. This course will tell you about Davy’s life and career and give you some context to any transcription that you’ve been doing on the project (it may also be of interest to students, family, friends, etc etc).

The course has weeks on: Davy’s life and his historical times; his chemical experiments and lectures in the Royal Institution (we even recreated one of his spectacular demonstrations of how he thought a volcano worked!); the links between Davy, the Romantic poets (including William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge), and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as some of Davy’s own poetry; the miners’ safety lamp he invented; and it closes with a week that thinks again about Davy’s legacy. 

The course is free and open to all. If you’ve done it before, you’ll hopefully enjoy the new material that we’ve included. There are some new steps, new activities, and lots of new resources which the project team have created over the past few years including online talks, articles, and blog posts. We’re hoping to show you some new aspects to Davy, including recently transcribed poems, some of the sketches found in his notebooks, first-hand accounts of Davy in the laboratory at the Royal Institution performing some of his most famous experiments, and evidence of his links to transatlantic slavery. 

As ever, you can do as much or as little of the course as you choose and take it at your own pace. That said, we’ll start each new week on the Monday and sum up on the Friday. Someone from the project team will be available every day to respond to your queries and help moderate the discussion.  

And, finally, the Davy Notebooks exhibition has opened at the Royal Institution in London in the building where the famous early nineteenth-century chemist Sir Humphry Davy worked and lectured in Albemarle Street in London from 1801-12.  

The exhibition is at the Royal Institution until Friday 3 November 2023. It will move to Northumberland County Hall from Wednesday 8 November 2023 to Friday 12 January 2024. The final destination is the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, where it will be installed from Tuesday 16th January 2024 to Saturday 23rd March 2024. The exhibition showcases a number of original Davy manuscripts and focuses on his lectures, geology, chemistry, and links with the slave trade, his poetry and the miners’ safety lamp known as the Davy lamp.  

There are a number of activities associated with the exhibition, including teaching resources for schools, a talk at Northumberland County Hall on the 15th November, a Davy Poetry Reading Workshop in Morpeth Library on January 11th, and a webinar for the Wordsworth Trust on 25th January. For more details, follow us on social media (@davynotebooks) or email And please do some transcription for us at!

All best,

Sharon Ruston

The Davy Notebooks Project Team

17 September 2023

University Short Courses at Wordsworth Grasmere

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Experience the magic of the archive and get up-close with the past with hands-on experiential courses at Wordsworth Grasmere.

‘…the highlight was most definitely the manuscript session: holding an original manuscript from hundreds of years ago in your hands and getting to read the same lines you studied is just an incredible feeling.’ – Student

‘I have a whole new appreciation for Wordsworth, poetry in general, and a whole new mindset that I would have never gained if it wasn’t for the people I met here and the experiences that I’ve had.’ – Student

These tailored experiential courses, which can be delivered in-person or online, will give your students the insights to interpret the past in new and imaginative ways. Skills in close looking, enquiry, discussion and problem solving will be invaluable both during and beyond their time at university. The writing and lives of the Wordsworths in Dove Cottage 200 years ago will come to life through detailed investigation of manuscripts, creative workshops – and simply spending reflective time in this very special place.

‘It was such a treat to explore the cottage and its grounds as well as the artifacts, manuscripts, and remnants of the Wordsworths’ lives. Jeff did such a wonderful job relating every object to not only their daily habits and creative work, but also to the art of museum curation. A great experience all around!’ – Professor Sophie Thomas, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada

Courses are delivered by experts from the Curatorial & Learning team at Wordsworth Grasmere, who have been leading these courses for over a decade. One-day or multiple-day, online or in-person, there is something to suit every group, budget and schedule.

‘The students came away with the best sorts of learning: experiential, consequential, culturally sensitive, usefully difficult, and ultimately transformative. I hope to do this again many times in future years!’ – Professor Catherine Waitinas, California Polytechnic State University, USA

Find out more and book by visiting Wordsworth Grasmere’s website:

Call for Applications: John Galt Society Research Grant

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The John Galt Society welcomes applications for a grant (of up to £300) to defray expenses incurred in connection with research into the works, life or influence of John Galt. Eligible expenses might include transportation to libraries or archives, lodging near libraries or archives (if distant from the researcher’s home), fees or technology costs involved in on-site or on-line access (such as copying or scanning, permissions or equipment requirements). Research projects should have the goal of shedding new light on Galt’s significance in literature, history, socio-political thought or economics. Projects that situate Galt in other fields are also welcome.

Eligible applicants are advanced graduate students (students enrolled in PhD programs at universities around the world); early career scholars (scholars whose doctoral degrees date no more than three years before the application and who have held a permanent or secure academic position for no more than three years), contingent faculty (scholars with PhD degrees who hold part-time or temporary academic positions) or independent scholars (scholars with PhD degrees who do not hold academic positions).

The Grant will be awarded annually. Previous recipients may apply for a second time, but preference will be given to first-time applicants. Applications should be emailed to the Administrator of the John Galt Society Research Grant (Dr. Craig Lamont, University of Glasgow, Applications must include all of the following:

  • Applicant’s name, address, email address.
  • Applicant’s degree and employment status (date of PhD received or expected, institutional affiliation [or statement that the applicant is not affiliated], length of affiliation and whether the position is full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary.
  • Applicant’s cv.
  • Description (approximately 1,000 words) of Applicant’s project, specifying what portion or aspect of it is to aided by the Grant and what specific use of the Grant money will be made. The timetable for carrying out the research should also be indicated.
  • The name, address, email address and affiliation of a scholar whom the Applicant has asked to recommend the project. Applicants should make this request of a scholar familiar with the Applicant’s work and ask the scholar to send the recommendation directly to the Administrator of the John Galt Research Grant.

The deadline for applications is 31 January 2024.

Complete applications must be received by the deadline in order to be considered. The recipient will be announced at the time (usually in March) of the Annual General Meeting of the John Galt Society. It is expected that the research will be carried out and a report submitted within a year of the receipt of the Grant. It is expected that the recipient will join the John Galt Society (if not already a member) before making use of the Grant. Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Craig Lamont, Secretary-Treasurer of the John Galt Society and Administrator of the John Galt Society Research Grant ( or to Dr. Regina Hewitt, Chair of the John Galt Society (

Call for papers: Romantic Boundaries (special issue of Romantic Textualities)

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This June, the BARS Early Career and Postgraduate Conference gathered researchers from around the globe to celebrate and to appreciate Romanticism and its legacies at the University of Edinburgh by exploring the theme of ‘boundaries’ within the context of Romantic-period literature and thought. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term ‘boundary’ as: ‘That  which serves to indicate the bounds or limits of anything whether material or immaterial; also the limit itself.’ Such a term seems at odds with the spirit of Romanticist thought, which has long been associated with mobility and boundlessness. Conference delegates aptly addressed the complexity of the concept through various representations of boundaries – both tangible and intangible – from a wide range of viewpoints. To continue such a diverse critical dialogue, in collaboration with Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780–1840 (, we plan to produce a special ‘Romantic Boundaries’ edition of the journal. To widen the scope of our scholarly conversation, not only do we welcome all the conference delegates to consider expanding their conference papers for publications, but we also invite researchers and scholars in general for submissions. 

Echoing our conference theme, topics of interest may include, but are not limited to: 

• Geographical and spatial boundaries; transnationalism 

• Borders, liminal spaces, and boundary crossing 

• Temporal boundaries 

• Dialogues between genres and disciplines 

• Translations and transgressions 

• Lived boundaries (including those pertaining to identity, such as gender, race, or sexuality) 

• Digital boundaries 

• Human and nonhuman boundaries 

• Boundaries and reception; public versus private writings 

• Past, present, and future limits of the field of Romantic studies and its canon 

Successful abstracts will suggest articles that broaden our understanding of Romantic boundaries by illuminating the elasticity and multiplicity of their meanings. For those who are interested, please submit 500-word abstracts with 5 keywords. Abstracts are due by 10  October 2023. The result will be announced by mid-November.  

Essays (5000-8000 words, including footnotes) that grow out of accepted abstracts will undergo peer review and are due by 31 January 2024

Please email submissions to Yu-hung Tien (, with a subject line (Romantic Boundaries, ‘Paper Title’, Author Name).  

Papers will be published in a special issue of Romantic Textualities (Summer 2024), guest edited by Professor Li-hsin Hsu, Professor Andrew Taylor, and Yu-hung Tien. 

Please note that the essay submission date and publication schedule are tentative and subject to change, depending on the reviewing progress.