Report from the North West Long Nineteenth Century Seminar on the theme of ‘Melmoth’s Afterlives’.

By Anna Mercer

The North West Long Nineteenth Century Seminar takes place at Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met). This year it has hosted a special seminar on the theme of ‘Melmoth’s Afterlives’ as part of a series of online events to celebrate the bicentenary of C. R. Maturin’s novel Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), supported by generous funding from the Keats-Shelley Association of America and the Byron Society of America’s ‘Romantic Bicentennials’ initiative. The seminar involved contributions from postgraduates, early career researchers and established academics, and was organised by Sonja Lawrenson, Matt Foley and Emma Liggins.

Report by Rebecca Alaise, PhD candidate at Manchester Met’s Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies.

The ‘Melmoth’s Afterlives’ series seeks to explore the lasting influence that Melmoth has had on the Gothic mode and the ways in which the novel’s titular figure, and the Wandering Jew figure in general, have been re-animated by a variety of writers from the nineteenth century until today. The potency of Melmoth is evidenced in homages such as Honoré de Balzac’s Melmoth Reconciled (1835), Oscar Wilde’s moniker ‘Sebastian Melmoth’ and Sarah Perry’s 2018 novel, Melmoth, to name but a few.

The UK’s second coronavirus lockdown made an online presentation of this year’s seminar …read more