Emma Peacocke is currently a Banting Post Doctoral Fellow at Queen’s University, Ontario. Before moving to Queen’s, she completed her PhD at Carleton University. She has published articles and book chapters that examine historiography, circulation, periodical culture, collecting and visual culture and that deal with figures as diverse as Walter Scott, William Paley, William Buckland and Thomas Moore. Her first monograph, Romanticism and the Museum, which draws together many of these interests and which we discuss below, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.
1) How did you come to decide that you wanted to write a monograph on museums in the Romantic period?
It happened in a coup de foudre as I was reading The Wanderer, Frances Burney’s final novel, published in 1814. The heroine, Juliet, is fleeing in disguise from her forced marriage to a murderous Jacobin ruffian, so you can imagine how anxious she is throughout the novel. Near the climactic showdown, her eccentric elderly protector Sir Jaspar Harrington decides on a whim to pass Juliet off as his grandchildren’s new nursemaid and have her shown all around the glorious art collection at Wilton. Juliet feels so harried and miserable that …read more