Proof It: Working Across Media

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By Laura Whitebell

The unsung hero of the editing process is proofreading. Here at the Blake Archive, what we call “proofreading” has to take into account the disparate, interactive nature of the multimedia editions we publish. As a result, our interpretation of the term consists of a range of activities that are more varied than those conventionally involved in proofreading.

For example, it includes:

  • checking the transcription for typos, layout errors, etc.
  • comparing the Blake Archive transcription to those in our standard references
  • fact-checking information on pages like Work Information
  • ensuring that the paratextual elements of each edition are accurate, such as the running headers on each OVP
  • clicking on links and buttons to make sure they send the user to the right location

The second problem that we face is that proofreading duties are shared, meaning there is a potential lack of consistency in the final product. Nowhere is this more true than in the letters where the sheer volume of individual works mean that ateam of proofreaders needs to be deployed each time a batch is ready for publication. In order to ensure that certain standards are met across the board, Nick created a proofreading form that functions …read more


Bad Burials and the Displaced Dead in Early Nineteenth Century Scottish Writing: or How to Be Dead Popular at Dinner Parties

By by Sarah Sharp I’m Sarah Sharp and I’m a second year PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and a research assistant on the New Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Stevenson. Amongst my peers, however, I’m probably best known for my unnerving bent towards the morbid and gruesome sides of Romantic era writing. […] …read more


Conference Report for 11th Eighteenth-Century Literature Research Network in Ireland (ECLRNI) Symposium

By Katie Garner Katie Garner On Saturday 7 December, members of the Eighteenth-Century Literature Research Network in Ireland gathered at St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra, just north of Dublin city centre, for the network’s 11th annual symposium. It was a bright, sunny and unusually mild day for December: as I made my way through the park to the […] …read more


Line, Line, Everywhere a Line

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By Eric Loy

By Lisa Vandenbossche

In August I took over a project that Esther Arnold, a recent PhD recipient in the English Department, had started. The project is an illustrated manuscript of the King James translation of the book of Genesis. This manuscript was probably started in the last year of Blake’s life and left unfinished upon his death.

The manuscript has offered some new challenges in terms of transcription. One of these issues is Blake’s use of ruled lines in his manuscripts and the challenge they pose to our “transcribe what you see” rule. Blake first drew evenly spaced ruled lines on the manuscript pages before beginning his writing. These lines appear to be in light pencil as a guide for the text from Genesis that Blake was transcribing. In the first two objects – presumably the most finished of the work – these lines have been erased and the text itself is illuminated in red and green, as well as highlighted in gold. The assumption being that had Blake finished all of the lines would have been erased.

Given the unfinished state of the manuscript, however, in later objects these lines have not been erased. …read more


CfP – Emblems and Enigma: The Heraldic Imagination

By admin

Emblems and Enigma image

Professor Fiona Robertson and Dr Peter Lindfield are co-organising a symposium entitled Emblems and Enigma: The Heraldic Imagination; this event will take place at the Society of Antiquaries in London on Saturday 26th April 2014. The full Call for Papers is both below and available on the conference site. To further tempt Romanticists, Professor Robertson writes that, ‘There’ll be a special session on Walpole and Beckford, the poster image (above) is from Chatterton, I’ll be talking about Scott and 19th-c American literature, and we’d very much welcome proposals for papers on Romantic Period authors (De Quincey, Peacock, Scott, Radcliffe, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats) and on topics related to this authoritative but occluded set of signs in the culture of the Romantic Period.’ The deadline for abstracts is 10th January 2014.

Emblems and Enigma: The Heraldic Imagination

An Interdisciplinary Symposium at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Saturday 26th April 2014

‘Time has transfigured them into / Untruth’ (Philip Larkin)

In his 1844 short story ‘Earth’s Holocaust’, Nathaniel Hawthorne sees heraldic signs reaching ‘like lines of light’ into the past, but also as encrypted …read more


Week 8 – ‘Rationality, Religion and Female Dissent: Elizabeth Heyrick’

By Honor Rieley

Rebecca Shuttleworth (University of Leicester)

For the final Romantic Realignments of 2013, we’re very happy to have Rebecca Shuttleworth with us to share some of her research on dissenting women writers.


The abolitionist campaigner Elizabeth Heyrick (1769-1831), was born into a dissenting family in Leicester, but asserted her independence later in life by leaving the Methodist Church to join the Society of Friends. Previous accounts of her life have often assumed that her social activism was very much a development of her new Quaker environment. This paper will suggest that the picture is more complicated than that, and will explore the complex interplay between the values of rationality, social morality, and religion in her life and writings. It will draw on family and friends’ writings about Heyrick, as well as her own numerous pamphlets, to explore the ways in which a radical female activist emerged from within a Midlands dissenting community. Heyrick’s voice, as it emerges in her writings, both works within, and against, the social expectations of her surrounding community and culture. In her appeals to rationality, rather than religion, in her justification of her various crusades, she emerges strongly as a voice of Enlightenment values. The paper will explore …read more


Ever, Jane: Becoming an Austen Heroine

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By By Jo Taylor Let me set the scene. Chawton, Hampshire, sometime in the 1810s. A modest, well-kept house in the centre of the village, lavender outside the window waving in the breeze. Someone playing the harp in the background, and a dark stranger outside the village shop opposite the drawing room window. Mrs. Hatch, mistress […] …read more


Five Questions: Sharon Ruston on Romantic Science

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By admin

Sharon Ruston - Creating Romanticism

Professor Sharon Ruston has recently joined the University of Lancaster, having previously held appointments at the University of Salford, Keele University and the University of Wales, Bangor. She has published widely on literature, science and medicine in the Romantic period, served as academic co-ordinator of the LitSciMed doctoral training programme and co-edited (with David Higgins) a useful collection on Teaching Romanticism, which draws on the survey of Romantic-period teaching which she completed for BARS in 2006. Her latest book, Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science and Medicine of the 1790s, came out earlier this year; below, we discuss the process of writing this book and its relation to her current project: co-editing, with Professor Tim Fulford, The Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle.

1) How did you come to decide that this was the next book you wanted to write?

After Shelley and Vitality (my first monograph that came from my PhD), I wanted to move outwards to think about Romanticism and …read more


Gothic and Travel Writing

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By Gothic and Travel Writing; or How a PhD Student makes the Journey from Victorianism to the late Eighteenth Century by Mark Bennett Hello all. First up, I’d like to thank the team at Romantic Textualities for inviting me to blog here – I hope the resulting ramblings prove interesting! In this first post I plan […] …read more


Blake’s Letters: New Connections between Works in the Archive

By nwasamoan

Related works

The exciting recent publication of Blake’s illustrations of works by William Hayley helps to present a much fuller picture of the period from about 1800-1805 in Blake’s career, which included his conflicted personal and professional associations with Hayley, his only extended sojourn outside of London to a cottage in Felpham, and the episode of his trial for sedition. During this time, Blake’s personal, social, aesthetic, and professional interests intersect through his extensive work for Hayley and in the correspondence though which they planned and discussed these illustrations. At the moment, we are preparing a second installment of letters that will help to augment the resources available within the Archive for exploring this fascinating period in Blake’s life. We are pleased to be able to make these materials available in multiple ways for users, who we hope will benefit from the multiple ways we have prepared for them to search and browse Blake’s works and papers in the Archive.

Related Works

In addition to the full search functionality that will allow users to seek out particular images, figures, names, words, or phrases in these new and forthcoming works, users will also be able to navigate between the letters and …read more