Archive Spotlight: Humphry Davy’s Notebooks and the Navy

By Amy Wilcockson

We really need your help in completing the project to transcribe Humphry Davy’s notebooks… Read on to see something of Davy’s life two hundred years ago and the kinds of scandal your transcription could unearth…

In January 1823, Humphry Davy was asked by the Commissioners of the Navy Board to investigate why the copper sheeting on the bottom of ships was corroding, reducing the speed of these vessels greatly. He regarded the matter as one of national importance and immediately referred it to the Council of the Royal Society. They set up a Committee but it was Davy alone who investigated the matter. He was sent samples of the copper used to sheathe two naval ships, the HMS Batavia (a former floating battery that was disposed of in 1823) and Leonidas (a thirty-six-gun fifth-rate frigate launched in 1807). The way that Davy felt called to action, and the patriotic fervour with which he responded, was not unlike the earlier episode of the miners’ safety lamp in 1816. The two episodes would end in a similarly less than ideal manner.

Sir Humphry Davy, Bt by Thomas Phillips

At this point in his life, Davy was largely a man of leisure, …read more


BARS/K-SAA Monograph Publishing Roundtable and Q&A

      No Comments on BARS/K-SAA Monograph Publishing Roundtable and Q&A

By Amy Wilcockson

An expert panel demystifies the process of publishing a monograph in Romantic Studies, responding to your questions.

Date and time

Wed, 27 September 2023, 17:00 – 18:30 BST

Tickets available here!

At BARS’ recent Romantic Boundaries conference, a roundtable on publishing in journals revealed there was considerable appetite for an event demystifying monograph publishing in Romantic Studies. In concert with the Keats-Shelley Association of America, BARS has put together a digital roundtable to try and help with this. This roundtable will be chaired by Matthew Sangster (University of Glasgow/BARS) and Kate Singer (Mount Holyoke College/K-SAA) and will feature the following contributors:

  • Rebecca Colesworthy, Senior Acquisitions Editor at SUNY Press
  • Ben Doyle, Publisher for Literary Studies at Bloomsbury (and formerly Emerald and Palgrave)
  • Tim Fulford, co-editor of the Liverpool University Press series Romantic Reconfigurations: Studies in Literature and Culture 1780-1850
  • Patricia A. Matthew, co-editor of Oxford University Press’s Race in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture series
  • Bethany Thomas, Commissioning Editor for Literature at Cambridge University Press

The roundtable will begin with short introductions, but the bulk of the time will be committed to answering questions. These can either be asked live or submitted in advance (please email and by Monday September 18th so we can pre-circulate to our contributors).

The …read more


On This Day: Robert Bloomfield – 200 years

      No Comments on On This Day: Robert Bloomfield – 200 years

By Isabelle Murray

The BARS ‘On This Day’ Blog series celebrates the anniversaries of literary and historical events of the Romantic period. Want to contribute a future post? Get in touch.

Today on 19th August 2023, we mark 200 years to the day of the death of Romantic poet Robert Bloomfield with this blog post by Emlyn David.

The 19th August marks the bicentenary of Robert Bloomfield’s death, with this anniversary offering an occasion to reflect on the poet’s works and his legacy. Bloomfield died in dire poverty at Shefford, Bedfordshire, aged fifty-six, forgotten by most of his contemporaries – but his death does not reflect the great popularity that some of his works enjoyed during his lifetime.

The poem that made Bloomfield’s reputation, The Farmer’s Boy (1800), can be considered as one of the bestselling poems of the Romantic era. Although Bloomfield first struggled to find a publisher, Capel Lofft finally agreed to publish the poem along with woodcuts by John Anderson, a Scottish wood-engraver and a pupil of Thomas Bewick. It sold an estimated 51,000 copies and was translated into French, German and Italian, with some excerpts translated into Latin. New editions regularly appeared throughout the nineteenth century.[1] As the …read more


The Shelley Conference 2024: Posthumous Poems, Posthumous Collaborations

By Rosie Whitcombe

Keats House Museum, London, 28-29 June 2024

Call for Papers

Two years after the death of Percy Bysshe Shelley in the summer of 1822, Mary Shelley, after a painstaking editorial process, published Posthumous Poems (1824). The volume contained much of Shelley’s major poetry, including the hitherto unpublished ‘Julian and Maddalo’, together with translations of Goethe and Calderón, and unfinished compositions such as ‘The Triumph of Life’ and ‘Charles the First’.

The Shelley Conference 2024 celebrates the first collected volume of Shelley’s poetry. Posthumous Poems is the product of collaborations. The most significant of these is between Mary Shelley as editor and Shelley as poet, but they also occur between Shelley and the guarantors of the volume, including Bryan Waller Procter (‘Barry Cornwall’) and Thomas Lovell Beddoes. The conference also addresses ideas of posterity and reception more generally in Shelley scholarship, the range of literary forms collected in a single volume, and the complex collaborative literary relationships that shaped Shelley’s life and endured after his death.

The conference will be held at Keats House Museum in Hampstead, London. Proposals should be in the form of 200-word abstracts for 15-minute papers. Please include a 100-word biography with your proposal.

Papers are invited on …read more


Call for Contributors: The BARS Blog

      No Comments on Call for Contributors: The BARS Blog

By Amy Wilcockson

The BARS Blog is the blog of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS), the UK’s leading national organisation for promoting the study of Romanticism. The blog is maintained by the society in order to share news and information about developments in the field.

We would be excited to hear from potential contributors who would like to have their work published on the BARS Blog and shared on our popular social media pages. We would be particularly thrilled to hear from PGR/ECR colleagues!

Our regular blog series include:

– #OnThisDay – focusing on Romantic bicentenaries. The premise of the blog is to give readers a snapshot of 1823 in 2023 (and on into 2024 and beyond!), relevant to that month or even that particular day.

– PGR/ECR Spotlight – Our newest blog series, we would love to hear from postgraduate and early career researchers about your research! Get in touch with us if this is of interest!

– Romantic Reimaginings: This series aims to question and explore Romanticism in the twenty-first century.

– If you have your own idea for a blog post, please get in touch!

If you have an idea for a blog or want …read more


In Other Wor(l)ds: Romanticism at the Crossroads, a special issue of Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780-1840

By Rosie Whitcombe

Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Altre Parole / In Other Words (2015) describes switching from one language to another as crossing from one side of a body of water to its opposite shore. Inspired by this metaphor, this special issue invites essays that examine Romanticism’s movements across oceans and seas, as well as languages, genres, and genders. This special issue seeks to reevaluate popular conceptions of Romantic aesthetics, recover authors who continue or call into question Romanticism’s continued salience, detail the circulation of texts across oceans and borders, and strike connections between authors of different countries and cultures. Joselyn Almeida, Manu Chander, Bakary Diaby, Tim Fulford, Paul Giles, Evan Gottlieb, Samantha Harvey, Nikki Hessell, Kevin Hutchings, Peter Kitson, Deanna Koretsky, Tricia Matthew, Omar Miranda, César Soto, Helen Thomas, The Bigger 6 Collective, and others have reassessed traditional conceptions of Romanticism(s) and Romantic figures by challenging hitherto limited aesthetic, cultural, and geographical borders. Rather than view Romanticism primarily as an insulated phenomenon born out of a few European countries—as has generally been the case—this edition seeks to offer transatlantic, transpacific, and even transnational Romanticisms. Taken as a whole, this special issue will stretch the bounds and time period of Romanticism, better reflecting the …read more


The BARS Blog: 10 Years On!

      No Comments on The BARS Blog: 10 Years On!

By Amy Wilcockson

To celebrate ten years of the BARS Blog in August 2023, we asked the Blog’s founder, Matthew Sangster, for a few words on the origins of the blog! Matthew created the blog in 2013 when he took over as Website Officer.

The BARS Blog was originally set up in 2013 as a way of solving a problem with the old BARS website. With static news pages, it was necessary every so often to go in and either edit or delete older material to avoid content becoming bloated and confusing. This was time-consuming and meant that part of the archive of Romantic Studies was being erased. A blog seemed like a good solution to this problem. The way that blog posts are dated and arranged means that current news is obvious; older content sinks slowly into the depths of the archive, but remains available if anyone wants to look it up.

BARS also seemed well positioned to maintain an active blog. Many blogs start with good intentions, but end with the gaps between posts growing longer and longer before new posting ceases altogether. Having an associational blog with mixed forms of content submitted by different hands would, …read more


Call for Papers. E.P. Thompson: Romantic to Revolutionary, Keats-Shelley Journal Special Issue.

By Rosie Whitcombe

With the centenary of E.P. Thompson’s birth approaching in 2024, Keats-Shelley Journal seeks contributions for articles, notes, and other interventions engaging Thompson’s work and its legacies. Thompson’s writing, particularly his foundational book The Making of the English Working Class, has had a profound influence on the study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century politics and culture. His particular influence on Romantic historicist methodologies has helped transform the field over the last half century, and his biography of writer, designer, and socialist activist William Morris has not only crucially shaped the reception of Morris and his work, but also presciently bridged the sometimes-limiting divide between scholarship of the Romantic and Victorian periods. Contributions could be focused on any aspect of Thompson’s writing or political action itself, but also—inspired by his commitment to making visible the experience of working people—on poets, writers, and activists who sought in various ways to advance social and economic justice for the working classes throughout the nineteenth century. This special issue seeks to honor and extend the journal’s ongoing commitment to a widening community of authors and readers, which has impelled the recent publication of our “50 Voices” flash-essays collection (vol. 69) as well as roundtables “Toward and Undisciplined …read more


Byron and the Mediterranean “Cult of the South”: A Bicentennial Symposium

By Rosie Whitcombe

University of Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway, June 20-22, 2024

Symposium Speakers

  • James Chandler, University of Chicago
  • Jeffrey N. Cox, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Lilla Crisafulli, University of Bologna
  • Greg Kucich, University of Notre Dame
  • Richard Lansdown, University of Tasmania
  • Piya Pal-Lapinski, Bowling Green State University
  • Jerome McGann, University of Virginia
  • Peter Manning, Stony Brook University
  • Anne Mellor, UCLA
  • Omar Miranda, University of San Francisco
  • Nicholas Roe, University of St. Andrews
  • Diego Saglia, University of Parma
  • Maria Schoina, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Andrew Stauffer, University of Virginia
  • Clara Tuite, University of Melbourne
  • Susan Wolfson, Princeton University

This event, co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Colorado Boulder, will take place at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway, a state-of-the-art research/teaching/conference facility located within steps of the Colosseum and offering spectacular views of the Colosseum from its rooftop terrace. Venue website:

Speakers will expand upon Marilyn Butler’s seminal investigation of a romantic “cult of the south” to address Byron’s personal, poetic, and political interactions with a wider range of cultures throughout the Mediterranean Rim: Portugal, Spain, Albania, Greece, the Balkans, and Turkey, as well as Italy. This broader cultural focus opens new critical pathways for exploring a large array of revolutionary aesthetic and political initiatives crucial to the development of European Romanticism …read more


REVIEW: The History of Press Graphics 1819-1921: The Golden Age of Graphic Journalism by Alexander Roob. Reviewed by Katie Snow.

By katiesnow11

Cologne: TASCHEN. 2023. ISBN: 9783836507868. Published May 12 2023. £60.

Review by Katie Snow (

Alexander Roob’s enchanting The History of Press Graphics opens by setting the evolution of illustrated news against key political revolutions, reforms, and crises. The history of graphic journalism, Roob shows, is in many ways the history of democracy, forged through changes in how diverse publics produced, consumed, and responded to information. It is perhaps surprising then, that press graphics do not feature more heavily in modern scholarship. Reductive attempts at thematic categorisation combined with a squeamishness surrounding artistic hierarchies has too often left them, Roob writes, ‘consigned to the bottom drawer with various kinds of ephemera.’ Lavishly illustrated and politically astute, this new work rightly reinstates press graphics to the centre of conversations about artistic movements, media, and industry from the Age of Enlightenment through to the advent of the First World War. Roob is particularly well placed to write this one-hundred-year history; his career has seen him work as a church painter and comic illustrator as well as a teacher of graphics and painting. This combination of creative and scholarly expertise enables an academically rigorous and wonderfully adventurous tour of pictorial journalism as it built upon …read more