BARS/NASSR 2022 Registration Now Open

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By Anna Mercer

2-5 AUGUST 2022

Registration is available here.

Please remember that to attend the conference, you should be a member in good standing of either or both BARS and NASSR. You can join here.

And we have developed a joint membership option, including a subscription to European Romantic Review, available here (scroll down for the ‘bundled’ option).

In addition to separate sections for registration, accommodation, and the conference dinner, we have offered a ‘Full Monty’ option including all of the above. This is because the booking system is unaccountably set up to make you otherwise register and pay separately per option. If you are booking, for example, the conference dinner for more than one person, you will also have to fill in separate questionnaires for all attendees. Accommodation is ensuite and includes breakfast Tuesday-Friday (if you stay for the Friday night, unfortunately there is no catering available on Saturday morning). More information on how to access your campus accommodation will be available nearer the start of the conference. Please note we cannot process registrations over the phone. We recommend using Google Chrome to access the registration site. …read more


An Illustrated Antislavery Song: Music with a Mission?

By katiesnow11

by Rachel Cross

Rachel Cross is a PhD candidate at Cardiff University whose area of research is Victorian illustrated songs. Her work investigates how the intersections between the three media of illustration, text and music reveal new insight into key issues of the Victorian period. She started her journey to this fascinating topic through music; initially studying piano, strings, and the theory of music, she gained diplomas in piano teaching and in the theory and criticism of music. Going on to study English at undergraduate and master’s levels, she focused particularly on the interrelations between text and illustration. She teaches about the relationships between text and illustration to undergraduates and has spoken about Victorian illustrated songs at several symposiums and conferences.

Illustrated songs were pervasive in the print culture of the nineteenth century: it is estimated that between 80,000 and 100,000 pictorial music titles were published in England between 1820 and 1885 alone. (1) They were popular in both America and Britain and were to become even more widespread with the rise of vaudeville (in the States) and music hall (in Britain) towards the end of the century. American and British songs traversed the Atlantic, bought largely by bourgeois families for …read more


John Clare: Melodys of Earth and Sky

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

A CD album of new music and poetry readings is released on 25 March by NMC recordings.

BAFTA Award-winning actor Toby Jones reanimates the nineteenth-century poet John Clare through his poems and prose, and these readings are interweaved by nine creative transcriptions from Clare’s book of traditional fiddle tunes – conceived for clarinet and violin by composer Julian Philips.

This is the final element of an Arts Council England-funded project initially intended for a bicentenary celebration of Clare’s Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820), led by Simon Kövesi at Oxford Brookes University.

To find out more and buy the CD, click here.

…read more


Keats-Shelley Prize 2022

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

Two Writing Competitions open to all: Poems and Essays.

Total Prizes over £5000.

Winning entries will be published in the Keats-Shelley Review.

Prize Chair is the award-winning poet and biographer Fiona Sampson.

Prize Deadline: 6th May 2022.

· Watch 2022’s Prize trailer.

2022’s Poetry Prize theme is ‘ELEGY‘. This commemorates two bicentenaries: the death of Percy Bysshe Shelley on 8th June 1822 and the composition of Adonais, Shelley’s elegy for John Keats, a year earlier in 1821.

· Visit our Google Earth map: Around the World in 80 Elegies.

For more information on how to enter, click here.


Essays may be on any aspect of the writing and/or lives of the Romantics and their circles. Word count 3000 words.

Prize Judges: Professor Sharon Ruston and Professor Simon Bainbridge.

Entry for essayists is free.


Poets are asked to write on 2022’s Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize Theme of ‘ELEGY’.

Poets can interpret ‘Elegy’ freely. Poems can be serious or comic, avant garde or traditional. They can be formal elegies or elegiac, but the Judges advise that works drifting too far from the theme will not be considered.

Prize Judges: Professor Deryn Rees-Jones and Will Kemp.

Entry to the Poetry …read more


Davy Notebooks Project Transcribe-a-thon

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

Saturday 14 May 2022, 11am-3.30pm
Room B29, Foster Court building, UCL main campus, WC1E 6BT

They have 10 x ECR travel bursaries of £50 each available

Over the course of the event, there will be talks from Professors Sharon Ruston and Frank James about running a crowdsourced transcription project and the benefits of digitising Romantic-era manuscripts. There will also be short training sessions/talks on how to transcribe Davy’s hand and the material challenges of working with Davy’s notebooks. During two hands-on sessions, participants will gain experience of transcribing early nineteenth-century handwriting and contribute transcriptions of a previously untranscribed Davy notebook, containing some of Davy’s electrochemistry lecture notes from 1808. This is an excellent opportunity to acquire or develop skills to read and transcribe early nineteenth-century manuscripts, and to learn more about a crowdsourced transcription project. Lunch will be provided.

No prior experience or preparation is necessary, and questions/discussion will, of course, be very warmly welcomed. There are plenty of computer terminals in the room, so there’s no need to bring a laptop. We hope to see you there!

If you’d like to attend, please register using this Eventbrite link.

Please circulate details of this transcribe-a-thon widely.

To apply for an ECR travel …read more


Mary Wollstonecraft and Dissent

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

April 30, 2022 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM at Newington Green Meeting House

This is a hybrid event: tickets are available to attend in person or to access the talks streamed live online. Details here.

Join us for a celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the great feminist thinker, exploring the origins of her revolutionary ideas and their continuing relevance.

We will also be celebrating the re-opening of the Newington Green Meeting House, the oldest Non-Conformist place of worship in London. Following extensive renovation sponsored by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, this beautiful historic building was relaunched in 2020 as a heritage space dedicated to the legacy of the Dissenters at the birthplace of feminism. Mary Wollstonecraft established a school for girls at Newington Green in 1784, and gained inspiration and support from activists and intellectuals settled in the neighbourhood, including such Dissenting luminaries as Richard Price and Anna Letitia Barbauld.

Talks will explore dissent, both in relation to the community of religious Dissenters in Wollstonecraft’s time and as a key aspect of feminism and progressive politics today.

Speakers: Sandrine Berges, Emma Clery, Alan Coffee, Hannah Dawson, Mary Fairclough, Eileen M. Hunt, Laura Kirkley, Susan …read more


Stephen Copley Research Report: Beth Brigham on Sir Anthony Carlisle in the Southey-Bedford & Abinger Collections

By Jack Orchard

Here we have the latest report from Beth Brigham, the most recent winner of the Stephen Copley research awards, for more information about how to apply, please see here.

In January, I was able to undertake a five-day research trip to the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries after receiving a Stephen Copley Research Award – I must therefore thank BARS for their generous support and the Bodleian for granting access to their archives.

The aim of this research trip was to examine unpublished correspondence relating to the surgeon Sir Anthony Carlisle (1764-1840), a figure that has generally received little notice from literary scholars. However, Don Shelton’s claim that Carlisle wrote the Minerva Press fiction attributed to ‘Mrs Carver’ has gifted the medical practitioner with a literary legacy that most noticeably ties him to The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey (1797), a gothic novel filled with anatomical references. Carlisle has additionally been labelled ‘a real Frankenstein’ by popular media outlets after Shelton highlighted the surgeon’s scientific interests and presence in William Godwin’s home in the early years of Mary Shelley’s life. As my thesis explores the intersections between literature and the history of medical science, focusing on medical appropriations of the gothic, this …read more


London-Paris Romanticism Seminar: Jon Mee, online seminar, Friday 29 April 2022


The next meeting of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar will take place via Zoom on Friday 29 April 2022 at 17.30-19.30 London time (GMT+1). As our guest speaker, we are delighted to welcome Professor Jon Mee of the University of York, who will present a paper entitled The Transpennine Enlightenment: Literature, Bodies, and Machines in an Industrial Revolution, 1781-1832. This will be followed by a discussion in which questions from the audience are invited. The seminar will be chaired by David Duff.

The seminar is free and open to everyone. Prior registration is necessary. To book a place via the Institute of English Studies website, click here. When you register, you will be provided with a Zoom link and details of how to join the online forum. Whether you wish to contribute or simply to listen in, we invite you to join us.

Jon Mee is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York. He has held visiting fellowships in Australia, India, and the United States. His books include Dangerous Enthusiasm: William Blake and the Culture of Radicalism in the 1790s (1992); Romanticism, Enthusiasm, and Regulation: Poetics and the Policing of Culture in the Romantic …read more


“With feelings which I cannot describe”: How Illustrators of Fin-de-Siècle Romance Fiction Depicted Wonders Surpassing Human Description

By katiesnow11

by Kate Holterhoff

Kate Holterhoff received her doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University and is currently an Affiliated Researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her new monograph, Illustration in Fin-de-Siècle Transatlantic Romance Fiction (Routledge, 2022) is available now.

This post contains excerpts from the Introduction of Kate’s monograph.

Figure 1. (Left) E. K. Johnson, “I took this cold fragment of mortality in my hand, and looked at it in the light of the lamp with feelings which I cannot describe” from She, A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard in The Graphic, 34, no. 883 (30 October 1886): 469.
(Right) Charles Kerr, “Holly and Billali” from She, A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912): 110.

Although horrors and wonders exceeding the bounds of human perception and understanding were conventional in late-Victorian and Edwardian romance fictions, the illustrations which appeared beside these marvels suggested that, when it comes to visual paratexts, quite the opposite was thought to be the case. When fin-de-siècleillustrators undertook the task of illuminating moments that novelists left opaque, artworks challenged these wonders’ supposed inexpressibility. Illustrations from many of the most popular and wild-minded fictions published between …read more


Archive Spotlight: Visiting Dove Cottage, Town-End, Grasmere, in December 2021

By Jack Orchard

The COVID-19 pandemic lead to the temporary closure or restricted access to many of the archives and heritage sites we in the Romanticism community usually frequent for research or entertainment. In early 2022 things are gradually starting to open up again, but still many are understandably hesitant. With this in mind we at BARS have decided to expand the remit of our Archive Spotlight series to include more experiental reviews of heritage institutions, in addition to reports of archival research projects. If you would like to submit a piece for the Archive Spotlight series, or any of the other BARS Blog series’ please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, Jack Orchard, here

We are starting this series with a piece by Dr Lyn Dawes, on a visit to Dove Cottage in late 2019. Dr Lyn Dawes lives in Cockermouth and is an educational consultant in the field of children’s oracy. She writes books and articles for teachers with Oracy Cambridge and is currently interested in Writers’ House Museum reviews and poetry which responds to the environment, collected on her Blog.

Visiting Dove Cottage, Town-End, Grasmere, in December 2021

William Wordsworth 7th April 1770 – 23rd April 1850

When William, …read more