Last week, Jeremy Corbyn tweeted an advert for Poetry for the Many, his anthology of poetry co-edited with Len McCluskey, with a quotation from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy. This post explores the confused response to Corbyn’s use of Shelley and ill-made comparisons to Vogon poetry by various parts of the UK media. Continue reading
Andrew is Reader in Romanticisms at Edge Hill University, and Co-Director of EHU Nineteen, Edge Hill’s Research Centre in 19th-Century Studies. From 2020 to 2022, he was an AHRC Early Career Researcher Leadership Fellow on The Romantic Ridiculous project, which aimed to take Romantic Studies from the sublime to the ridiculous by looking at the funny side, both ha-ha and strange, of Romantic writers then and their legacies today. He has published widely on Romantic period women’s writing, gothic fiction and children’s literature, and his first monograph was Wollstonecraft’s Ghost: The Fate of the Female Philosopher in the Romantic Period (Routledge, 2016).
This article shifts attention away from the perfections of England to explore the place of Ireland in Jane Austen’s Emma. Intrigued by Jane Fairfax’s refusal to travel with the Dixons in Ireland, Emma conjectures spitefully about an unrequited—or possibly consummated—affair between Jane and Mr Dixon. Obfuscating his actual affair with Jane, Frank Churchill uses Emma’s Irish conjectures to flirt with both women. Ireland becomes a repository of gothic potential over the course of Austen’s novel: a space upon which characters can map their unspoken and unspeakable desires. Austen accesses the Irish gothic to ask questions about national identity, legitimacy and power. Continue reading