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Items tagged with 'English literature'

Review: Kevin Gilmartin, William Hazlitt: Political Essayist (rev.)

Those seeking some light reading on one of the early nineteenth-century’s foremost commentators on British literature and culture, or a gentle introduction to Hazlitt’s radical political writing, will not be reaching for this book. Gilmartin’s … Continue reading

Post: ‘Your sincere admirer’: the Shelleys’ letters as indicators of collaboration in 1821.

Anna has studied at the University of Liverpool (BA) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil). She is now a second year doctoral candidate in English Literature at the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York. Anna’s … Continue reading

Report: A Grammar of Gothic: Report on a Research Project on the Forms of the Gothic Genre

The Northanger Library Project (HUM2006-03404) was a three-year state-sponsored project (2006–09) that sought to study the rise of gothic literature against the background of the ‘long’ eighteenth century in Britain. The central concern of the … Continue reading

Article: Reverse Pygmalionism

This paper resituates Samuel Rogers’s influential work Italy within the wider context of Britain’s post-Waterloo visual–verbal culture. Rogers’s illustrated multi-generic travel book made the Italian peninsula accessible to its upwardly mobile middle-class audience through its miscellaneous nature, its poems, tales, travelogues, treatment of art, antiquarian asides and translation of key Italian authors. It was one of the nineteenth century’s best-selling texts, but it did not start out that way. Indeed, it would take Rogers over a decade in order to produce a profitable object. This article examines this process and the ways in which Rogers responded to key developments in the commercial print market, especially the growing popularity for keepsakes and annuals, in order to register the publishing market’s dependency on word-image constellations, Britain’s changing relationship with Italy, and, ultimately, the growing purchasing power of a middle-class, female audience. Continue reading

Article: The Protean Poet

Since his rise to fame in the early nineteenth century, Byron and his work have been significant subjects for visual art, from book illustration to oil painting. This essay explores Byronic art across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, taking as a case study the treatment of his late narrative poem, Don Juan. Byron’s wide-ranging appeal was a result of both the popularity of his poetry and the public fascination with his life, but it was also determined by the multiple, fluid qualities of his work which facilitated a huge variety of readings across the centuries. Here, the visual implications of these ways of reading are considered, and the essay argues that pictorial Byronism played an important role in presenting evolving perceptions of the broader Romantic movement. Continue reading

Article: Walter Scott and James Skene

This essay contends that Skene, Scott’s amateur-artist friend, was often used as a visual research assistant for many scenes contained within the Waverley novels. Skene became an advisor to some of the earliest illustrations of Scott’s novels that were produced beyond Scotland. In the introduction to the fourth canto of Marmion, dedicated to Skene, Scott writes: ‘The shepherd, who in summer sun, | Had something of our envy won, | As thou with pencil, I with pen, | The features traced of hill and glen’. This glimpse of Skene sketching next to Scott reveals a significant aspect to their friendship: Skene’s sketches were used as aides-memoire, visual references or even inspirations to Scott’s literary imagination for many descriptive topographical or architectural passages within his novels. Through close readings of the novels, Scott’s correspondence and Skene’s own memoir, Hill establishes that Skene contributed signgiicant visual stimuli for a number of Scott’s works. Continue reading

Article: When King Arthur Met the Venus

The first edition of Bannerman’s Tales of Superstition and Chivalry (1802) contained an erotic engraving of a naked Venus figure, which was declared ‘offensive to decency’ by Scottish audiences in the poet’s native Edinburgh. Garner’s account investigates the controversy surrounding the engraving and the puzzling disparity between it and the ballad it illustrated: the Arthurian-themed ‘Prophecy of Merlin’. Using evidence from Bannerman’s correspondence with noted Scottish male publishers and antiquarians, this essay argues that decision to include the dangerous engraving was symptomatic of current anxieties surrounding a female-authored text which threatened to encroach on antiquarian and Arthurian enquiry. Continue reading

Post: Frankenstein and Fantasmagoriana, Story 2: Les Portraits de famille

As noted in my previous blogs on Frankenstein and Fantasmagoriana, the first story read by the Byron-Shelley circle on that stormy night in June 1816, ‘L’Amour muet’, was not as influential and well-known as the … Continue reading

Post: Frankenstein and Fantasmagoriana, Story 1: L’Amour muet

by Maximiliaan van Woudenberg Happy New Year Everyone!  My introductory blog ‘last year’ – actually only a few weeks ago – provided a brief overview of Fantasmagoriana (1812) the text that inspired the famous ghost-storytelling contest at … Continue reading

Post: Frankenstein and Fantasmagoriana: An Introductory Blog

by Maximiliaan van Woudenberg Greetings Fellow Romanticists and Print Culturists, I am excited about my first blog-posting for Romantic Textualities. Thanks to the editors for the opportunity and their assistance. Like many of us, ever … Continue reading

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