Offering a wide-ranging and highly nuanced perspective on the works of Robert Burns, Nigel Leask’s Robert Burns and Pastoral has deservedly endured as a key work within Burns Studies since its original publication in 2010. … Continue reading →
The personal writings of popular nineteenth-century poet Felicia Hemans indicate her desire to alleviate social constraints on women to improve their education, yet her poetry’s female figures often seem overly attached to domesticity or lacking in emotional fortitude. This paper addresses ways in which a study of early modern female writers of history can inform Hemans scholarship, particularly by drawing on Megan Matchinske’s work on the ‘dying-tale’ in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam (1613). Similarly, Hemans promotes the necessity of women acting to ensure successful political and personal endurance in ‘The Switzer’s Tale’. Furthermore, in the pedagogy of Records of Woman (1828), Hemans responds to the problem of visual dominance in art by adopting a multi-sensory approach to communication that relies especially on the auditory. This strategy takes part in a broader epistemic approach to history that criticises the reliability of memory and the transience of human bodies. Ultimately, Hemans suggests that transcendence occurs through the exercise of the human will, the ultimate representation of which is martyrdom. Continue reading →
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 →
The final chapter of Humphrey Repton’s collected works on landscape gardening and architecture, published after his death in 1840, concludes with an encomium to Repton’s work from an unnamed source. ‘[What can bestow pure tranquillity?] … Continue reading →
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