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Maureen McCue

Maureen McCue (PhD Glasgow) is a lecturer in 19th-century literature at Bangor University. Her first monograph, British Romanticism and the Reception of Italian Old Master Art, 1793–1840, will be published later this year with Ashgate.

Her next project, Romantic Republics: Medieval Tuscany in the Romantic Imagination, 1785–1845, will examine the ways in which the cultural geography of Tuscany offered British Romantic writers a space in which to pursue the possibilities of liberal politics and the imagination.

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

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