JVC

Hair: Discovering the Delights of the Archive

Daisy Hay is a Lecturer in English Literature and Archival Studies at the University of Exeter, and the author of Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives. She is a practicing biographer with particular interests in the intersection of private and public life in nineteenth-century Britain, and in current developments in life-writing and biographical form.  Her new book, Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance, will be published by Chatto & Windus and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in January

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Suburban Identity in Paul Maitland’s Paintings of Cheyne Walk

by Simon Knowles This post accompanies Simon Knowles 2014 Journal of Victorian Culture article ‘Suburban Identity in Paul Maitland’s Paintings of Cheyne Walk’. You can download a copy of this article here. The rapid growth of London’s suburbs during the latter half of the nineteenth century was viewed by the Victorians as an extremely mixed blessing. As a signifier of the entrepreneurial spirit of the middle class, coupled to the high moral value placed upon domestic privacy and family life,

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A Digital Reader: 19th Century Disability—Cultures & Contexts

By Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi (University of Toronto) Based on an idea jestingly put forth in The Spectator, Ugly Face Clubs were gentleman’s clubs whose members prided themselves on their facial eccentricities and pledged their theoretical allegiance to physiognomy.[1] Spanning throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these clubs provide us with a compelling case study of deformity as a paradoxical practice of social exclusion and aesthetic inclusion. Ugly Clubs also offer us a window into the relationship between culture and disability.  While

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Reading Serially: The Digital Resurrection of a Victorian Experience?

By Eleanor Reeds Eleanor Reeds is a PhD student and instructor in the Department of English at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on issues of genre and form in the transatlantic nineteenth century, and she blogs from The Ivory Tower. Exactly 150 years after Charles Dickens first published Our Mutual Friend, readers around the world are taking part in an online reading project led by Birkbeck, University of London that attempts to recreate the original experience of encountering

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The Chartist Rising Retold.

David R. Howell (University of South Wales and Cyfarwydd) Politics is boring, we are often told. Every party, apart from the colour of their rosettes, seems to offer pretty much the same thing when it comes to policy and personality. So disconnected are voters with the modern breed of candidates, that in recent decades, some 30 percent of the electorate have seemingly disenfranchised themselves by just not bothering to vote at all, and that’s on a good day. Yet, 175

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Really Sick in Bleak House

By Susan E. Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) Susan Cook is Assistant Professor of English at Southern New Hampshire University, where she teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature. She writes about Victorian literature and visual culture. Follow Susan @Susan_E_Cook. I should begin this post with a confession: I am a hypochondriac.  When faced with even the most innocuous medical anomaly, my mind goes to the worst-case scenario.  Discovering Internet medical advice sites is perhaps one of the worst

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Escaping ‘Horrible Sanity’: Teaching Victorian Literature and Psychology

By Serena Trowbridge, Birmingham City University One of my favourite modules to teach is Literature and Psychology, a third-year module which focuses on Victorian literature and reads it in the light of contemporary psychological thought. It is popular with students, though many find it much further removed from their A-level Psychology than they anticipated! The students examine ideas about character formation in nineteenth-century poetry and prose, and place them in the context of philosophical and scientific descriptions of mental development during

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The deleterious dominance of The Times in nineteenth-century scholarship

By Andrew Hobbs (University of Central Lancashire) This post accompanies Andrew Hobb’s Journal of Victorian Culture article published (2013). It can be read in full here.    There were more local newspapers than London papers throughout the nineteenth century (Fig. 1), and their total circulation overtook the total circulation of the London press from the early 1860s to the 1930s. I didn’t realise this when I started my PhD, which aimed to establish a link between the local press and readers’ sense

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Fan Discourse and Teaching Charles Dickens

By Lindsay Lawrence In Fall 2012, I proposed and taught a 4000-level major authors class on Charles Dickens at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Using the wealth of online materials that have become available in the last five years, particularly the Dickens Journals Online in this class, we explored Dickens’s legacy as a serial novelist, journalist, and literary magazine editor. The class also focused on Dickens’s cultural impact and his shrewd reading of the publication industry, including serialization. Inherently, this

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The Archive and Ornament

Simon Reader (University if Toronto) This post accompanies Simon Reader’s Journal of Victorian Culture article published (2013). It can be read in full here. “But I fall into the lace of the text, the vellum; caught there, I contemplate my masters.” Lisa Robertson, Nillings Manuscript collections may be usefully regarded as ornaments adorning the literary canon. They strike me as a kind of lace bordering otherwise functional clothing. For one thing, getting to the artifacts can be costly. Sitting with Oscar Wilde’s notebooks

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