Digital Forum: Readers and Users

In the Digital Forum of JVC 15.1, James Mussell asks what happens to readers in digital environments? Do we read differently on screen from how we read a printed text and, if so, how does this effect the way we respond to and make use of material in digital archives? Shafquat Towheed considers the consequences of reading nineteenth-century texts, not in their original form, but in twenty-first century digital space. Dana Wheeles reports how NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)

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Book Reviews (15.1)

Jacky Bratton on Jennifer Hall-Wit’s Fashionable Acts: Opera and Elite Culture in London, 1780-1880 (Durham, New Hampshire: University of New Hampshire Press, 2007). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=164. Charlotte Mitchell on Gavin Budge’s Charlotte M. Yonge: Religion, Feminism and Realism in the Victorian Novel (Oxford, Bern & Peter Lang, 2007). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=158. Donna Loftus on James Taylor’s Creating Capitalism. Joint-Stock Enterprise in British Politics and Culture 1800-1870 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Royal Historical Society

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Trev Lynn Broughton, ‘The Bengal Obituary: Reading and Writing Calcutta Graves in the Mid Nineteenth Century’

The Bengal Obituary published epitaphs and obituaries to European ‘departed worth’. In JVC 15.1, Trev Broughton explores what this volume reveals about mourning, sentiment, and the relationship between India and Britain, colony and metropole. Grave at South Park Cemetery, Calcutta http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4049/4318023315_c498a3cc9e.jpg Browse the 1852 edition of The Bengal Obituary by clicking here To read the full article, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=39.

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Wendy Parkins, ‘Feeling at Home: Gender and Creative Agency at Red House’

In JVC 15.1, Wendy Parkins explores the relationships between men and women, friends and lovers at Red house, home of Jane and William Morris. She considers how the inhabitants expressed hospitality and affection through their use of space and objects. In their furnishings and ornamentation, Jane Morris and Georgiana Burne-Jones  articulated their capacity for agency not merely as aesthetic objects but as creative subjects. Click here for further images of Red House Click here to visit Red House Click here

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Elaine Freedgood, ‘What Objects Know: Circulation, Omniscience and the Comedy of Dispossession in Victorian It-Narratives’

In JVC 15.1, Elaine Freedgood examines Victorian it-narratives – stories related by talking umbrellas, feathers, and dolls. What lessons did these speaking objects impart to readers, and what do these stories tell us about how Victorians imagined what it meant to be a narrator, a person, a possession and a subject? To read the full article, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=1&spage=83. Click here to enjoy it as a narrative  – Richard H. Horne’s Memoirs of a London Doll (1855)

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Perspective by Stephen Banfield, ‘What do you think of Stainer’s Crucifixion? Current Victorian musicology’

In his compelling survey of current work on musicology in JVC 15.1, Stephen Banfield considers how far scholars have challenged the popular disdain in which Victorian music held. Contempt for the period’s music, he suggests, is exemplified by the old joke about John Stainer’s cantata, The Crucifixion, first performed in 1887: ‘What do you think of Stainer’s Crucifixion?’ –  ‘I think it would be a very good thing.’ If it disagrees with us, he argues, it is because we perceive

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Supriya Chaudhuri, ‘Phantasmagorias of the Interior: Furniture, Modernity, and Early Bengali Fiction’

The Bengali novel, Supriya Chaudhuri finds in JVC 15.1, housed suspicion and distrust of European furnishings and the bourgeois individual that collected them. In the fiction of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), this distrust manifests itself in a rejection of the bourgeois interior and a questioning of the very tools of realist representation. Yet Chaudhuri finds similarities as well as differences between the early Bengali novel and the classic realist experiment, for both shared a horror of fussy, over-stuffed apartments and the

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‘Reappraising Victorian Literacy through Prison Records’

In JVC 15.1, Rosalind Crone examines a host of evidence from Victorian prison records about prisoners’ schooling and their ability to read and write. What does this data tell us about the reading public in the nineteenth century and about the spread of literacy, especially among the labouring classes? Girls’ School at Tothill Fields Prison, from Henry Mayhew and John Binny, The Criminal Prisons of London and Scenes of Prison Life (London: Griffin, Bohn & Co., 1862), facing p. 356.

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‘Nobody’s Fault’: Little Dorrit, Andrew Davies and the Art of Adaptation

Author: Valerie Purton Little Dorrit, adapted by Andrew Davies, directed by Dearbhla Walsh, Adam Smith and Diarmuid Lawrence, produced by Lisa Osborne, starring Tom Courtenay, Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen, broadcast in 14 half-hour episodes on BBC1 from October to December 2008. ‘In the Preface to Bleak House I remarked that I had never had so many readers. In the Preface to its next successor, Little Dorrit, I have still to repeat the same words’ wrote Dickens in 1857.1 Andrew

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