The Case of the Extraordinary Sidekick

“I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies” [1] Sherlock Holmes to Dr John Watson, ‘The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle’ Policing remains, today, a highly contested activity of the state.[2] It has professionalised—and bureaucratised—a great deal since its nineteenth-century inception, but it remains plagued by a fundamental anxiety that the police, not Lady Justice, are blind. This post explores the underlying mistrust of the professional police that flows from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories through to the

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Humans vs. Animals: Reimagining the Role of Martians in H.G. Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’

If you have ever read or heard of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds (1898), then you will be familiar with its role in the literary world of science fiction fantasy and reality. With the recent launch of a new BBC three-part adaptation of Wells’ classic tale, there is no better time to discuss the novel in a new light, reimagine the role of Martians and provide new critical insight into the relationship between the human and the

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Cotton Famine Poetry as Affective Commentary in Lancashire and Beyond

Apart from short journalistic pieces and the material produced for the database [1] associated with the AHRC-funded project, ‘The Poetry of the Lancashire Cotton Famine 1861-65’, my article which appears in Journal of Victorian Culture 25.1 is the first of probably several publications on the literary-historical-cultural subject to which I have devoted the last few years of my research. The article’s title, “This ’Merikay War’: Poetic Responses in Lancashire to the American Civil War’, with its reference to provincial Lancashire

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Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 1 of 4)

In behaving publicly much like members of the mid-nineteenth-century middle class, Victoria and Albert achieved great influence – both by making their subjects aspire to be like them, and by displaying their contemporaneity with those they ruled. This examination of aspects of the royal family’s domestic life, and of the image they presented to the nation, makes reference to selected diary entries and correspondence of Queen Victoria, and to imagery illustrating how Victoria and Albert might appear to their contemporaries almost as being ‘just like us’.

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Shannon Draucker, ‘The Queen Goes to the Opera’

Shannon Draucker is a PhD Candidate in English at Boston University.  Her dissertation project, Sounding Bodies: Music and Physiology in Victorian Narrative, explores literary responses to emerging scientific understandings of the physics and physiology of sound during the Victorian period.  Her project shows how new discoveries of the embodied nature of music and sound inform scenes in which authors grant their characters desires, pleasures, identities, and relationships otherwise unavailable to them.  At Boston University, she teaches English and Writing courses

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Helen Kingstone, ‘Noiseless revolutions? The Victorian roots of Theresa May’s rhetoric’

Helen Kingstone is co-Deputy Director of the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, and Postdoctoral Research Associate at Leeds Trinity University. Her book Victorian Narratives of the Recent Past: memory, history, fiction is forthcoming with Palgrave If you were tuning in to the UK news in early October, you would probably have heard snippets from Theresa May’s first Conservative Party conference speech as leader and Prime Minister. What might – or might not – have surprised you was how steeped it was

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Katherine Byrne, Review of ‘Doctor Thorne’ (dir. Niall MacCormick, writer Julian Fellowes, ITV, 2016)

Katherine is a Lecturer in English at the University of Ulster, where she teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and women’s writing. She is the author of Tuberculosis and the Victorian Literary Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Edwardians on Screen: From Downton Abbey to Parade’s End (Palgrave, 2015).   As it has been some weeks since Julian Fellowes ended his domination of our Sunday night viewing schedules with the Christmas ending of Downton Abbey, it was inevitable that he would

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Rachel Carroll, “Sugar’s The Past”: Black British History in ITV’s Jericho (2016)

Rachel Carroll is Reader in English at Teesside University.  She is the author of Rereading Heterosexuality: Feminism, Queer Theory and Contemporary Fiction (2012) and editor of Adaptation in Contemporary Culture: Textual Infidelities (2009) and (with Adam Hansen) Litpop: Writing and Popular Music (2014).  Her essays on black Britain and literary adaptation have been published in Andrea Levy: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (2014) and Adaptation (2015).   In the early months of 2016 American audiences from Washington to New York were able

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Asa Briggs (1921-2016)

Asa Briggs was an extraordinary force of nature. The range and the significance of his contributions to twentieth-century British history and to British historiography defy summary. He played a part in Bletchley Park code-breaking unit during the Second World War, before an academic career which saw him serve as Professor of History at Leeds, Vice-Chancellor of the new University of Sussex, and Provost of Worcester College Oxford, as well as Chancellor of the Open University. Along the way he was a member of the University Grants Committee,

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Emily Bowles, “What’s to-day, my fine fellow?”: Classifying and Dating Tony Jordan’s ‘Dickensian’

Emily Bowles is a PhD candidate at the University of York. Her research focuses on Charles Dickens’s self-representation 1857-1870, and representations by Dickens’s friends and family 1870-1939. She is also a postgraduate representative for the Northern Nineteenth Century Network and assistant administrator for the Women’s Life Writing Network. You can find her on Twitter @EmilyBowles   I had been keeping an eye out for Dickensian since October 2014, when rumours of it echoed around the Dickens Day Conference in Senate

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