Lady Clementina Hawarden: photographic pioneer

Next to a window with shafts of light providing shadowy illumination into a sparsely furnished room stands an adolescent girl. There is a look of casual awkwardness about her, yet she has an enigmatic stare towards the camera, showing a degree of trust shared between herself, the model and the photographer.  Beyond the window is a blurred view of the city, lost in the power of the intimacy of the dramatic pose struck by this girl, the subject of the

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Costumes in the Limelight

Costumes are powerful objects, which carry multiple meanings and memories in their fibres. Through three connected blog posts, I will highlight the importance of costume for performance: revealing the insights costumes offer into the lives of the people who designed, made, wore and saw them. Commencing with Ellen Terry’s ‘Beetlewing Dress’, moving on to Edwin Moxon’s embroidered ‘shorts’, and concluding with Kitty Lord’s carefully padded ‘Symmetricals’, I will showcase the information which these unique garments offer about the performer, performance,

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‘“Who am I, then?” Tell me that first, and then, if I like being that person, I’ll come up: if not, I’ll stay down here till I’m somebody else’: Femininity and Madness in ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (1865)

Unlike many other examples of “Golden Age” nineteenth-century children’s literature that promoted morality through allegorical form, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) was without a clear instructional purpose. In this post, I consider two images by Sir John Tenniel (1865) and Salvador Dalí (1969) in order to reinterpret Wonderland’s possibilities through femininity and madness. In the Victorian period, ‘madness’ was a gendered construct associated with ideas of the feminine, such as hysteria.[1] Although Alice is represented as a child

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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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Ann Gagné, ‘Turner Returns to the Art Gallery of Ontario’

Ann Gagné is a College Instructor at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. Her current research explores how touch and ethics relate to education as well as the spatial framing of learning in the nineteenth century which is an extension of themes found in her doctoral dissertation. She is very active on Twitter @AnnGagne and also writes a blog that relates to teaching and pedagogical strategies at www.allthingspedagogical.blogspot.ca Toronto’s love affair with J.M.W Turner began in 2004 when the Art Gallery

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Petra Clark, Illustration as Play: Charles Ricketts and the “Woman’s World”

Petra Clark is a PhD candidate at the University of Delaware whose research interests lie in late-Victorian print culture, particularly women’s periodicals, Aestheticism, illustration, and art criticism. The working title of her dissertation is Reading Aestheticism: Visual Literacy in Late-Victorian Women’s and Girls’ Periodicals. This post accompanies her article, “‘Cleverly Drawn’: Oscar Wilde, Charles Ricketts, and the Art of the Woman’s World,” which appears in the September 2015 print issue of the Journal of Victorian Culture and can be downloaded

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Ann Gagné, Making Sense of Senses in Victorian Studies: The MVSA 2015 Conference

Ann Gagné is College Instructor at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. Her current research explores how touch and ethics relate to education as well as the spatial framing of learning in the nineteenth century which is an extension of themes found in her doctoral dissertation. She is very active on Twitter @AnnGagne and also writes a blog that relates to teaching and pedagogical strategies at www.allthingspedagogical.blogspot.ca   Sensory studies has really expanded in the past few years which is great

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Ann Gagné, “Race, Place, and Perspective in the Victorian Period”: VSAO Conference

Ann Gagné is College Instructor at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada. Her current research explores how touch and ethics relate to education as well as the spatial framing of learning in the nineteenth century which is an extension of themes found in her doctoral dissertation. She is very active on Twitter @AnnGagne and also writes a blog that relates to teaching and pedagogical strategies at www.allthingspedagogical.blogspot.ca The end of the term at Ontario colleges and universities usually means instructors spending quality time with essays

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Maho Sakoda, The Exhibition Report: ‘Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends’

Maho Sakoda is a fourth year PhD student at the University of Sussex in Brighton. Her thesis explores the relationship between literature and art in the nineteenth century. It especially focuses on works of George Eliot in relation to her contemporaries in the world of art such as by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Simeon Solomon and Julia Margaret Cameron. It aims to reveal the ways in which the different genres of art collaborated and addressed similar topics relating to

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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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