Muddy, Foggy Papers: SCOTUS and/as Chancery?

Ryan D. Fong University of California, Davis Despite her untimely passing in 2007, Anna Nicole Smith is still making headlines. But then again, so is Charles Dickens. In a decision against her estate’s case against the family of her late husband, the Supreme Court ruled against her claim and announced its decision yesterday. When Chief Justice John Roberts read his majority decision aloud, he alluded to the past, but reached back much further than four years. In fact, it was

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‘The line, the mark, the blot and the scribble’: exploring Pre-Raphaelite drawing

The Poetry of Drawing: Pre-Raphaelite Designs, Studies & Watercolours, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 29 January–15 May 2011; The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 June–4 September 2011. http://www.bmag.org.uk/events?id=1038 Pre-Raphaelite Drawing [Catalogue], by Colin Cruise, London: Thames & Hudson, 2011, 248 pp., illustrated, £29.95 (hardback), ISBN 9780500238813, £19.95 (paperback), ISBN 9780709302643 The Poetry of Drawing: Pre-Raphaelite Designs, Studies & Watercolours, on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG), provides the most comprehensive survey of Pre-Raphaelite works on

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Victorian madness and financial crises: some modern parallels

Financial crises, stock market crashes, and bankers’ nervous breakdowns are not new to this latest recession, nor were they new in the Great Depression of the 1920s. Stockbrokers’ suicides and money madness were even more familiar to the pages of Victorian newspapers than ours today. The public’s fascination with these kinds of crises both fed and was fed by an enormous volume of publication on the subject, spilling out of financial papers and journals, into mainstream newspapers, popular periodicals and

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Victorians and ‘the Big Society’: Some reimaginings and reflections

by Lucinda Matthews-Jones The Victorians are everywhere. They are on our TV screens, bookshelves and DVD cabinets. Our appetite for Victorian culture is even fuelled, now, by newly-written ‘neo-Victorian’ novels and their TV adaptations, including Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith, Affinity and Tipping the Velvet and Michael Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White. More recently, though I hardly dare mention it, the Victorians have even been re-imagined in the corridors of Westminster. Type David Cameron into Google and one of the

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The Framework Knitters’ Museum: See how the Victorian lived and worked

          Image One and Image Two showing the road sign directing visitors to the Framework Knitters’ Museum in Ruddington. I have recently moved from Manchester to a small Nottinghamshire village called Ruddington. Here is a corner of Englishness that still sees the shops close on Wednesday afternoon and where couples descend to the picturesque Anglican church to get married in summer. The nearby Great Central Heritage Railway provides the occasional ‘choo-chooing’ of visiting steam trains. The opening of

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Philanthropic Princes – Charles, Prince of Wales, Edward VII and Victorian Cultures of Charity

Last month Prince Charles officially became the longest serving heir to the British throne in history, outstripping the record held by his great-grandfather Edward VII, who spent fifty nine years in the wings waiting to take over from his mother Queen Victoria. Many of the British newspapers which carried the story indulged in comparisons of these two most senior Princes of Wales; some focusing on the relationships the two men had with their reigning mothers and their long preparations for

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The Crimson Petal and the White and seeing Victorian London

London 1874, keep your wits about you, this city is vast and intricate, and you do not know your way around. You imagined from other stories you read that you know it well, but those stories flattered you: you are an alien from another time and place altogether. You don’t even know what hour it is, nor do most where you’re going. Sugar, Episode One.                                                                                                        Victorian London has returned to British screens with the dramatization of Michel Faber’s 2002 novel

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A Tale of Two Book Club Selections: Oprah Reads Dickens

by Ryan D. Fong University of California, Davis For many years now, at the beginning of the Dickens Universe conference held each year at UC Santa Cruz, eminent Victorian scholar and Universe director John O. Jordan affectionately introduces the weeklong proceedings by asserting that “Charles Dickens is the train station through which all things in the nineteenth century pass.” Indeed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to think of any Victorian topic not represented or considered in Dickens’ novels and

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Are Victorian Adaptations Passé?

As Colin Firth basks in The King’s Speech’s afterglow, Emma Thompson pens a screenplay for My Fair Lady, and Baz Lurhmann directs The Great Gatsby, it seems that the heritage film industry is increasingly trading in Victorian sources for more modern fare. This displacement of Victorian source texts by 20th-century upstarts is clearly visible on television, as well. Masterpiece Theatre, the long-running public television program that imports British costume drama to American Anglophiles, noticeably skipped over Victorian texts in this

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The Battle of the Peacock Room: Two New Exhibits at the Freer

Together, “The Peacock Room Comes to America” and “Chinamania” are worth visiting, not only to get a new look at the collecting work of these three late nineteenth-century connoisseurs —extraordinary in itself—but also to understand more about Whistler’s pivotal position between Victorian Aestheticism and the early twentieth-century’s Modernist preoccupation with primitive form.

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