Sympathy in Public, Sympathy in Private: An Introduction to Novelist Edna Lyall in Two Parts (Part 1)

Sympathy sold well in the late-nineteenth-century literary marketplace. When the novel We Two (1884) by Edna Lyall (pseudonym of Ada Ellen Bayly, 1857–1903) became an overnight sensation, Lyall cut a figure that was ready-made to slip into the role of sympathy spokesperson. Her career became a sympathetic enterprise in more than one sense. Not only did she write sensitively to ease myriad anxieties crowding the minds and lives of lower-middle-class readers; she also aspired to instill in readers a habitual

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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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Rohan McWilliam, The Victorians Are Still With Us

Rohan McWilliam is Professor of Modern British History at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.  He is the author of The Tichborne Claimant: A Victorian Sensation (London: Continuum, 2007) and is currently writing a history of the West End of London. Contact: rohan.mcwilliam@anglia.ac.uk We seldom lack heirs to G.M.Young.  When it comes to the Victorians, every age throws up its portrait of an age.[1]  But producing a wide-ranging account of Victorian Britain these days is becoming increasingly difficult.  The historical literature is

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The Chartist Mural: Destroyed

On the 3rd of October, 2013, the Chartist Mural was demolished. A familiar presence in the city of Newport since 1978, the mural had become firmly established as arguably the best known tribute to the political rising of 1839. Yet, despite its prized position within the affections of locals, the mural was torn down in an act of clandestine cultural vandalism. The Chartist movement has long maintained a position of significance in south east Wales, and Newport in particular. Historically,

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St David meets the Victorians

by Mike Benbough-Jackson (Liverpool John Moores) The Welsh are entitled to feel a little self-satisfied on the 1st of March. For one thing, St David was born and bred in the land that would, eventually, become Wales. Unlike England’s national saint, who was Greek, or Ireland’s, who was Welsh, St David is a home-grown saint. The day also has an innocent air. Local and national Welsh papers are crammed with photographs of children bedecked in various forms of national costume.

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Simon Morgan, ‘Material Culture and the Politics of Personality in Early Victorian England’

My article on ‘Material Culture and the Politics of Personality in Early Victorian England’ explores the role and meaning of things in the development of nascent personality cults around politicians, particularly those involved in extra-parliamentary campaigns such as the free trade and anti-slavery movements.  Such objects ranged from mass produced items like medals, ceramics or popular prints, to more intimate and personal artefacts such as locks of hair.  It is my contention that, by studying these artefacts, historians can gain

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Transnational dialogues: Antoinette Burton and the rewritings of British imperial history

Empire in Question: Reading, Writing and Teaching British imperialism by Antoinette Burton, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2011, 392 pp., £67.00 (hardback) ISBN: 978-0822348801; £16.99 (paperback) ISBN: 978-0822349020 For nearly twenty years Antoinette Burton has practiced and proselytised the ‘new imperial history’. Few interested readers will be unaware of Burton’s contribution to the field of British studies even if, as many of the essays reproduced here make clear, a fundamental objective of Burton’s work has been ‘displacing the nation

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The Value of Victorian Studies: View from the Publisher

Linda Bree is Editorial Director, Arts and Literature, at Cambridge University Press. Her own scholarly work is in the literature of the long eighteenth century, from Daniel Defoe to Jane Austen: among other projects she is editor of Defoe’s Moll Flanders (OUP, forthcoming) and Henry Fielding’s Amelia (Broadview, 2010), and co-editor of Jane Austen’s Later Manuscripts (CUP, 2008). This post is one part of a four-part discussion on the value of Victorian studies. To read the other posts, visit http://myblogs.informa.com/jvc/2011/10/07/the-value-of-victorian-studies/.

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