Mary Braddon’s centenary is fast approaching (2015) and as the new Visiting Research Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University my remit is to develop and publish on the Braddon Archive Collection now held at the university’s Augustine Library – with the landmark date in mind. I am joining colleagues Adrienne Gavin (biographer of Anna Sewell) and Carolyn Oulton (biographer of Mary Cholmondeley) of the English and Language Studies department, as they begin their directorships of the new International Centre for Victorian Women Writers, officially opening in May 2012. This will specialise in research on writers of the period, and the Braddon collection is something of a focus for the centre’s work in the first instance. Amongst my responsibilties is to introduce the collection and the centre’s foundation with an exhibition at the library, opening on 16th July, 2012.
A video showing Braddon papers being deposited to the university’s Augustine Library
This project has emerged out of my Phd and post-doctoral research which has concentrated upon investigation of Braddon’s archive. In addition, I have the opportunity to build upon the work commenced at the International Conference on Women Writers of the Fin de Siecle in 2010, chaired by Adrienne and Carolyn, and with the New Woman Fiction (1881-1899) series with Pickering &Chatto. Braddon’s popularity and longevity mean that her work informs criticism of the mid-to late nineteenth century and the transitional periods of the 1890s into the the turn of the century. We hope to attract Victorian and Edwardian scholars to the possibilties surrounding this work. Currently I am looking for any Rhoda Broughton specialists who might be able to help identify possible correspondence from Broughton to Braddon in the collection! Contact me via my blog or profile on academia.edu. You can also follow me on twitter @gabymalcolm.