JVC

Lee Jackson Q&A session on his ‘The Diary of a Murder’

Lee Jackson‘s ‘Diary of a Murder’ kick started our book club. Here he answers our questions. Thanks to Kylie Mirmohamadi and Lucinda Matthews-Jones for providing questions. 1) What sparked your creative juices into writing in ‘The Diary of a Murder’? i.e. was it a particular novel/s, event/s or primary source? It’s an idea that I’ve had for a long time – a diary as murder mystery – that arose from reading Arthur Munby’s peculiar diaries and the anonymous sex marathon

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Book Review: Bloody Victorians: Violence and Historical Narrative

Violent Victorians: Popular Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century London, by Rosalind Crone, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012, xv + 304 pages, illustrated, £16.99 (paperback), ISBN 978 0 7190 8685 4 Reviewed by Sara Hackenberg, San Francisco State University shackenb@sfsu.edu Sweeny Todd refuses to die. Ever since his 1846 debut in Lloyd’s sensational serial, The String of Pearls, the murderous barber of Fleet Street has been adapted countless times into literary, dramatic, cinematic, musical, and even balletic forms, most recently in Tim Burton’s

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Book review: Never Such Innocence

Visions of England, by Roy Strong. London: Bodley Head, 2011, viii + 229, illustrated, £17.99 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-847-92160-4 Reviewed by Mark Storey, University of Nottingham       Among the many figures, institutions and traditions admitted to Roy Strong’s pantheon in Visions of England, one surprising omission is Philip Larkin. He would seem at first glance a perfect candidate: the pastoral impulse which Strong locates as the binding force throughout English cultural history finds a distinctly twentieth-century articulation in much of

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Book review: Amy Levy’s Fate: Death and the Statistician

The Women Who Dared: A Biography of Amy Levy, by Christine Pullen, Kingston upon Thames: Kingston University Press, 2010, 241 pp., illustrated, ₤20 (paperback), ISBN 978 1 899999 43 9 Reviewed by Theodore M. Porter, University of California, Los Angeles The narrative trajectory of this biography begins and ends with the suicide of the writer Amy Levy at the age of 27 on 9 September 1889.  That tragic end gives direction to Christine Pullen’s wide-ranging study of Levy and her

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Book Review: Victorian poetry when?

Victorian Poetry Now: Poets, Poems, Poetics, by Valentine Cunningham, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2011, xiii + 537 pp., £95 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-631-20826-6 Reviewed byEmma Mason, University of Warwick emma.mason@warwick.ac.uk   From his work on dissenting religious traditions to the significance of intertextual writing and reading practices and the status of critical theory in literary studies, Valentine Cunningham has shaped for himself a scholarly guise at once robustly intellectual and critically jocose.  His critical voice – homiletic and idiosyncratic – resonates with a

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Book Review: Elite Dancing and Dining in London and Paris

Society Dancing: Fashionable Bodies in England, 1870-1920, by Theresa Jill Buckland, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, x + 200 pp., £50.00 (hardback) ISBN 978-0-230-27714-4 Bourgeois Consumption: Food, Space and Identity in London and Paris, 1850-1914, by Rachel Rich, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011, ix + 213 pp., £55.00 (hardback) ISBN 978-0-7190-8112-5 Reviewed by Dr Kelly Boyd, Institute of Historical Research, University of London k.boyd@blueyonder.co.uk As Leonore Davidoff showed us in The Best Circles, one of the most difficult tasks in nineteenth-century English

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Are You a Believer Now?

Someone at the University of California, Davis was clearly taken with Steven Moffat’s second season of Sherlock.  So much so that they took to participating in the #ibelieveinsherlockholmes meme, which Jeanette Laredo wrote about here for JVC Online about a month ago and which has taken to actions of world-wide street graffiti, like the ones at UC Davis pictured below and recorded on this tumblr.  Now that the second season has aired in the United States as well as in

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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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Dickens and Mass Culture

Dickens and Mass Culture, by Juliet John, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, xii + 321 pp., £50.00 (hardback), ISBN: 987-0-19-925792-8 Dickens studies needs this book; the first to wrestle, in a detailed way, with Dickens’s strangely overlooked relationship with mass culture. Juliet John provides some complex answers to questions such as: What was the basis for Dickens’s extraordinary popularity? Why has it persisted from his age to ours? How have relationships with Dickens changed? What makes Dickens so translatable “across

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Fiction, Feeling, and Social Change

Feeling for the Poor: Bourgeois Compassion, Social Action, and the Victorian Novel, by Carolyn Betensky, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 224 pp., £33.95 (hardback), ISBN 0813930618 Victorian Social Activists’ Novels edited by Oliver Lovesay, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2011, 4 Volume Set, 1456 pages, £350.00 (hardback), ISBN 978 1 85196 629 5 Is there inherent ethical value in feeling for, or with, the suffering of others?  In Feeling for the Poor, Carolyn Betensky argues that Victorian novels about poverty

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