JVC

Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 4 of 4)

Part 4: Christmas yet to come With Albert’s death just before Christmas 1861, everything changed; Victoria made no entries in her journal until New Year’s Day, though she wrote to King Leopold on 20 December, But oh! To be cut off in the prime of life – to see our pure, happy, quiet domestic life, which alone enabled me to bear my much disliked position, cut off at forty-two – when I had hoped with such instinctive certainty that God

Read more

Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 3 of 4)

Part 3: Taking position – ‘the locale’ The residences which are most closely associated with Victoria and Albert’s domestic idyll, and that of their burgeoning family, were not palaces or state apartments but retreats. The cost of reimagining the far more modest abodes that had until the late 1840s and early 1850s occupied two sites at almost opposite ends of the kingdom would have been prohibitive to all but the wealthiest. Yet Osborne House and Balmoral Castle, the former almost

Read more

Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 2 of 4)

Part 2: Taking position – ‘the look’ The Christmas tree engraving was not untypical of depictions of the royal family in the mid-nineteenth century, a period which had in recent decades witnessed a vast expansion in the publication and distribution of popular newspapers and periodicals as a result of technical innovations in printing, distribution and communications. [1] In an analysis of Victoria’s representation in the illustrated press, Virginia McKendry argues that images of the Queen in the Illustrated London News

Read more

Just Like Us: Victoria, Albert and the middle-class family (part 1 of 4)

In behaving publicly much like members of the mid-nineteenth-century middle class, Victoria and Albert achieved great influence – both by making their subjects aspire to be like them, and by displaying their contemporaneity with those they ruled. This examination of aspects of the royal family’s domestic life, and of the image they presented to the nation, makes reference to selected diary entries and correspondence of Queen Victoria, and to imagery illustrating how Victoria and Albert might appear to their contemporaries almost as being ‘just like us’.

Read more

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

Read more

Ann Kennedy Smith, ‘Tennyson the European’

Ann Kennedy Smith is a panel tutor at Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education. Her monograph Painted Poetry: Colour in Baudelaire’s Art Criticism was published by Peter Lang in 2011, and since then she has researched and written on Tennyson’s French reception. She is currently researching Cambridge’s university wives 1870-1914, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Her Twitter handle is @akennedysmith.   Figure 1 Alfred Tennyson, 1869, portrait by Julia Cameron Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Read more

Roisín Laing, ‘Victorian Childhood Beyond the Canon’

Roisín Laing recently completed her PhD with the English Studies department at Durham University. She will be a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sydney during 2017. This post accompanies Roisín Laing’s article ‘Candid Lying and Precocious Storytelling in Victorian Literature and Psychology’. Published here. In my recently published Journal of Victorian Culture article, I argue that Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess (1905) responds to Victorian fears about the child liar. Burnett’s precocious protagonist, Sara Crewe, suggests that

Read more

Martin Willis, ‘Are we sure we want evolutionary psychologists telling us what Victorian novels mean?’

Martin Willis is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University, Chair of the British Society for Literature and Science, Editor of the Journal of Literature and Science and head of the Cardiff University ScienceHumanities research team.  I noted with interest, and some dismay that the Journal of Victorian Culture was drawing attention, via Twitter, to the Guardian’s old article on evolutionary psychology and the Victorian novel that described, without criticism, the work of Joseph Carroll and his fellow literary Darwinists.[1] Heartened

Read more

Kristina Hochwender, ‘Tourism as Pedagogy: Part 2’

Part 2: ‘Postcard project: Pilgrimage and Pedagogy’ Kristina L. Hochwender is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Evansville, where she also serves as the Director of General Education. Alongside her interest in literature for children, her research centers on the Victorian clerical novel, and particularly the ways in which the clergyman–in the words of Samuel Butler, “a kind of human Sunday”–mediates national and religious identities and crises in novels that captured the Victorian imagination. Some of her

Read more

Amber Pouliot, ‘Tourism as Pedagogy: Part 1′

Part 1: ‘The Postcard Project’ Amber Pouliot is a teaching fellow at Harlaxton College, the UK study abroad centre of the University of Evansville, Indiana. She was awarded her MA and PhD from the University of Leeds. She is currently writing a book on the development of Bronte fictional biography from the mid-nineteenth century to the interwar period. Her essay on nineteenth-century proto-fictional biographies of the Brontes will appear in Charlotte Bronte: Legacies and Afterlives (forthcoming from MUP), and she

Read more