Martin Dubois, ‘Diverse Strains: Music and Religion in Dickens’s Edwin Drood’

In his essay forthcoming in JVC issue 16.3, Martin Dubois challenges recent interpretations of Dickens’s final and unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, arguing that these have neglected the variability in Dickens’s representation of traditional religion. Dickens’s novel centres on the town of Cloisterham, where a spreading moral torpor extends to the heart of community life: the choral worship offered in its cathedral. Fuelled by opium-induced fantasies, the cathedral’s obsessive and unstable choirmaster appears to engineer the disappearance and

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The Diaries of Louisa and Georgina Smythe and their links to Royal Romance….

Whilst Royal Wedding fever gripped the nation at the end of April, with thousands lining the streets to witness the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, not all royal marriages have been so warmly received. The diaries of two aristocratic sisters, Louisa and Georgina Smythe, whose daily accounts document the start of Queen Victoria’s reign, offer a unique, yet largely unknown, view of Royal romance.  The sisters were the nieces of Maria Fitzherbert, the secret wife of King

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‘Roundtable: Old Age and the Victorians,’ Issue 16.1 (April 2011)

Karen Chase’s The Victorians and Old Age (2009) and Devoney Looser’s Women Writers and Old Age in Great Britain, 1750-1850 (2008) are the first major expressions within Victorian studies of the scholarly interest in old age that began with Simone de Beauvoir’s La Vieillesse (1970) and has greatly increased in prominence over the past two decades, thanks to the growth of cross-disciplinary interest in all life stages. The responses to these two books in this roundtable discussion recognize the importance

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Digital Forum On Pedagogy, Issue 16.1 (April 2011)

Digital resources transform the terms on which we can teach the various disciplines that constitute nineteenth-century studies. No longer restricted to the teaching edition or to brief visits to Special Collections, students can engage with a far richer repertoire of nineteenth-century artefacts. However, working with this material demands that students are comfortable encountering such strange objects free of the usual apparatus that accompanies them. They also need to be comfortable using various digital technologies, both to locate material and to

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Sarah Wah, ”The Most Churlish of Celebrities’: George Eliot, John Cross and the Question of High Status’

Published in 1885, John Cross’s biography of his late wife, George Eliot’s Life as Related in Her Letters and Journals, was written with the intention to ‘make known the woman as well as the author’. Yet, ironically, the biography is renowned precisely for the lack of insight it affords readers into the private life of George Eliot. Why did Cross make a promise that he could not keep? In JVC 15.3, Sarah Wah seeks to answer this question by examining

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Katherine Inglis, ‘Ophthalmoscopy in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette’

In JVC 15.3, Katherine Inglis re-examines the representation of scopic conflict and discipline in Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Villette (1853), within the context of the reconfiguration of the eye during the 1850s. Villette is pioneering in its representation of an ophthalmoscopic conception of the eye, as an organ which could be looked into by medical practitioners as well as looked at. This notion of the eye was only possible after Hermann von Helmholtz’s invention of the ophthalmoscope in 1850. Villette is

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Phyllis Weliver, ‘Oscar Wilde, Music, and the “Opium-Tainted Cigarette”: Disinterested Dandies and Critical Play’

In her recent article in JVC 15.3, Phyllis Weliver reveals how the dandy’s languorous posture, aesthetic writing style, opium smoking, and musical repertoire interact in Oscar Wilde’s literature and criticism. Examining The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as ‘The Critic as Artist’ and The Importance of Being Earnest draws into focus how each of Wilde’s works is organized to create complicated relationships among this grouping, all of which belong to dandyish characters. The essay begins with a discussion of

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Vicky Morrisroe, “‘Eastern History with Western Eyes’: E. A. Freeman, Islam and Orientalism’

In her forthcoming article  in JVC issue 16.1, Vicky Morrisroe explores representations of Islam in the work of the Victorian historian E.A. Freeman. Freeman’s two obscure Oriental volumes emphasize the evils and barbarism of Muslim societies to demonstrate that Britain’s support of the Ottoman Empire was misguided. This article foregrounds Freeman’s fear of the threat posed to Euro-Christendom by Islam and suggests that he was not, as is often assumed, a confident proponent of Western progress. In so doing, it

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Diarmid Finnegan, ‘Exeter-Hall Science and Evangelical Rhetoric in mid-Victorian London’

In his article forthcoming in JVC issue 16.1, Diarmid Finnegan explores the ways in which science was mobilized in an immensely popular series of lectures held in London’s Exeter Hall and organized by the fledgling Young Men’s Christian Association. As well as offering a fresh look at the relations between evangelicalism and science in the mid-Victorian period, the article recovers the significance attached to platform culture by evangelicals concerned about the declining influence of the pulpit. Redeeming the much-maligned Exeter

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Ellen Ross, ‘Missionaries and Jews in Soho: “Strangers within Our Gates”‘

In JVC 15.2, Ellen Ross explores evidence about everyday life and social practices in Soho to reconstruct the extent and mode of religious conflict in a neighbourhood which historians have seen as an area of relative religious tolerance. It focuses on a weekly children’s prayer meeting conducted by Methodist missionaries in the summer of 1900 at the epicentre of the Soho Jewish community. For the Jews the meeting was an intrusion but nonetheless epitomized the tacit negotiations between Soho Jews

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