Review: The Paradise and Zola’s The Ladies Paradise

Ben Moore (University of Manchester) Ben.moore@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk The current BBC television series The Paradise, based on Émile Zola’s 1883 novel Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies’ Paradise), arrives in the wake of a number of successful British television period dramas, most conspicuously Downton Abbey, whose popularity and critical acclaim suggests that the appetite of UK and US audiences for class-based dramas combining buttoned-up propriety with a hint of sexual and political transgression continues to provide a lucrative market for programme-makers. The

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Review: Ian Hislop’s ‘Stiff Upper Lip: An Emotional History of Britain’

Jennifer Wallis (QMUL) Figure One: Ian Hislop and his many hats! Ian Hislop’s three-part series Stiff Upper Lip: An Emotional History of Britain aims to ‘[explore] emotion and identity over the last 300 years’ – or more pertinently, how (and indeed, if) we British have attempted to tame, bottle up, and alter our emotions. Screening the history of emotions may not be as straightforward as the history of surgery or of World War One, but Stiff Upper Lip is a

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The Delights of “Living in” and Working in a Cardiff Department Store

Michelle Matthews (Independent Scholar) The industrial revolution has typically been characterised as separating home from work. Yet as the BBC drama ‘The Paradise’ shows, home and work merged in the department store with shop assistants often living over the shop as part of their employment term. Fondly known as ‘Living in’, this practice played a crucial role in the recruitment of staff in a number of professions during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the department store it functioned as

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Hobsbawm’s Nineteenth Century: An appreciation

Rohan McWilliam President of the British Association of Victorian Studies The passing of Eric Hobsbawm is a huge loss to anyone who cares about the nineteenth century.  For that matter, his passing is a huge loss to anyone who cares about the present moment and the future.  Hobsbawm bequeathed to many of us the assumption that, if we wished to really probe what is at stake in current affairs, we had to understand the social and economic transformations that took

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A Year on Social Media Part 2: Blogging

Not only have I started to use Twitter this year, but I’ve also started blogging. I enjoy blogging. Like Twitter, it has made me more connected to the academic world beyond institutional borders. This point was recently reinforced to me when I attended BAVS this year and on three separate occasions I had people stop me to talk about recent blog posts I had written. Having said the above, I am aware of my limitations. I don’t think I could

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Vibrators, the New Women and One Naughty Queen: Film Review of ‘Hysteria’

by Fern Riddell (King’s College, London) Since 2011, I have waited with bated breath for the release of Tanya Wexler’s new film Hysteria, which stars Rupert Everret as a sexually deviant, technologically gifted billionaire playboy – the Victorian Bruce Wayne of the sex aid industry – Maggie Gyllenhaal as a feisty, do-gooding, chest-beating early suffragette, and Hugh Dancy as a young, forward-thinking, if not always forward-looking, doctor with a great idea. With brilliant support from Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, and

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A Year on Social Media Part 1: Twitter

August bank holiday marked an important milestone for me. It was a year ago that my friends David and Jamie persuaded me that I needed to join Twitter. Of course, I knew about Twitter but was at the time rather dismissive of it. I thought only people like Stephen Fry and Sarah Brown tweeted. When my mother asked me ‘Why aren’t you on Twitter?’ I replied with smug confidence that ‘Twitter isn’t really used by people of my generation; it’s

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Twitter in a Higher Education Classroom: An Assessment

Adeline Koh “Okay, everyone, now I want you to take out your phones or laptops and log on to Twitter.” My students gazed at me wide-eyed as I said those words last semester. One of them started laughing, saying, “Man, I never thought I’d hear a professor saying that.” Social media is often decried as one of society’s new ills. Many condemn social media for creating a “distracted” generation, one with gnat-sized attention spans, and make heartfelt appeals for a

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The Tweets of BAVS2012

#BAVS2012 has come to a close and soon the hash tag will be no more. For those of us who are on twitter we will no longer be scrolling through the tweets wondering what people are hearing or have heard. For those of you who might not have attended the BAVS conference but use twitter their might be feeling of relief that all mention of BAVS2012 will shortly be over and that threads will return to normal. Of course, you

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