Walking the Corridors of the Past: A tour of Singleton Abbey

Lucinda Matthews-Jones (Liverpool John Moores University) In a recent blog for History Workshop Online, Toby Butler suggests that field trips should become ‘an essential part of the…university curriculum’, noting that ‘[s]urely no history degree taught in a city could not find a place for a visit to a museum or a historic site, and perhaps a talk from a curator?’ I agree with Toby. As university teachers, I believe we should be thinking of imaginative ways to teach our modules

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Encountering the Fin-de-Siècle: Utilising Archives for Undergraduate Teaching

Dr Sarah Parker (University of Birmingham) Never judge a book by its cover. Clearly the late-Victorians didn’t hold much by this adage, or we would not have inherited so many stunning examples of book design from the fin-de-siècle period. As critics such as Nicholas Frankel and Joseph Bristow have emphasised, one of the central goals of the aesthetic and decadent movements was to produce the ‘beautiful book’ as an objet d’art in its own right. John Gray’s Silverpoints (1893), for

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Teaching the Victorian City

by Matthew McCormack, University of Northampton matthew.mccormack@northampton.ac.uk How do you teach urban history? Moreover, how do you inject life into the midterm slump of a 25-week, second-year survey module? These were questions that I sought to address three years ago as I prepared to teach HIS2006 ‘Victorian Britain’ at Northampton University. I had taught the module since 2004 and – as every ‘action researcher’ should – had altered it slightly every year in the light of my experience of teaching

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Teaching with Blogs: “The English 19th century Novel”

Dr Charlotte Mathieson (University of Warwick) Context The English Nineteenth-Century Novel is an honours-level undergraduate module in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, on which I teach 3 classes of 15 students in weekly 1.5 hour lecture-seminars. I set up a teaching blog for this module at the start of the 2011-12 academic year, having previously experimented with using a teaching blog for a first-year literary theory module. There are many ways in

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Blogging about Hacking the Book

Jim Mussell (University of Birmingham) Hacking the Book’ is a third-year undergraduate module run in the English Department at the University of Birmingham.  The module came about after a discussion on Twitter between myself and a colleague, Oliver Mason in the summer of 2010.  I was at a conference in Edinburgh and had just tweeted that I thought lecturers needed to ‘integrate digital humanities research and teaching in undergrad classes.’  Oliver’s response was to suggest that we put on a

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This week at JVC Online

Today’s blog is written by the author T. D Grigg who considers the importance and perils of historical research when writing his novels. To coincide with this piece we will be offering his latest novel ‘Distant Thunder’ to anyone interested in reviewing it for JVC Online. Email Lucie if you are interested and the lucky person’s name will be drawn from a hat. You can email her at l.m.matthew-jones@ljmu.ac.uk. Tomorrow will see Matthew McCormack (University of Northampton) kick start our

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T. D. Griggs: Historical Fiction and Story Telling

T. D. Griggs Research. It’s the first thing readers ask me about. How much did I do? How long did it take? Am I an expert on the period? I’m always flattered by such questions. They mean I’ve got away with it. Because I am not an historian. History is not my business. Storytelling is. My latest novel, DISTANT THUNDER (T.D.Griggs Orion Books), is set in the 1890s. I’m attracted by the huge confidence of Victorian Britain, in contrast to

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Victorian legacies in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Strangers Child

The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst, London: Picador, 2011, 576 pages, £20 paperback, ISBN: 0330483242 Till from the garden and the wild A fresh association blow, And year by year the landscape grow Familiar to the stranger’s child; Tennyson, ‘In Memoriam A.H.H.’ I’ve just finished reading Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel, The Stranger’s Child. I bought it at the beginning of June in Cardiff after running a conference there on ‘Material Religion’. Exhausted and falling asleep on the train, I put it away

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A weekend of Objects: Tolson Museum in Huddersfield

This weekend I went to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. Little did I know that my short visit would be filled by encounters with interesting objects! From the moment I stepped off the train I was greeted at the station by a dismantled parlour attached to the foyer wall. There is a lovely playfulness about this public art display. Objects were either photographs of an original (wall mounted candle holder, female bust) or the actual object (chair, table, grandfather clock, flowers).

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