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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Where Angels Fear to Tread

In JVC 15.2, Julie-Marie Strange discusses the relationship between academic and popular history with Andrew Davies whose book  on the scuttlers, The Gangs of Manchester (2008), was adapted for stage by MaD Theatre Company. Mixing music-hall humour and the Madchester sound, Angels with Manky Faces was acclaimed by audiences in Manchester and Liverpool. Read Andrew Davies and Julie-Marie Strange in conversation: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=268. Watch Director Rob Lees on the making of Angels with Manky Faces [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkwzfUicehc[/youtube]

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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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New Agenda – Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh, ‘Urban Mobility: New Maps of Victorian London’

‘The Uncommercial Traveller, whose urban explorations by foot, coach and train lead him from genteel Bond Street to the muddy thoroughfares of the East End, and from London’s ‘shy neighbourhoods’ to the docks by the Thames, reminds us of the mobility of Victorian city dwellers. Like Dickens’s compulsive traveller, countless fictional and historical Londoners experienced the city and its material cultures on the move.’  Introducing the New Agenda on ‘Urban Mobility’, Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh survey the scholarship on the

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New Agenda – Fragments of the Modern City: Material Culture and the Rhythms of Everyday Life in Victorian London

Lining the shelves of a Museum of London warehouse are thousands of boxes of the broken and fragmented belongings of Victorian Londoners. In JVC 15.2 Alastair Owens, Nigel Jeffries, Karen Wehner and Rupert Featherby consider how such evidence can contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural worlds of Victorian Londoners. Does it allow us to grasp the ‘actualities’ of life in the modern metropolis, obscured by a pervasive bourgeois gaze that saturates other historical sources? This article is

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