Clare Walker-Gore, ‘A Girl Who Wasn’t Born Neat’: Disability, Gender Trouble and ‘What Katy Did’

Susan Coolidge’s What Katy Did has never been out of print since it was first published in 1872. Along with Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, it’s one of a handful of North American classics which have remained popular with young female readers on both sides of the Atlantic – and, upon re-reading, it’s not difficult to see why. Written in a jaunty, accessible style, heavy on dialogue, light on description, and featuring a

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The Global and the Local: NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA Conference Report

By Barbara Franchi,  University of Kent The city of Venice is a labyrinth where the most different cultures and civilizations have met for centuries. So, no location could be better for the first NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA supernumerary conference. During June 3-6, 2013, Victorianists from every corner of the globe gathered on the Island of San Servolo for this unique opportunity to exchange and discuss ideas around the Global and the Local in the 19th century and beyond. With over one hundred participants

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Images of Victorian Motherhood, Effaced and Exposed

Recently I’ve been contemplating motherhood as it is represented in Victorian hidden mother portraits and Victorian breastfeeding portraits, two fascinating photographic trends. A little over a year ago, I stumbled upon Chelsea Nichols’ post about hidden mothers in Victorian photographs on her blog, The Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things. These images typically depict a shrouded woman holding or standing behind a baby or child, ostensibly to keep the child still for the camera while remaining out of the image.  The

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Bloggers Fair: Lucy E. Williams and her ‘Wayward Women’

WaywardWomen is a new weekly blog I started writing in April 2012. Posts are all derived from my PhD research into the lives of Victorian England’s Female offenders, in which I examine the who, what, and why of crime in two Victorian cities – Liverpool and London. I examine the life narratives of female offenders in Victorian England, roughly between the periods 1830 – 1911, and assert that to fully understand the relationship between women and crime in Victorian England,

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Bloggers Fair: Michelle Smith and her blog ‘Girls’ Literature’

I began Girls’ Literature and Culture in 2008, not long after completing my PhD at the University of Melbourne. While my scholarly work focuses on gender in nineteenth-century print culture, the freedom of writing a blog, where academic conventions can be flagrantly violated, has helped me to think more about how girls are situated in contemporary popular culture as well. The blog is therefore a melange of all things relating to girlhood from Victorian magazines and novels to recent debates

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Transnational dialogues: Antoinette Burton and the rewritings of British imperial history

Empire in Question: Reading, Writing and Teaching British imperialism by Antoinette Burton, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2011, 392 pp., £67.00 (hardback) ISBN: 978-0822348801; £16.99 (paperback) ISBN: 978-0822349020 For nearly twenty years Antoinette Burton has practiced and proselytised the ‘new imperial history’. Few interested readers will be unaware of Burton’s contribution to the field of British studies even if, as many of the essays reproduced here make clear, a fundamental objective of Burton’s work has been ‘displacing the nation

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