Victorian London Core Course Week 9

March 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm (Uncategorized)

I am very late getting this information to you I realize. I have been ill and got behind, and I do apologize. As it happens, for this week’s class on ‘City of Glass’ much of the reading will be done in a workshop session in class, on passages that you do not have to read ahead of the class. However if you do have time before tomorrow’s evening class, I should like you to read Thomas Hardy’s short story ‘The Fiddler of the Reels’, which takes place at the time of the Great Exhibition, and at times actually in the Crystal Palace, and a short journalistic piece by Dickens from ‘Household Words’, available online (just google the title) ‘On Duty with Inspector Field’. ‘The Fiddler of the Reels’ is not so readily available online unfortunately. I will get into the office early Thursday morning, photocopy the story and place it in the perspex box on the wall outside my office (IN205) in case you have some time to read it in the day before class. But I will perfectly understand if you do not have time to do this. The story is often available in collections of Hardy’s short stories and originally appeared in his volume of stories entitled ‘Life’s Little Ironies’ which is available in the library. Some helpful secondary reading would be Isobel Armstrong’s book ‘Victorian Glassworlds’ which I believe many of you know from the Victorian Reading Group last term. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. NOTE: Irene Bittles fro Founder’s Library has just emailed me a link she found to ‘Fiddler of the Reels’ in Scribner’s Magazine: her message and the link is as follows:

Here’s another site, which hosts digitized versions of historical periodicals, including selected issues of Scribner’s Magazine (1887 – 1896), which appears to include the required story:;cc=scri;rgn=full%20text;idno=scri0013-4;didno=scri0013-4;view=image;seq=609;node=scri0013-4%3A27;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;


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March 8, 2010 at 9:34 am (Core Course, Uncategorized)

A pendant to the Doré post (and seminar), via Selena, who notes a potentially interesting, and relevant, exhibition at the Tate Modern (she adds: ‘I don’t know anything about the exhibition beyond the website so it might be a very weak link… but the Southbank is always good for a stroll even if the exhibition is pants – and it’s free!’). Here’s the revelant exhibition link. And here’s the nub:

Martin Karlsson: London – An Imagery
3 March – 31 December 2010
About | Visiting information
Free Entry
Outside Tate Modern at Holland Street
To celebrate the beginning of the works for Tate Modern’s new building, Swedish artist Martin Karlsson has created a project on the 100-metre hoarding that encloses the works. London – An Imagery 2008–9 takes as its starting point Gustave Doré’s gothic etchings published in 1872.
Karlsson updates this portrait of the city and its inhabitants. [AR]

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Gustave Doré

March 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm (Core Course)

Doré today: or more specifically, Doré’s images of London from London: a Pilgrimage (1872). There’s no advance preparation necessary for this evening’s class; we’ll be looking at and reading some of the man’s more famous images. But if you wanted to take it further, there are a couple of interesting resources. W. H. Herendeen’s ‘The Doré Controversy: Doré, Ruskin, and Victorian Taste’ (Victorian Studies, 25: 3 (1982), 305-327) is good on his complex contemporary reputation; though he argues ‘The current view of him as the iconographer of the period is simple-minded and distorts our appreciation of both the artist and the age. The proliferation of reprints of his work and their use as a visual aid in teaching nineteenty-century literature promotes this longstanding and simplistic image of the artist.’ Gulp. Let’s agree not to do that this evening. Gustave Doré by Millicent Rose is very old (1947; reviewed here) but still useful. And Nancy Aycock Metz’s ‘Little Dorrit’s London: Babylon Revisited’, Victorian Studies, 33: 3 (1990), 465-486) links Doré’s representation of London to Dickens’s novel in passing. [AR]

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