Term 1 Essays

February 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm (Uncategorized)

We’ve now marked your term 1 essays; they’re in the secretaries’ office for you to pick up.  For those one marked by me (ie with my initials at the end of the coversheet) I’ll be in my office [IN202]  if you want to come by and discuss the work at the following times:  next Tuesday [8th Feb] from 12-1 (my usual office hour, so it might be busy); Thursday 10th Feb, 11am-12noon, and 1-2pm.  You don’t have to come and see me about your essay if you don’t want to; but if you do want to, you can come then, or drop me a line and we’ll arrange another time.  Vicky will be making similar arrangements. [AR]


Permalink Leave a Comment

RHUL 19thC Reading Group

November 15, 2010 at 3:17 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear All,

The Reading Group meets this Thursday:
Thursday 18thNovember                   2pm-3pm          IN244

Text for discussion: ‘Introduction’ to Andrew Miller’s The Burdens of Perfection: On Ethics and Reading in Nineteenth-Century British Literature. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2008.

The text is attached to this post (the second .pdf is p.6 of the Introduction which is missing from the first scan.)

I look forward to discussing ethics with you!




Permalink Leave a Comment


April 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm (Uncategorized)

Just to let you all know, I’ve sent round an email outlining the three internships that MA Victorian students can apply for this year. The deadline for applications is April 26th, so do check your RHUL email accounts for further details. And look – I’ve finally used the blog! There will be no stopping me now. Watch out for a notice about readings for our meeting on the 29th April next.
all best

Permalink Leave a Comment

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:


Permalink Leave a Comment


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]

Permalink Leave a Comment

Aestheticism visuals – Swinburne

December 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear Aesthetes,

The artworks that accompany this week’s texts are the Hellenistic statue of Hermpahrodite in the Louvre and Whistler’s ‘The Little White Girl: Symphony in White No.2’ (1864).

Images of both of these can be found in an archive post from last year – click on Aestheticism (under Categories in the right-hand toolbar) and scroll down until you find the Swinburne entry.

I look forward to hearing what you make of Algie (or Algae, as the Modernists liked to call him),


Permalink Leave a Comment

Aestheticism & Decadence reading: Rossetti

November 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear Aesthetes,

I will bring excerpts from Hollander’s criticism to class, so you don’t need to hunt him up for yourselves (unless you’re interested, and do go ahead if so – the books I will be talking about are Vision and Resonance: two senses of poetic form and The Gazer’s Sprit: poems speaking to silent works of art.

DO look up the set Rossetti texts (paintings and poems) on The Rossetti Archive online. Texts are available from a list of subheadings at http://www.rossettiarchive.org/exhibits/index.html.

If your interest is stimulated, have a look at a few more of the ‘Double Works’ (works that appear as both paintings and poems) under that particular subheading – we can talk about these in class also. I’m going to see if I can book us a room with technology for the second hour so we can work with the Archive during our discussion – so make a note of any works that particularly interest you, and we can look them up on the day.

All best, and get in touch if you have any questions,


Permalink Leave a Comment

Aestheticism and Decadence reading Wk 7

November 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear All,

I look forward to meeting you this week and beginning our ‘Poetry and Painting’ segment of the Aestheticism course.

The Tennyson texts are easy to get hold of; there is an online copy of Arnold’s 1853 Preface at http://www.telelib.com/words/authors/A/ArnoldMatthew/verse/Poems/preface.html

Best wishes and see you on Thursday,


Permalink Leave a Comment

Tonight! (Monday 9th Nov): George Eliot and the Classics

November 9, 2009 at 10:40 am (Uncategorized)

Tonight is the annual Dabis lecture at 6pm in the Windsor Auditorium Main Lecture Theatre. Dr Margaret Reynolds (QMW) will speak on ‘George Eliot and the Classics.’ Reynolds is always interesting, and good value, and admittance is free: why not go along? [AR]

Permalink Leave a Comment

Hard Times 2: Preston Lock Out

October 29, 2009 at 11:38 am (Nineteenth-century novel, Uncategorized)

A pendant to my earlier Hard Times post, I’ve just found (online) this lovely cache of three hand-drawn and coloured contemporary cartoons of the Preston Lock Out. They’re owned by the Lancashire Evening Post, and this is what their website says about them:

One of five [er, actually three] cartoons produced during a strike by cotton workers in Preston, Lancashire in 1853 and 1854. The strike resulted in a lock-out by the employers and Irish workers were brought in to break the strike by the larger mill owners. These workers, who appear to be mostly women and children, are caricatured as lazy and ignorant with Irish accents. After the strike was settled, they were sent back to Ireland.

These people, ‘scabs’ in modern parlance, were called ‘knobsticks’ in the idiom of the day. You may not be able to make out the writing below, but if you click on this link [pdf] you can have a detailed look at big enlargements of all the cartoons.
preston lock out cartoon
This, the legend at the foot of the image tells us, is ‘THE WARPING AND WINDING ROOM HANOVER ST MILL’ The chap on the left in the top-hat is called ‘THE MASTER’ and he says: ‘I am quizzing you, my beauties’. The fellow in green is ‘THE OVERLOOKER’, and is saying (presumably to the little boy in red who’s shinned up the loom): ‘I say you young devil come down you are sure to be kilt’. And the red-haired woman is saying: ‘Sure a now the devils skure to yes Mike come down wid yes’.

Here’s another, sadly in black and white (you can see the full colour version at the pdf link mentioned above):
lock-out 2
You can see he’s pulling stick-figure workers out of a container labelled ‘a box full of new knobsticks’. Fascinating stuff. Incidentally, I’m not aware of any critical work on this (this fairly well-known article, ‘Dickens, Gaskell and the Preston Strike’, doesn’t mention it, for instance): it might make a nice topic, or at least a nice angle, for a Hard Times essay …) [AR]

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »