Victorian Deathbed Scenes

December 4, 2008 at 9:23 am (Uncategorized)

Dear C19th Novels,

I’m having technical issues getting those deathbed scenes on here for you all. For now, you can google-image the following — they’re not difficult to find on the Net  [4/12 2:30pm, posted them now! ed]:

George Cattermole, ‘Death of Little Nell’ (1841)


Henry Peach Robinson, ‘Fading Away’ (1858)


Luke Fildes, ‘The Doctor’ (1891) (although I reckon this child is recovering — dawn has broken).

I’m ‘collecting’ deathbed scenes in Victorian culture: we talked about the 7 or so such scenes in *Mary Barton* last week, and there are numerous in Dickens of course; any more suggestions gratefully received.



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LIFE archive photos

November 21, 2008 at 9:46 am (Uncategorized) ()

Not qute sure why Sally’s ‘realisms readings’ post keeps bobbing to the top of the page, ahead of more recent posts (though I’m loathe to take it down). Ah well.

This is just a note (via the Valve) that a million or more photographs from the LIFE magazine archive are now accessible online through Google (go to Google Images and type in a name and “source:life”). They’re mostly twentieth-century figures, as you might expect given the magazine, but there are some nineteenth-century ones too. Check out these Charles Dickens, for instance; or these Robert Browning. Browsing through has thrown up one image of Dickens, actually, that I hadn’t seen before; and I’m trying to pin-down in my head who he looks like …. which is to say, which celebrity he reminds me of. Hmm. What do you reckon?


Is anybody else seeing Victorian Beckham with a beard?


(‘Victorian Beckham’ … did you see what I did, there?) [AR]

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BBC Little Dorrit Adaptation

October 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm (Nineteenth-century novel, Uncategorized) ()

The Andrew Davies version of Little Dorrit starts tomorrow (Sunday 26th October); it’ll be interesting to see how they do it. There’s boy-man Matthew Macfadyen, above, in the Arthur Clenham role (a little too young, maybe?): and L.D. herself is being played by Claire Foy, about whom I know nothing. Have a look at the whole Radio Times cast picture gallery, if you like: not a bad set of actors, although I’d say Anton Lesser is wrong for Merdle (who is described in the book more like a charisma-free blonder Boris Johnson); and I feel a bit sorry for Ruth Jones, whose audition must have gone something like: ‘yes, we need someone who used to be attractive when she was much younger, but now she’s all blowsy and ugly and absurd … hey, you’d be perfect!’ Perhaps acting is not the profession to go into if your feelings are easily hurt.

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19thc collections at the British Library – postgraduate introductory day

October 13, 2008 at 12:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Dear All,

I have just come across an interesting event at the British Library on the 20th Oct. One day of (free) talks to introduce new postgraduates to their 19th century collections. Probably more intended for PhD students, but I thought I’d draw it to your attention. I’ve posted the full information on the Victorian MA noticeboard.

Best wishes,


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Illustrated London News, 1857

September 27, 2008 at 9:02 am (Uncategorized)

You should, by now, have picked up your copy of the ILN from Saturday, July 4th 1857. [

    If you haven’t, please collect one from the departmental office

] Please read this before the class on Thursday 4th October. In that class we are going to discuss it in terms both of word and image, and they way they interrelate; the semiology of the text.

The lead article, as you can see, is ‘The Mutiny in India’. We will discuss the historical context for this event, but it would be useful for you, if you don’t already know about it, to find out a little about this event. It’s been in the news recently … see this BBC report from last year:

A group of Britons seeking to pay tribute to those who died in an Indian revolt 150 years ago have spent the day holed up in their hotel. The retired soldiers and civilians were advised not to visit the historic Residency in the city of Lucknow because of anger over their visit. Protesters in India say the trip is an insult to Indian freedom fighters.

You might also want to take a look at the following resources:

  • The Wikipedia entry on The Indian Rebellion of 1857 is a useful overview. In general I am wary of sending students to Wikipedia, because the quality of its articles varies greatly and some are unreliable; but this is one of the better ones.
  • The Sepoy Blog is an interesting thing: day-by-day blogging from a hundred and fifty years ago.
  • These paintings give a Romanticised, English perspective on events.
  • These photographs, however, give a less illusioned perspective.
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September 25, 2008 at 9:36 am (Uncategorized) ()

Founders Building

This blog has been set up, principally, for all students on the Victorian MA at Royal Holloway University of London. If you’re one of those students … welcome! If you’re not, but are interested in the Victorian period, literature, art and culture, then feel free to stick around; you can contribute, if you like, although please remain courteous.

I’ll be posting Victorian-related posts, sometimes related to seminar topics and sometimes of general interest. If you’re a student on the MA and would like to post on the blog, please drop me a line. To begin with, though, check out the list of Victorian links on the sidebar.

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