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Exhibit at NYPL: Before Victoria

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Greetings,

I thought that readers of the RC Blog would like to know about a special exhibit at the New York Public Library. The information is below.

Cheers,
Patricia

Patricia A. Matthew
Assistant Professor
Montclair State University

Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era Opens April 8 at The New York Public Library

Diana, New York, March 17, 2005 --While the image of the woman as angel of the house, sexless and selfless, was already an ideal by 1789, there lived throngs of flesh and blood women who variously bent, broke, ignored, circumvented, and changed the rules of British (and sometimes world) culture during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The lives, works, pluck, and influence of the most formidable, famous, and infamous among them are the focus of Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era, an eye-opening exhibition of rare manuscripts, letters, prints, paintings, memoirs, and other artifacts of the time, opening April 8, 2005 at The New York Public Library. The exhibition, co-curated by Stephen Wagner and Elizabeth Campbell Denlinger, is drawn from the Library’s Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle; the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs; the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature; the Spencer Collection; the Rare Books Division; and the General Research Division. Before Victoria will be on view April 8 through July 30, 2005 in the D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall on the first floor of The New York Public Library, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Admission is free.

Exhibition Materials
Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era presents a wealth of materials from its subjects’ own hands: first editions of Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus and Pride and Prejudice, of course, but also of Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho, a much more popular novel in its time than Austen’s work. There is much of the writing of Wollstonecraft and examples of the moralizing books of her conservative counterpart, the abolitionist Hannah More. There is artwork by Caroline Watson, one of a very few female engravers, and by the painters Angelica Kauffmann and Maria Cosway. Representing the sciences are Anna Atkins’s Photographs of British Algae; polymath Mary Somerville’s On Molecular and Microscopic Science; a letter from the astronomer (and discoverer of eight comets) Caroline Herschel; and examples of science and mathematical textbooks written especially for girls. Also on display is the suicide note left behind by the poet Percy Shelley’s first wife, Harriet Westbrook Shelley, just before drowning herself in London’s Hyde Park; the serialized memoirs of courtesan (and blackmailer) Harriette Wilson; the prophecies of millenarian Joanna Southcott, who thought she was pregnant with a new messiah; and a letter to George III from Margaret Nicholson, who attacked the King with a dessert knife in 1786.

The exhibition also includes ample contextual materials from the Romantic era, much of it in response to these extraordinary women. As this was the golden age of British visual satire, a number of the subjects are seen pilloried in prints by Thomas Rowlandson, the Cruikshanks, and James Gillray (whose own publisher was a woman). There is Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies, a veritable Zagat’s guide to the prostitutes of London; issues of the Crim. Con. Gazette, which published libelous gossip on criminal conversation (i.e., adultery) cases real and imagined; and a rare example of a private Act of Parliament for a divorce—the only means of obtaining one. And from the sympathetic Irish Economist William Thompson, there is Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretension of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political, and Thence in Civil and Domestic Slavery.

Co-curator Elizabeth Campbell Denlinger has written a vividly illustrated companion volume to Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era. Published by Columbia University Press, Before Victoria features a foreword by Lundall Gordon and is available in paperback ($29.50) and hard cover ($39.50) at The Library Shop (www.thelibraryshop.org) and in bookstores nationwide.

Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era will be on view from April 8 through July 30, 2005 in the D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall of The New York Public Library, Humanities and Social Sciences Library, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Exhibition hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays, and national holidays. (The Library will be closed on Sundays after May 22, 2005, through the summer; and on the Saturdays, May 28 and July 2, 2005). Admission is free. For further information about exhibitions at The New York Public Library, the public may call 212-869-8089 or visit the Library’s website at www.nypl.org.

Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era was made possible in part by The Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, Inc., and The New York Public Library’s Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle. Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Pinewood Foundation and by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

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CFP: The Romantic Novel

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Call for Papers

Midlands Romantic Seminar One-Day Conference:

"The Romantic Novel, 1790-1840"

Saturday 25th June 2005
Birmingham and Midland Institute, B3

Keynote speaker: Professor Kathryn Sutherland (St Anne's College, Oxford)

Submissions are invited for papers on any aspect of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth-century novel. Possible topics might include: the novel of sensibility, the Jacobin novel, Godwin, Mary Shelley, children's fiction, counter-revolutionary tracts, the Gothic novel, Scott, Charlotte Smith, Maria Edgeworth, Elizabeth Ferrier, Burney, Austen, Elizabeth Hamilton, Harriet Martineau, Disraeli, Bulwer-Lytton, William Ainsworth, the Newgate Novel, the Silver-Fork Novel, the historical novel, popular fiction, early Dickens etc.

Submissions from postgraduates welcomed. Please send a 300 word abstract by 15th May 2005, to Dr Gavin Budge: gavin.budge@uce.ac.uk

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CFP: James Hogg and Romanticism

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CALL FOR PAPERS: "Crossing Borders: James Hogg and the Global Context of British Romanticism"

Twelfth James Hogg Society Conference
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus, Mississippi, USA
April 6-8, 2006

The twelfth James Hogg Society Conference will be held April 6-8, 2006, on the campus of Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, Mississippi.

Papers are invited on any aspect of James Hogg. The conference is open to papers on all topics related to the life and works of James Hogg, as well as Hogg’s literary connections and influence. The conference organizers would especially welcome papers that address Hogg’s publication and reception in North America, as well as papers that make connections between Hogg’s works and North American writers. Reading time should not exceed twenty minutes.

Inquiries are welcomed at any time. Proposals or abstracts should be sent by
December 15, 2005, to

Dr. Thomas Richardson
Mississippi University for Women
1100 College Street—MUW 1634
Columbus, MS 39701 USA
Phone: (662) 329-7386
Fax: (662) 329-7387
Email: trichard@muw.edu

Columbus is located in northeast Mississippi and is the birthplace of playwright Tennessee Williams. Mississippi University for Women is the first public college for women in America and includes writer Eudora Welty among its alumni. Tours of historic antebellum homes in Columbus (including Waverley Plantation) and other social events will be part of the conference. Columbus is only a 4½ -hour drive to Atlanta, New Orleans, or the Gulf Coast and, for Elvis and Blues fans, only 2½ hours to Memphis.
Dr. Sharon Alker
Assistant Professor of English & General Studies
Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA
99362

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Keats-Shelley Memorial Association prize

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THE KEATS–SHELLEY MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION invites applications for the Keats-Shelley Prize for 2005. Supported by the John S. Cohen Foundation and The School of English, University of St Andrews.

2005 Chairman of Judges: Stephen Fry, – Author, Actor, Comedian, Film Director. Judging Panel: Matthew Sweeney, John Hartley-Williams (Poetry). Professor Peter Kitson, Dr Seamus Perry (Essays).

Two competitions, open to all: an essay and a poem, £3,000 IN PRIZES, the winners’ work to be published.

The essay can be on any aspect of Keats’s or Shelley’s work or life, and should be of 2,000-3,000 words, including quotations. Preference will be given to entries showing originality of thought and written in a clear and accessible style. All sources must be acknowledged.

The poem (which may be a narrative) must be original, unpublished and not a parody. It should focus on a Romantic theme associated with "ghosts." It may be of any length up to 50 lines.

Other conditions of entry:

1. Two copies of your entry should be sent to Jill Gamble, KSMA Competition Secretary, School of English, The University, St Andrews, KY16 9AL, Scotland. Please enclose an SAE if you want your entry to be acknowledged. Copies of entries cannot be returned.

2. All entries must be received by 30 June 2005. Prize winners and a runner-up in each category will be notified in August. There will be a presentation ceremony in London in October. The winners will be announced at that time on the website of the Keats-Shelley Memorial House in Rome:
http://www.keatsshelley-house.org.

3. You may enter both categories but only once. There is a fee of £5 sterling for a single entry, £3 for a second entry in the other category. Payment must be enclosed, made by cheque, postal order or international money order in favour of the Keats- Shelley Memorial Association, or by sterling bank notes. All first-time serious entrants who are not already Friends of the KSMA will become Honorary Friends for one year (subscription normally £12) receiving the annual Keats-Shelley Review, free newsletters, invitations to events, etc.

4. All entries must be typed or wordprocessed on A4 or foolscap paper, and attached with a paper clip to a typed sheet giving the following: your name, address, a contact telephone number, the title of your essay or poem, and how you heard about the prize. Your entrance fee should also be attached. Please do not use staples.

5. Essays and poems must be in English and your original and unpublished work, and must not have been submitted to us in a former competition. Copyright remains with you as author, but your entry will be deemed to give consent to first publication in journals nominated by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and The John S. Cohen Foundation.

6. The submission of an entry will be deemed to indicate full acceptance of the above conditions of entry to the competition.

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Shelley letters discovered in a trunk

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A newly discovered set of four letters written by Percy Bysshe Shelley to Ralph Wedgwood will be auctioned at Christie's in June, where they may sell for as much as £30,000. They were found among other materials in a dusty trunk at a house in Norbury, London.

The letters are part of a provocative correspondence on atheism by Shelley and fellow undergraduate pamphleteer, Thomas Jefferson Hogg. As the BBC and several other news sources in the UK are reporting, the manuscripts headed for a car boot sale when they were identified.

SJ

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CFP MLA 2005: Wordsworth-Coleridge Association

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The Wordsworth-Coleridge Association invites papers for its sessions
at the Modern Language Association Convention in Washington, D.C.,
December 27-30, 2005.

SESSION TOPIC: Landmark Works. Inspired by Seamus Perry's essay in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Meyer Abrams' The Mirror and The Lamp (Essays in Criticism 54 [2004] 260-82), we invite paper proposals focusing on landmark critical works in the field of Romanticism during the last fifty years, including books by M.H. Abrams, Carl Woodring, Geoffrey Hartman, Karl Kroeber, Earl Wasserman, Robert Langbaum, David Erdman, Kenneth Neil Cameron, E.P. Thompson, Harold Bloom, Marilyn Butler, indeed all the great scholars who shaped our field and our thinking in the U.K. or in North America. Essays should describe the contribution made by specific critical work(s) to the discipline of Romantic studies and their continued significance.

Please send detailed abstracts by 15 March 2005, via e-mail to James McKusick: mckusick@umbc.edu

NOTE: All program participants must be members of MLA by April 1, 2005. It would be helpful to us (in preparing MLA program copy) if you would provide your full name and academic affiliation.

Sincerely yours,
James McKusick
Professor of English and Director of the Honors College
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD 21250

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Conference: British Women Playwrights, 1780-1830

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Conference: "British Women Playwrights, 1780-1830," at Chapman University, March 12, 2005.

Presented by Chapman University's Department of English and Comparative Literature, with additional assistance provided by the School of Communication Arts.

The day of lectures, papers and panels will feature a performance of Hannah Cowley's A Bold Stroke for a Husband, directed by Frederick Burwick, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. Coffee and refreshments will be served at 8:30 a.m., with the first session of papers to commence at 9:00 a.m. There will be a luncheon at 12:00 p.m., the matinee performance at 1:30, followed by the afternoon session of papers from 4:00 to 5:30. Featured plenary speakers are Anne Mellor and Jeffrey Cox. The conference banquet will commence at 7:00. A full list of paper titles and abstracts may be seen on the website for British Women Playwrights around 1800: http://www.etang.umontreal.ca/bwp1800/

Registration for the conference will be at two rates: $40 for faculty and $25 for students. Checks should be made payable to "Chapman University" and sent to:

Gisela Verduzco
Department of English and Comparative Literature
Chapman University
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866

You may also address questions about payment, accommodations, special parking or dietary needs to Gisela Verduzco at (714) 997-6750 or verduzco@chapman.edu

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Romantic Pedagogy Commons: Innovations

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The first issue of the new peer-reviewed venue, Romantic Pedagogy Commons, called "Innovations," is now available at Romantic Circles. It offers numerous tools for teaching, some that are technologically innovative, others that make use of more traditional classroom practices but transfer them to the web (online slide shows, for instance). These tools are primarily for enhancing Romanticism classes, but some of them apply to any literature courses. Mark Phillipson presents the Wiki as an anti-authoritarian class tool: it de-centers classroom authority and participants produce an on line text book, as it were, authored collectively by the class members. Jerome McGann and Johanna Drucker describe IVANHOE, a new program (still in beta testing) that stimulates creative reading practices and interpretive activity among students in a literature course.

The inaugural issue of the Romantic Pedagogy Commons might be of wider interest, however, since it discusses new pedagogical theories and their relation to web tools (the introduction), and defines and explains "Visual Literacy" (three essays by Seiffert, Simmons, and Bjork).

Laura Mandell

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Blake Archive: Divine Comedy illustrations

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The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of Blake's water color and engraved illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy. Along with the illustrations to Edward Young's Night Thoughts, the poetry of Thomas Gray, and John Milton's poems, the Dante series of 102 water colors are among Blake's most important series of illustrations to another poet. Although he engraved only 7 of the designs from the water color series, these plates show that Blake continued innovative work as a line engraver into the final days of his life. The water colors can be found in the Archive by moving through the following categories: Works in the Archive, Non-Illuminated Materials, Drawings and Paintings, and Water Color Drawings. The engravings can be found by moving through the following categories: Works in the Archive, Non-Illuminated Materials, Separate Prints and Prints in Series, Plates Designed and Engraved by Blake.

The water colors were commissioned by John Linnell, the chief patron of Blake's final years. Although Linnell did not begin to pay for the designs until December 1825, at the rate of about 1 pound a week, Blake probably began work on the drawings by the fall of 1824. They were left at Blake's death in 1827 in various stages of completion, ranging from pencil sketches to highly finished water colors. Most show an expressive freedom in the handling of color washes far greater than Blake's earlier water colors. In 1826, Blake began to engrave large plates based on 7 of the designs; these were also left incomplete at his death. Like Blake's Job engravings, the Dante plates are pure line engravings without preliminary etching. The water colors remained in Linnell's collection and estate until their sale at auction in 1918. Through a scheme organized by the National Arts-Collections Fund, they were dispersed among 7 participating
institutions: Ashmolean Museum (3 designs), Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (6 designs), British Museum (13 designs), Fogg Art Museum (23 designs) National Gallery of Victoria (36 designs), Royal Institution of Cornwall (1 design), and Tate Collection (20 designs). The engravings, first printed for sale in 1838, are reproduced from a set in the collection of Robert N. Essick.

We have also taken this opportunity to publish four more Collection Lists:Ashmolean Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, and Tate Collection. The last in this group is one of the largest and finest gatherings of Blake's drawings, water colors, and paintings. These lists can be found, along with the eighteen others previously published, under Resources for Further Research on the Archive's main Table of Contents (Home Page).

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Andrea Laue, technical editor
The William Blake Archive

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