Romantic Circles Blog

Conference Announcements

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Two conference announcements came today. First, for the latest Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Women Writers Conference:

The Thirteenth Annual Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Conference: "Women's Texts and Cultural Contexts" April 14-17, 2005, Hilton Lafayette, Hosted by the Department of English, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Keynote speakers: Catherine Burroughs (Wells College), Linda Hughes (TCU), and Susan Staves (Brandeis University).

There will be a performance of Fanny Burney's The Witlings during the conference. We welcome a wide range of papers on the conference theme and related issues. Topics might include but should not be limited to the following:

Women Writing Culture, Performing Culture, Sensation Fiction, Religion and Women's Writing, Women and Science, Women's Professions, Women in Journalism, New Women and their Impact, Domestic Ideologies, Writing for Children, Images of the Woman Poet, Subversive Women, Women's Bodies Bodies of Women, Mothers as Cultural Icons, Women and Empire, Women and the Public Sphere.

Please submit 1-2 page abstracts for individual presentations and panel proposals by October 31, 2004. Please include a cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, email address, institutional affiliation and a brief biographical paragraph. Please do not include any identifying information
on your abstract. Proposals may be sent via regular mail to:

British Women Writers Conference
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department of English
PO Box 44691
Lafayette, LA 70504

Abstracts may also be submitted by email (include name, phone number, mailing address, institutional affiliation and brief biographical paragraph) to: bwwc@louisiana.edu

Additional details about the conference including registration and hotel
information can be found at our website:

http://www.louisiana.edu/bwwc

Christine DeVine
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
And this one from the U.K.:

Midlands Romantic Seminar:
Romanticism and the Midlands Enlightenment

One Day Conference, sponsored by University of Central England and Nottingham Trent University, Saturday 3rd July, 10.00am-5.00pm.

Birmingham and Midland Institute
Margaret Street,
Birmingham,
B3 3BS

Keynote Speakers: George Rousseau and Desmond King-Hele

Registration fee £25.
For further details, please contact:
Dr Gavin Budge
gavin.budge@uce.ac.uk

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New Edition: Scott's Reliquiae Trotcosienses

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Walter Scott's Reliquiae Trotcosienses edited by Gerard Carruthers and Alison Lumsden is to be published today, April 23rd, 2004, by Edinburgh University Press. Until now unpublished, this work was commissioned from Scott in 1830 as a guide to his home and library at Abbotsford. Instead, Scott produced a semi-fictional account of "Trotcosey House" in which he both sent himself up in his antiquarian interests and also, at the same time, insisted that physical artefacts and books have a great deal of meaningful,imaginative human history attached to them. Scott's son-in-law, John Gibson Lockhart and others mindful to protect the powerful reputation of the "Wizard of the North" deemed the work, incomplete at Scott's death in 1832, unworthy of publication. However, in spite of impaired physical capacities as the result of several strokes, Scott produced a more cogent work than was thought to be the case. Conservative editorial practices in this edition show that beneath the poor handwriting and the seeming semantic difficulty, the text can be made over ninety per cent intelligible. Particularly interesting in the book, perhaps, are Scott's comments on bibliophile matters and his taste in popular culture (including witchcraft, ballads and popular tracts).

Gerry Carruthers
University of Glasgow

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Blake Archive: Europe a Prophecy

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The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of the electronic edition of Europe a Prophecy copy H. The only monochrome copy of the nine extant copies printed by Blake, copy H was printed c. 1795. Now in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, it joins copies B, E, and K in the Archive and will be joined by copies A and D in the near future. Europe is dated 1794 on its title plate and the first six copies were color printed that year, followed in 1795 by two more copies. Copies B and E are from the first printing session and copy K is from the last printing session, c. 1818. With the addition of copy H, the printing history of Europe is fully represented in the Archive.
Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Andrea Laue, technical editor
The William Blake Archive
http://www.blakearchive.org/

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Musical Setting for Blake's Songs Performed

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From an April 12 review by John Rockwell in The New York Times:

"ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 9 — William Bolcom's gigantic, well-more-than-two-hour setting of William Blake's complete 'Songs of Innocence and of Experience' poetic cycle is enormously difficult and expensive to perform. Looking down at the forces assembled for the University of Michigan performance in Hill Auditorium here on Thursday night [APRIL 8] was a mega-Mahlerian experience, with a stage extension needed to accommodate the nearly 500 musicians (bigger than the forces of any Mahler 'Symphony of a Thousand' I have encountered). All that was missing were lighting effects and projections of Blake's engravings, suggested in the score. But they were on display in the lobby. . . ." [read the entire review]

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"The Monster Makers" performed in Calgary, Alberta, CA

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This letter came today to the Romantic Circles Editors:

Hiya!

I thought you might be interested of a small local production based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, based on the experiences of the summer of 1816 at Villa Diodati in Geneva.  It is an all original script called "the Monster Makers" written and directed by Louis B. Hobson.

[see this story in the Calgary Sun --SJ]

It puts on a theatre stage an account of what might have transpired between the five characters of Lord George Byron, Dr. John Polidori, Claire Clairmont, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Godwin.  It opens April 13 at the pumphouse theatres in Calgary, Alberta and goes until April 20.  A shortened version recently won the Calgary regional one-act play festival, and this also will be used for the Alberta provincial one-act play festival.

Sincerely,
David C. Hume

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Michael Foot's Hazlitt Collection

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Scholar, journalist, and political activist Michael Foot, 90, officially opened a an exhibition on William Hazlitt at the Wordsworth museum in Dove Cottage in Grasmere last Saturday. In interviews Foot confirmed that most of the 1,000 volumes in his Hazlitt collection will pass to the Wordsworth Trust when he dies. The Trust has published a new edition of The Spirit of the Age to coincide with the exhibition and dedicated it to Mr Foot. (See the story in the Guardian.)

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"Daffodils": Poetry reading for charity

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On March 19, to mark the 200th anniversary of the composition of "Daffodils" ("I wandered lonely as a cloud"), groups of more than 260, 000 pupils from local schools near Grasmere read the poem at the same time, an attempt to break the record for the world's largest poetry reading and a benefit for the Marie Curie Cancer Care daffodil campaign. (See the story in the Guardian.)

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An adaptation of Shelley's Mask of Anarchy

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The new album by independent pop musician, John Vanderslice (formerly of MK Ultra), Cellar Door, contains perhaps the most recent in a long line of adaptations of P. B. Shelley's political song on the occasion of the Peterloo massacre, The Mask of Anarchy. The lyrics of "Pale Horse" are taken straight from Shelley's ballad (with a little cutting and pasting and one or two interpolations). Listeners can even download an MP3 audio file here.

from the haunts of daily life
where is waged the daily strife
common wants and common cares
cuts the human heart with tears

rise like lions after a slumber
in greatly unknowable numbers

let the tyrants pour around
with apocalyptic sound
on the charge of iron wheels
and the crash of horse’s heels

rise like lions after a slumber
in greatly unknowable numbers
free the blood that must ensue
we are many and they are few

from the workhouse and the prison
pale as corpses newly risen
knives are drawn now let them see
standing tall that say they’re free

your strong and simple words
set to wound as sharpened swords
wide as targets let them be
with their shade to cover me

rise like lions after a slumber
in greatly unknowable numbers
free the blood that must ensue
we are many and they are few

SJ

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Blake Archive: America A Prophecy

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The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of the electronic edition of America a Prophecy copy M. One of 14 extant copies, and one of only four that are colored, copy M was printed c. 1807. Now in the Yale Center for British Art, it joins copies A, E, and O in the Archive and will be joined by copies F and H in the near future.

America is dated 1793 on its title plate, and the first ten copies were printed that year followed in 1795 by two more copies. Copies E (1793) and A (1795) are from these two printing sessions. Copy O was the last to be printed, c. 1818. With the addition of copy M, the printing history of America is fully represented in the Archive.

Copy M, however, is an oddity, for it was uniquely printed with no other works during a period when Blake appears to have been generally inactive in the printing of his illuminated books. It is the only illuminated book printed on Hayes & Wise 1799 paper and with most of its plates printed in blue ink. It appears to have been printed while Blake was proofing various plates from the first two chapters of Jerusalem, some of which are also in blue ink. A few of these proofs will enter the Archive in the near future.

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

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Valuing the Murray Archive

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For those of you following the story of the possible sale of the John Murray Archive, a recent article on Scotsman.com cites Joan Winterkorn, director and chief of valuations, antiquarian booksellers Bernard Quaritch, who was recently asked to value the Murray Archive--and "put the value at £45m, possibly more." The National Library of Scotland hopes to buy the collection for £33 million.

"What I had not anticipated was the extraordinary richness and depth of the collection, the many hundreds of boxes of letters that have never been catalogued and have seldom been consulted," Winterkorn says.

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