Romantic Circles Blog

Murray Archive Poised to Move to Scottish National Library

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The John Murray Archive--a collection built by the famous publishing house that includes, among other important papers, Byron's correspondence--may soon move from London to the National Library of Scotland (at a cost of something close to £33 million). As readers of this blog will know, Byron’s literary executor inherited the poet's papers and his daughter bequeathed them to the Murrays. (See the story this week in Scotsman.com.) The British Library has expressed support for the move. The Scottish Library has plans to stage for special exhibitions devoted to the works of Lord Byron, Jane Austen, and others. (See as well this article at the BBC 4 site.)

SJ

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New Praxis Volume: Romantic Libraries

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Romantic Circles is pleased to announce the publication of a new volume in its Praxis series, Romantic Libraries, edited by Ina Ferris. It can be found in the Praxis section of Romantic Circles or directly at:

http://www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/libraries/index.html

According to Ferris, the essays in Romantic Libraries "respond to a historical bibliophilia that played into forms of early Romantic masculinity to produce a personal and private inflection of library culture. The volume concentrates on men and their books, exploring the intersection of bookishness, male subjectivity, and literary value.  Essays by Heather Jackson, Deidre Lynch, and Ina Ferris set out to make more visible than has hitherto been the case in Romantic studies the ways in which the physical book--as affective and interiorized object--became central to both personal and cultural identity-formation during the period."

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Holmes on Shelley's drowning

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Biographer Richard Holmes recently published an article in The Guardian about the death of Shelley--or, rather, the legend of the death. Holmes says for example that

Biography is caught and frozen, so to speak, in the glamorous headlights of Shelley's death. But if we set that death aside, if we switch off its hypnotic dazzle for a moment, maybe quite different patterns and trajectories can emerge from Shelley's life.

On January 29, Holmes delivered the innaugural lecture in the National Portrait Gallery's "Interrupted Lives" lecture series. An accompanying book will be published in the autumn. Inevitably, Holmes spends some time thinking about the boats involved, especially the doomed Don Juan. For another reading of the sailing skills of all those on the boat that day, see "On the Instability of Vessels and Narratives: A Nautical Perspective on the Sinking of the Don Juan" by Joseph Dane, Keats-Shelley Journal 47 (1998), 63-86.

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Construction and Renovation in Grasmere, Cockermouth

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A local news source yesterday remarked on the removal of a tall construction crane in Grasmere, all part of the building of the Wordsworth Trust's new Jerwood Centre. The library will be closed to scholars for about six months while the project is completed.

Another story reports that Wordsworth's childhood house in Cockermouth, Cumbria, refurbished by the National Trust, will be reopened to the public in June of this year.

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Blake's Illuminated Printing

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The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of "Illuminated Printing." It joins our profusely illustrated Biography, Chronology, and Glossary in the "About Blake" section, off the Table of Contents page. The essay was first published in The Cambridge Companion to William Blake, edited by Morris Eaves, 2003. It is republished here by permission of Cambridge University Press. While the text remains the same, the electronic version has 95 illustrations versus 9 in the printed version. The illustrations demonstrate in detail the stages of both Blake's relief etching ("illuminated printing") and conventional intaglio etching according to the six Chambers in the Printing house in Hell, from Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The comparison of these two methods of etching will help reveal what was borrowed, altered, invented, and radical in Blake's new mode of graphic production. The illustrations, which are linked to enlargements that have detailed captions, supplement the text but also function autonomously as slide shows on the technical and aesthetic contexts in which illuminated printing was invented, and as tutorials in the production of engravings, etchings, and relief etchings.

Joseph Viscomi

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BARS: Call for Membership

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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) was set up in 1989 by academics to promote the study of the cultural history of the Romantic period. Since then, BARS has organised eight International conferences at various locations in the UK, has published the BARS Bulletin and Review twice-yearly, and developed and maintained a 300-strong membership of British and overseas academics. We would particularly like to welcome North American and Canadian Romanticists to BARS. Overseas members share all the benefits of British members, and will find BARS a useful source of information concerning conferences and publications organised by its members.

In recent years, BARS has extended its activities into a number of important new fields: it supports a series of annual BARS postgraduate conferences, which offer postgraduates an informal arena in which to give and listen to academic papers and discuss their work. BARS also funds the Stephen Copley Postgraduate Bursaries; applicants can apply for sums up to £200 to help them in their research expenses. There is an electronic mailbase for BARS members, informing them of worldwide conferences and events in the field as well as relevant new publications.

The BARS International Conference has a long history of successful four-day events attended by both eminent and new Romanticists from Britain and abroad. These conferences showcase the new work being done in the field of Romantic studies. They are held biannually, and the next conference will take place at the University of Newcastle from Thursday 28 until Sunday 31 July 2005 under the title 'Romanticism's Debatable Lands'. The BARS Bulletin is published twice-yearly and informs members of upcoming events, publications and notices relevant to their interests as well as offering an extensive reviews section, reflecting the research interests of BARS members. Members receive the BARS Bulletin and Review twice a year and be joined to the BARS Electronic Mailbase.

Please contact: Sharon Ruston, BARS Membership Secretary and Treasurer, English Department, University of Wales Bangor, Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales LL57 2DG, UK, els803@bangor.ac.uk, for further information about membership.

Sharon Ruston
els803@bangor.ac.uk

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Call for Membership: Keats-Shelley Association

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The recent changing of the guard, as it were, at the Keats-Shelley  Journal--with Peter Manning now serving as the new Editor and Jeanne Moskal taking over as the new Book Review Editor--offers an occasion for the Keats-Shelley Association of America to invite you to become a member and subscribe to the Journal. The Association supports a range of activities related to Romanticism, including conferences and awards, and members receive notices of special events and opportunities. Students are given a special low rate with a verifying letter from an instructor. Advanced categories of support are also available for established scholars and others who wish to contribute to the association. The full list of membership categories and their dollar amounts is available at the Association's Website:

http://www.rc.umd.edu/ksaa/info.htm

or contact:

Robert A. Hartley,
Secretary, KSAA
Room 226, The New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue at 42 Street
New York, NY 10018-2788
robert.hartley@us.pwcglobal.com

In addition, Jeanne Moskal is looking for potential reviewers. If you are interested in reviewing for the KSJ, please send a summary of your c.v. and your reviewing interests to her at jmoskal@email.unc.edu.

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Frankenstein TV series planned

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This just in on the continuing power of Frankenstein in popular culture. According to Variety (as reported on Coming Soon!) Martin Scorsese is working with author Dean Koontz and director Marcus Nispel to produce the latest contemporary work (loosely) based on Mary Shelley's novel, a weekly TV series for USA Network, planned for fall 2004.

The series is to be set in twenty-first century Seattle, where Victor Frankenstein and his creature now live again--thanks to the technology of genetic engineering. The report suggests that the series will combine a crime drama with the Frankenstein elements of the plot, with "the original Frankenstein monster teaming up with the cops to battle both Dr. Frankenstein and his small army of genetic freaks." Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Mary Shelley, apparently.

SJ

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New Edition: Hemans's The Sceptic

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Romantic Circles has just published The Sceptic: A Hemans-Byron Dialogue, edited by Nanora Sweet and Barbara Taylor, with Adriana Craciun as Consulting Editor and Andrew Elfenbein and Anne Hartman as Contributors.

This edition excavates the text and context of Felicia Hemans’s 1820 pamphlet-poem, The Sceptic. Neglected by Hemans’ pervious editors, this 550-line poem places her in direct contention with Byron over questions of doubt and belief in a time of personal and national uncertainty. Essays incorporated in the digital edition by Anne Hartman, Andrew Elfenbein, Barbara Taylor, and Nanora Sweet present Hemans’s inclinations toward philosophical and theological scepticism, her immersion in the topics and stylistic experiments of the day, and her challenges to Byronic genre, style, and theme. Featuring images, letters, and reviews, the edition includes a "guided tour" of the poem that follows its Sceptic’s "progress" through a cosmos spanning heaven and earth.

RC Eds.

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Kofi Annan to deliver Robert Burns Memorial Lecture

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Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan will deliver tonight the inaugural Robert Burns Memorial Lecture at the UN in New York. His topic is "The State of the World and the Brotherhood of Man.” The lecture series is named in honor of the poet and his “belief in the equality of mankind.”

The story can be found at Scotsman.com.

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