New seminar series: Feb- May 2023

We are pleased to announce the schedule for our forthcoming seminar series. This series will take place on MS TEAMS and a calendar invite will be sent out the day before each session to everyone who has registered. Please see the links below for registration forms and please ensure that you register by 5pm on the day before each talk is scheduled. All are very welcome. The series is being organised by Elizabeth Ludlow and Hilary Bedder. If you have any queries, then don’t hesitate to email

5-6pm, Tues Feb 7th: Dr. Kathy Rees (Independent) ‘Edmund Gosse’s juvenilia: play, imitation, and apprenticeship’. Please click here to register.

5-6pm, MON Feb 20th: Alicia Beavis (City, University of London) Mrs F. E. M. Notley: A Subversive Woman Written out of History. Please click here to register.

5-6pm, Tues March 7th: Dr. Matthew Bradley (University of Liverpool) ‘The Prisoner’s Progress: Wilde’s De Profundis and Spiritual Autobiography‘. Please click here to register.

5-6pm, Tues March 28th: Mo O’Neill (University of Sheffield): ‘The Vegetarian Limits of Edward Carpenter’s Modernist Self Fashioning’. Please click here to register.

5-6pm, Tues April 18th: Gaia Lambert (Anglia Ruskin University) ‘Curating a Narrative: The Many Lives of Lizzie Siddal’. Please click here to register

5-6pm, Tues May 2nd: Dr. Koenraad Claes (Anglia Ruskin University): ‘Two Great Moving Principles of Social Humanity: Walter Scott’s agonism and Romantic-era politics.’ Please click here to register.  


Nineteenth Century Studies at Anglia Seminar Series

I am pleased to announce the schedule for our 2022/3 semester 1 seminar series. This series will take place on MS TEAMS and a calendar invite will be sent out the day before each session to everyone who has registered. All are very welcome. If you have any queries, then please don’t hesitate to email

5-6pm, Tues 18th October:  Dr. Sophia Jochem: ‘Toward a Racially Accountable Narrative of Femininity in Dickens: Edwin Drood and the Idea of Ceylon.’ Please click here to register.

5-6pm, Tues 1st Nov: Dr. Gavin Budge: From Children’s Literature to the Novel of Education: the philosophical pedagogy of Maria Edgeworth’s fiction. Please click here to register. 

5-6pm, Tues 15th Nov: Alice Jackman: ‘New meanings/New materialisms: Marianne Dashwood as Eco-heroine.’ Please click here to register

5-6pm, Tues 29th Nov: Dr. Amanda Vernon: ‘Re-reading Victorians: repetition, literature, and the cure of souls’.  Please click here to register

5-6pm, Tues 13th Dec: Dr. Maureen McCue: ‘A point to aim at in a morning’s walk’: Encounters at the Print Shop. Please click here to register

CFP: Elizabeth Gaskell Conference, June 15th 2023, Anglia Ruskin University and online

Keynote Speaker: Dr Jo Carruthers (University of Lancaster)

Call for Papers

Deadline: Friday 31st March

When Elizabeth Gaskell wrote the oft quoted many ‘mes’ letter of 1850 to Eliza Fox, she was expressing a need to balance and harmonise the demands placed upon her. As well as wife, mother, author, Christian, Gaskell has been subjected to scrutiny as Dickens’s Scheherazade, Charlotte Bronte’s biographer, Florence Nightingale’s correspondent, amongst others.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘mes’ reflected both her frustration at being pigeonholed by her admirers and critics, but her letter also implies a pleasure at the many facets of herself. At this conference, we want to draw out Gaskell’s complexity both in her writing and in her own person – her relationship with her contemporary fame, and how her work, and characters now intersect with the twenty-first century. This discussion will begin a wider dialogue on how we read Victorian fiction in an ever-changing modern society, building a community of voices and ideas with this as our guide.

We are offering a hybrid conference experience so that those who wish to attend in-person can meet at our Cambridge campus, while also offering online attendance to widen the reach of what we believe will be an engaging and thoughtful discussion. For those who wish to attend in-person, we are offering a limited amount of travel bursaries for PGRs. 

The Conference will also feature a round table discussion on the relevance and challenges of teaching Victorian Literature within a 21st Century University setting.

We welcome abstracts for 10-minute papers that explore all facets of Gaskell’s canon and its relevance today. We invite papers from post-graduate and early career researchers from a wide variety of disciplines to engage with a writer that still has much to offer.  

Possible topics could include but should not be limited to:

  • Perceptions of gender in Gaskell’s writing 
  • Ecological readings including EcoGothic
  • Gaskell and costume dramas
  • Female travel in her fiction, letters and journalism
  • Colonialism and representations of indigenous communities 
  • Literary Allusions – from/to 
  • Digital age implications for Gaskell Studies 
  • Elizabeth Gaskell and Queer Theories 
  • Gaskell and dissent

Abstracts (250 words) and bios should be formatted in word and send to:

Alice Jackman:     or

Kathleen Gentle: 


Please include your full name, discipline and institutional affiliation. 

Edmund Gosse’s Tristram Jones: An Autobiographical Romance. Edited by Kathy Rees and Christine Alexander

Thank you to unit member Kathy Rees who has written this account of working with and editing Gosse’s Tristram Jones.

While I was working on my PhD on Edmund Gosse at ARU (2010-14), supervised by Professor Valerie Purton, I spent a lot of time examining the Gosse archive at Cambridge University Library.  The box-files relating to Gosse’s juvenilia comprise a fascinating assemblage of family letters, photographs, drawings, homework exercises, notebooks of poems, and scribbled fragments. In one of the box-files, I came across a document comprising 47 pages of handwritten text entitled “Tristram Jones”, a novella written when Gosse was in his early twenties, c.1872. As Gosse later explained in a cover note appended to the manuscript in 1902, the fiction was strongly influenced by his own feelings, ambitions, and experiences during that early period: “I, of course, am Tristram Jones”. It is an intriguing narrative, and one which in terms of structure, voice, and use of metaphor, anticipates Gosse’s memoir, Father and Son (1907), which has long been a classic, studied worldwide.   

In 2018, I heard about the Juvenilia Press, a non-profit enterprise founded in 1994 at the University of Alberta, and since 2001 based at the School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales, Sydney. Committed to the recovery, publication, and critical exploration of youthful writings, the Juvenilia Press has over seventy titles on its list including writing by Jane Austen, John Ruskin, Emily and Anne Brontë, Charles Dickens, Marjorie Fleming, Maria Edgeworth, Robert Louis Stevenson and many others. The Press combines scholarship with pedagogy, and I have had the good fortune to be mentored by the Director of the Juvenilia Press, Professor Christine Alexander.  Under her patient guidance I have learned the principles and stages of editing a manuscript. The priority is to ensure that all authorial changes and editorial amendments, however small, are accurately recorded while at the same producing a text that readers will find accessible and enjoyable.  

The manuscript of Tristram Jones was bequeathed to the University Library in 1941. Now, 150 years after composition, it is being published for the first time. Christine and I are indebted to many people: to Miss Jennifer Gosse, grand-daughter of the author, who kindly granted us permission to publish, to the ever-helpful staff at the UL Manuscripts Room, to Winston Pei for his meticulous book design, and many others who are acknowledged in the book. If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the Juvenilia Press, and about what Gosse called his “autobiographical romance,” please join us at the launch of Tristram Jones at the Richard Eden Suite, Clare Hall, Herschel Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AL, on Wednesday, 30 November 2022 at 7pm. You will be most welcome.  

The Tennyson Society: Talks on Zoom, Oct 2022-March 2023

Below are the details of the ‘Global Tennyson’ lecture series, starting in October.

Thursday evenings                               7.30pm London time.

OCTOBER 6                 Linda K. Hughes ( TCU )

‘The Elegies of Tennyson and Michael Field: Reclaiming and Transcending Loved Remains’.                                         

NOVEMBER  3              Erik Gray  (Columbia)                                               

‘Tennyson and Sappho Revisited’

DECEMBER  1              Michelle Geric  (Westminster)

‘”Wander[er] on a darkened earth”: Tennyson’s Geological Mind.’                                         

JANUARY  5                 John Holmes (Birmingham)

‘”Setting out for Timbuctoo”: Distant Lands and Lost Knowledge in Tennyson’s Poetry.’

FEBRUARY 2                  Anna Barton (Sheffield)

‘Tennyson and Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’

MARCH  2                       Seamus Perry (Oxford)

                                       ‘Global Tennyson’   

Admission to the Talks will be free. Joining details will be sent out a few days before each talk. If you are not a member of the Tennyson Society, please email me at the address below to be added to our mailing list.

NB Clocks in Britain go back an hour on 30 October, so the second and all subsequent lectures will be at 7.30pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Valerie Purton

New seminar series: Writing (about) history in the nineteenth century

We are pleased to announce the initial schedule for our next seminar series. Further talks and information will be added over the coming weeks. The series will take place on MS Teams and a calendar invite will be sent out shortly before each session to everyone who has registered. All are very welcome. If you have any queries, then please don’t hesitate to email or

1 Feb, 5-6pm, Elizabeth Ludlow, ‘Josephine Butler’s reconsideration of female saints: Eschatological conceptions of history and the dismantling of structural evil.’ Please click here to register. 

15th March, 5-6pm, Guinevere Glasfurd ‘Writing The Year Without Summer, 1816: climate crisis, fact and fiction’. Please click here to register. 

29 March, 5-6pm Will Abberley  ‘Sage Writing and Geological History: The Case of Hugh Miller’. Please click here to register. 

26 April, 5-6pm, Natalie Hanna, ‘Double Gazing: Viewing Medieval Politics through Nineteenth-Century Windows’. Please click here to register.

3 May, 5-6pm, Hilary Bedder, ‘A World of Continuous Process:  Entanglements between matter and human in Thomas Hardy’s novels.’ Please click here to register.

ARU 19th Century Studies Event on May 17th: Space and Place in Hardy and Dickens: The Vegetal and the Railway

Hilary Bedder and Edwin Marr, PhD researchers and 19th Century Studies unit members, will present on nineteenth-century literary spaces in the works of Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens, focusing on the Vegetal and the Railways respectively. The schedule for the event will run as follows:

16:00-16:30 – Hilary Bedder – The Dynamic Vegetal: Spatiality, Change and Agency on Thomas Hardy’s Egdon Heath

16:30-17:00 – Edwin Marr – ‘A Great Industrial Exhibition’: The production of Railway Space in Charles Dickens’s Mugby Junction

17:00-17:30 – Questions and Discussion

This free event will take place on Microsoft Teams and is open to everyone. Please sign up by clicking here and using the ‘register’ button. Registration will close at 5pm on Friday 14th May and you will be emailed the link to join shortly before the event.

Talk by Emma Griffin on ‘Women, Men, and Money in Victorian Britain’: Tues 20th April

Professor Emma Griffin (University of East Anglia)  is giving a public talk via Teams on ‘Women, Men and Money in Victorian Britain’ on Tuesday 20 April 2021 from 5.30-7.  The details are here:

It is totally free but you need to book via Eventbrite.  This is very easy to do.  You can find details about how to book on the above link.

Emma Griffin is President of the Royal Historical Society and is therefore the nearest thing we have to a head of the historical profession in Britain.  She is also one of the leading historians of nineteenth century Britain.  Emma Griffin has written books on the Industrial Revolution, on working-class autobiography and on popular culture.  Her latest book, Bread Winner, looks at how ordinary families struggled financially in the nineteenth century despite the increase in national prosperity.  This will inform the talk that she is going to give us.  

Semester 2 Seminar Series

We are pleased to announce the schedule for our next seminar series. This will take place on MS Teams and a calendar invite will be sent out shortly before each session to everyone who has registered. All are very welcome. If you have any queries, then please don’t hesitate to email or

Feb 8, 12-1pm, Dr. Duc Dau (University of Western Australia): “Love is God”: The Song of Songs in the work of Charlotte Brontë and Thomas Hardy. Please click here to register.

Feb 22, 4.30-5.30pm, Dr. Brian Murray (King’s College, London):  The Journeys of ‘Kalulu’ and Saleh Bin Osman: African Travellers in the Imperial Archive. Please click here to register.

March 8, 4.30-5.30pm, Professor emer. Rosemary Mitchell (Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies, Leeds Trinity University): A Catholic and Continental Catherine? Exploring Victorian Representations of Catherine of Aragon. Please click here to register.

March 22, 4.30-5.30pm, Dr. Stephen Basdeo (Richmond University, London): “A Plague of Blue Locusts”: Police Brutality in 1830s Newspapers, Periodicals, and Fiction. Please click here to register.

April 12, 4.30-5.30pm, Professor Fiona Price (University of Chichester): “Real, Solemn History”: Historical Fiction Before Scott. Please click here to register.