Romantic Circles Reviews Re-Launched

Jack Cragwall has just announced the re-launch of Romantic Circles Reviews, now a blog in which reviews of recent work in Romanticism will be posted. The blog also includes the complete archive of previous reviews. This is a welcome event, as the site has been relatively dormant for a while now.

New reviews published today:


Artful Dodgers: Marah Gubar on Children’s Literature

Oxford University Press has recently published a book by Marah Gubar entitled Artful Dodgers: Reconceiving the Golden Age of Children’s Literature, which traces a sustained Victorian ambivalence about the Romantic idea of childhood innocence.

From the Oxford website:

“In a series of attentive close readings of both famous and unjustly neglected texts, Gubar shows how such writers as Lewis Carroll, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and J. M. Barrie often resisted the growing cultural pressure to erect a strict barrier between child and adult, innocence and experience. Rather than urging young people to mold themselves to match a static archetype of artless simplicity, they conceived of children as precociously literate, highly socialized beings who-though indisputably shaped by the strictures of civilized life-could nevertheless cope with such influences in creative ways.”

Table of contents:

Introduction: “Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast”
1. “Our Field”: The Rise of the Child Narrator
2. Collaborating with the Enemy: Treasure Island
3. Reciprocal Aggression: Unromantic Agency in the Art of Lewis Carroll
4. Partners in Crime: E. Nesbit and the Art of Thieving
5. The Cult of the Child and the Controversy over Child Actors
6. Burnett, Barrie, and the Emergence of Children’s Theatre

Forthcoming issue of Victorian Literature and Culture 37:2 (2009)

Although online access is not available as of this posting,  the newest issue of Victorian Literature and Culture 37:2 (2009) contains the following articles:

  • “The Colonial Postcard: The Spectral/Telepathic Mode in Conan Doyle and Kipling” by BISHNUPRIYA GHOSH
  • “‘Loathsome London’: Ruskin, Morris, and Henry Davey’s History of English Music (1895)” by BENNETT ZON
  • “Oceana Revisited:  J. A. Froude’s 1884 Journey to New Zealand and the Pink and White Terraces” by ANNE MAXWELL
  • “The Play with a Past: Arthur Wing Pinero’s New Drama” by HEATHER ANNE WOZNIAK
  • “‘A Beautiful Translation from a Very Imperfect Original’: Mabel Wotton, Aestheticism, and the Dilemma of Literary Borrowing” by SIGRID ANDERSON CORDELL
  • “‘A Preface is Written to the Public’: Print Censorship, Novel Prefaces, and the Construction of a New Reading Public in Late-Victorian England” by BARBARA LECKIE
  • “Cosmetic Tragedies: Failed Masquerade in Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady” by AVIVA BRIEFEL
  • “Representations of the Abnormal Body in The Moonstone” by MARK MOSSMAN
  • “The Tragic Mulatta Plays the Tragic Muse” by KIMBERLY SYNDER MANGANELLI
  • “‘He Sings Alone’: Hybrid Forms and the Victorian Working-Class Poet” by KIRSTIE BLAIR
  • “‘Love Yourself As Your Neighbor’: The Limits of Altruism and the Ethics of Personal Benefit in Adam Bede” by ILANA M. BLUMBERG
  • “‘Awful Unknown Qualities’: Addressing the Readers in Hard Times”  by CAROLYN VELLENGA BERMAN
  • “Popular Dickens” by LISA RODENSKY
  • Work in Progress: “The Savage Genius of Sherlock Holmes” by ANNA NEILL

The website also announces a forthcoming special issue: “Volume 38, Number 2 (2010) with an Editors’ Topic, ‘Victorian Cosmopolitanisms,’ edited by Tanya Agathocleous and Jason R. Rudy”

Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies: Spring 2009 Issue Available

The Spring 2009 issue of the Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, edited by David Latham, is now available. It contains the following articles and reviews:


  • David Latham’s ““Shadows Hot from Hell”: Swinburne’s Poethics”
  • L. Spates’s “Ruskin’s Dark Night of the Soul: A Reconsideration of His Mental Illness and the Importance of Accurate Diagnosis”
  • D.M.R. Bentley’s “‘Polysemos, Hoc Est Plurium Sensum’: Dante Rossetti’s Paintings of Jane Morris”
  • Ernest Fontana’s “Pre-Raphaelite Martyrdoms”


  • A Rossetti Family Chronology by Alison Chapman and Joanna Meacock (D’Amico)
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Victorian Visual World by Catherine Phillips (Nixon)
  • William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones: Interlacings by Caroline Arscott (Frederick)
  • Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection by Margaret D. Stetz (Bingaman)
  • Art for Art’s Sake: Aestheticism in Victorian Painting by Elizabeth Prettejohn (Yeates)
  • Moulding the Female Body in Victorian Fairy Tales and Sensation Novels by Laurence Talairach-Vielmas;  The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde by Jarlah Killeen (Pierce)

Ricks Reviews Plumly’s Posthumous Keats

Christopher Ricks reviews Stanley Plumley’s Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography in the New York Review of Books.

From the review:

“Stanley Plumly’s profoundly humane evocation of Keats’s life and his immediate afterlife is better than magisterial, for it is masterly….Plumly’s is a generous book, avowedly grateful to what he calls ‘the great 1960s biographies’ of Keats, that by Walter Jackson Bate, which I’d characterize as the most cognitive; by Aileen Ward, the most touching; and by Robert Gittings, the most practical. Plumly pays justified tribute to the fine editors, too, notably Hyder Edward Rollins, for Keats’s letters as well as all the papers of the Keats circle, and John Barnard, for the poems. These debts are honored; for his architectonics, Plumly is in debt to no one. Thanks to acts of arbitration that are not simply arbitrary, he is able to exercise to the full his own shaping spirit of imagination, and to have each chapter be ‘formed from a single image, theme, or object relative to Keats’s vulnerabilities as an individual and his strengths as an artist.’ The happy result, sensitive to the darkest unhappinesses, is a work that is markedly personal, while never becoming self-conscious, idiosyncratic, or eccentric.”

CFP: Special Issue of Victorian Review: “Victorian Natural Environments”

[as published on the Victorian Review website:]

Victorian Natural Environments

Special Issue of the Victorian Review (Fall 2010)

Submission Date for Complete Papers: 15 September 2009

The Victorian Review invites submissions for a special issue devoted to Victorian Natural Environments. Recently, various Victorianist scholarly approaches have begun noting points of confluence with environmental and ecological studies. This issue of Victorian Review is aimed at recognizing these recent insights, considering how notions of natural environments have made an impact on Victorian cultures and values. Essays that address the political role of different configurations of societies, species, living spaces and the planet itself are especially encouraged. What environments did Victorians recognize as natural and unnatural? How did issues of physical and psychological containment impact on Victorians’ sense of themselves as natural agents? What performative systems circumscribed people’s self-identification as human or not quite human? How do environmental, animal and posthumanist studies contribute to our understanding of Victorian identity and society?

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

Environmental Art and Literature
Popular Science and Daily Lives
Paganism and Nature Spirituality
Acting Naturally in Different Class Contexts
Decadent Nature and Decadent Artifice
Aquariums, Zoos and Other Such Animal Environments
Genius Loci – Spirit of a Place
Anthropomorphism and Animals in the Domestic Environment
Eugenics, Social Darwinism and Criminal Neighbourhoods
Peacocks, Lap Dogs, and Other Animals of Artifice
Anthropology and Environments
Technological Environments and Nature

Essays must be between 5000 and 7000 words and formatted according to MLA guidelines. Queries and abstracts are welcome at any time, but please submit the full essay electronically to the guest editor by Sept. 15, 2009: Dennis Denisoff / Department of English / Ryerson University, Toronto / .

Wordsworth Summer Conference 2009: Program Available

The Wordsworth Summer Conference will be held in Grasmere July 27 – August 6, 2009, featuring keynote lectures by Nick Roe, Fiona Stafford, Paul Fry, Claire Lamont, Stephen Gill, Frances Ferguson, Gillian Beer, Richard Cronin, Yoko Ima-Izuma, Anne Wroe, Michael O’Neill, and Fred Burwick.

The conference program has been released and is available here as a Word document.

A full prospectus for the conference is available here as a PDF.