New resource on teaching Victorian adaptation

We are pleased to see the launch of Streaky Bacon, a new online resource for teachers and students of Victorian adaptation. As founding editors Patrick C. Fleming, Victoria Ford Smith, Joanna Swafford, and Carrie Sickmann Han explain in their introductory essay, the site takes its title from Charles Dickens’s metaphor for the texture of stage melodrama, a popular medium into which Dickens’s own novels were frequently adapted. Victorian adaptation and Neo-Victorianism have a long history in scholarship (e.g. the journal Neo-Victorian Studies) and the popular imagination. The nineteenth-century web has also had much to offer the classroom. Yet Streaky Bacon marks a more explicitly pedagogical focus that has been noticeable lately, for example in the number of new resources published or in process at Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons. Given Victorian adaptations’ appeal to students, Streaky Bacon is a welcome addition to these teaching resources. The inclusion of discussion questions and bibliographies for further reading makes the write-ups well suited for both teaching preparation and student use. We can hope for many more additions to come, and scholars interested in writing about Victorian adaptations for the site can view the submission guidelines here.


Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes: New Digital Edition at Romantic Circles

Romantic Circles has announced the release of a digital edition of Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes, edited by Nicholas Mason, Shannon Stimpson, and Paul Westover. More on the edition and the new features it launches for Romantic Circles are available here.

New Website and Manifesto: The V21 Collective

For those who have not yet seen it, the new V21 Collective, which released a manifesto on the state of Victorian studies earlier this month, has been generating a lively discussion. The collective’s manifesto diagnoses Victorian studies with a set of problems stemming from “positivist historicism,” and suggests that even new methods like surface and distant reading are symptoms of an “infatuation with the accumulation of information.”

As one might hope, a provocation of this sort is leading to a wide-ranging discussion. The first and second sets of responses are now online and open for comment.

Guest Post: The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Blog

Hello! I’m Arden Hegele, the Managing Editor of the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Blog, and I’m very pleased to have this opportunity to introduce our website to readers of The Hoarding.

The NGSC is a forum for graduate students in Romanticism to participate in a community beyond their institutions. We share intellectual and professional resources to help all graduate students become active and engaged scholars, and our website is a resource for involvement in Romantic studies. Any student with an interest in Romanticism can become a member of the NGSC, and can participate to whatever extent they wish.

As well as providing a supportive and collegial platform for graduate student development, the NGSC Blog is dedicated to producing innovative and exciting content for our readers in the wider scholarly community. We publish new work by graduate student writers, who come from universities across the United States and Canada, and who represent a range of programs and disciplines, but all with an interest in Romanticism.

Our feature articles include inquiries into pedagogical strategies, investigative historical work, responses to lectures, interviews with senior scholars, book reviews, close readings, and even humorous quips. I hope you’ll take a look at some of our latest pieces, which have covered such varied topics as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Romantic-era tattooing, Byron’s Hebrew Melodies in concert, horror in medicine, and Keats and cognitive science. We also feature articles in series, including the Dialogues collaborations and the “On First Looking Into…” posts by undergraduate writers, as well as occasional guest posts by our colleagues in related fields.

Two of our contributors deserve special notice. The NGSC Blog is extremely fortunate to be able to feature the creative work of our Artist-in-Residence, Nicole Geary, and our Poet-in-Residence, Melissa Walter. Both Nicole and Melissa’s art emerges from an ongoing dialogue with Romanticism, as they interpret and evolve early nineteenth-century aesthetics into contemporary forms.

Readers from any area or stage of the discipline are welcome, and I hope that you become a reader of the NGSC Blog. Are you a graduate student, and would you like to write for us? Our general call for new writers takes place at the beginning of the Fall term, but feel free to contact me at any time about becoming involved, and check out our Board Members page for information about joining our listserv. Thank you for reading, and all the best from the NGSC Blog!

Arden Hegele is the Managing Editor of the NGSC Blog. She is a  Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and a SSHRC doctoral fellow.

New online edition: The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander, ed. Terry Meyers

The full text of a new edition of The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander, edited by Terry Meyers, is available here (scroll to the bottom):

The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander

Bust of Sidney Alexander Image reproduced by permission of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Not all to that Bright Station: The Poetry of Sidney A. Alexander rescues from oblivion the works, largely unpublished, of a Victorian poet who abandoned his nascent literary ambitions. Alexander (1866-1948) won the prestigious Newdigate Prize for poetry at Oxford, and began to place his poetry in periodicals. His last appearance in those was in 1891, after which he began a rise in the Anglican Church that led to prominence, if not fame.

As a student at St. Paul’s School, Alexander distinguished himself by winning a number of prizes and awards, accomplishments he repeated as an Exhibitioner at Trinity College, Oxford. In 1887, he read his winning Newdigate Poem, “Sakya-Muni: The Story of Buddha,” in the presence of Robert Browning. Several of his poems were accepted by leading periodicals of the day; some were reprinted in America.

But from about 1891, Alexander turned his attention to his ecclesiastical career, which culminated in his appointment as a canon at St. Paul’s Cathedral. His position as Treasurer included fundraising and responsibility for the fabric of the cathedral; he was successful in both areas, helping to protect the structure from damage from commercial development in the City and from German bombs during the Blitz. His accomplishments, however, did not lead to what Alexander devoutly wished, appointment as Dean of St. Paul’s.

The works in this edition, mostly unpublished, come from a notebook where Alexander transcribed fair copies of his work. Though the juvenilia may be of little interest, Alexander’s sensibilities and capabilities as a poet do develop, and his later works, especially the narrative poems, have a certain power. His works will interest especially those drawn to Victorian religious poetry.

The poems are presented as scans of Alexander’s holograph transcriptions accompanied by a typescript transcription and explanatory notes. The last pages of the notebook offer the evidence for Alexander’s contemplating a more sustained poetical career. The editorial matter includes a biographical sketch of Alexander and, in the appendices, his Newdigate poem, an unrecorded printing of a St. Paul’s prize poem, and several works from much later in his career. See too: