Romantic Circles Blog

Editing and Reading Blake, a Romantic Circles Praxis volume

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Romantic Circles is please to announce the publication of Editing and Reading Blake, a new volume in our Praxis series. Co-edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck, this collection of essays looks at the profound challenges William Blake poses to both editors and readers. Despite the promises of the current multi-modal environment, the effort to represent Blake's works as he intended them to be read is increasingly being recognized as an editorial fantasy. All editorial work necessitates mediation and misrepresentation. Yet editorial work also illuminates much in Blake's corpus, and more remains to be done. The essays in this volume grapple with past, present, and future attempts at editing Blake's idiosyncratic verbal and visual work for a wide variety of audiences who will read Blake using numerous forms of media.

Ripley's introduction attempts to tell the history of editing Blake from the perspective of editorial remediation. Essays by W. H. Stevenson, Mary Lynn Johnson, and David Fuller, all of whom have edited successful print editions of Blake's works, reflect on the actual work of editing and explore how the assumptions underlying editorial practices were challenged by publishers, new ideas of editing, new forms of technology, and ideas of audience. Recognizing that editorial work is never done, the volume also includes the indispensable errata to the 2008 edition of Grant and Johnson's Blake Designs. Essays by current and past project assistants to the Blake Archive, Rachel Lee, J. Alexander McGhee, Ripley, and Van Kleeck, examine the difficulties that Blake's heavily revised manuscripts, such as An Island in the Moon and Vala or The Four Zoas, and Blake's illustrations of other authors, have posed both to editors working in print and to the ever-evolving Blake Archive.

The Sublime and Education, A Romantic Circles Praxis volume

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The Sublime and Education table of contentsRomantic Circles is pleased to announce a new volume in the Praxis Series: The Sublime and Education, edited by J. Jennifer Jones.

The Sublime and Education offers a series of essays on how the concept of education intersects with sublime theory and Romantic aesthetics. Rooted in the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, this diverse collection engages comparatively with Romantic-era literature and cultural theory of the 20th and 21st centuries. One underlying inspiration is the pedagogical theory of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, who has thought widely about humanities-based training using Romantic-era texts as principal theoretical and literary tools, formative among them the aesthetic philosophy of Kant.  Spivak's pedagogical theory can perhaps best be apprehended through the claim that proper pedagogy consists in "the uncoercive rearrangement of desires," which is to say a pedagogy founded on a notion of an immanent rather than a transcendental sublime. In complementary but nevertheless highly individuated ways, each contributor to this volume offers just this type of reformative work.

This volume of the Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by J. Jennifer Jones; essays by Christopher Braider, Frances Ferguson, Paul Hamilton, Anne McCarthy, Forest Pyle, and Deborah Elise White; and an afterword by Ian Balfour.

Call for Contributors to the new Pedagogies Commons

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In an effort to make the Romantic Circles Pedagogies section a true commons, we are looking for a crew of commentators with varying levels of experience for our new blog and pedagogies group.  We hope to launch the blog with several regular contributors of various interests and experience, creating a space for sharing ideas on teaching, texts, and techniques.  We may be able to offer the participants a small stipend for their efforts.  These bloggers will offer one or two posts per week, offering dispatches from the front that reflect on their own Romantic pedagogy and the pedagogy of Romanticism.

Essentially the blog will be the first set in a series of proposed changes to the Pedagogies section of the Romantic Circles website.  We will continue to produce peer-edited volumes of essays, and we hope soon to feature interactive digital projects, interviews, notes on using digital tools such as Wikis and databases, along with the arsenal of syllabi and other teaching materials the site already has to offer (  We are imagining this site as a place where professors and students of all levels can debate approaches to particular texts, explore innovative classroom techniques, and report on new Romantic topics.

Interested techno-Romanticists should send a short paragraph of interest to Kate Singer at ksinger[at]mtholyoke[dot]edu, by Sept 3rd.  Please feel free to send any questions as well.

Blake Archive publishes new copies of Blake's Visions

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The William Blake Archive <> has announced the publication of electronic editions of Blake's Visions of the Daughters of Albion copies E and I, in the Huntington Library and Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art, respectively. They join copies a, A, B, C, J (1793), F (c. 1794), G (1795), and O and P (c. 1818), previously published in the Archive.

Visions, extant in seventeen complete copies, consists of eleven relief-etched plates executed and first printed in 1793. Copies E and I were produced in Blake's first printing session. Probably to lend variety to his stock of copies on hand, Blake used three ink colors in this first printing: yellow ochre (as in copy A), raw sienna (copies B, C, and E), and green (copies I and J). Like all early copies of Visions, copies E and I have the frontispiece printed on one side of
a leaf, but all other plates are printed on both sides of five leaves.

With the publication of _Visions_ copies E and I, the Archive now contains fully searchable and scalable electronic editions of 75 copies of Blake's nineteen illuminated works in the context of full bibliographic information about each work, careful diplomatic transcriptions of all texts, detailed descriptions of all images, and extensive bibliographies.

Call for papers: Money/Myths

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32nd Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association

March 3-6, 2011 at Arizona State University, Tempe & Phoenix, Arizona

How was money understood in the nineteenth century? in its global context? by laborers? How did the ideation of money evolve around and through art, music, race, nation, and empire? How did the stories told about money influence people and practices? What role do myths play in comprehending money? How were relations between people mediated by narratives of money? relations between nations? This theme would invite papers and panel proposals concerning any aspect of money/myth during the long nineteenth century, including, but not limited to the “myths” or “realities” of trade, debt, industry and investment, economics, money-lending, poverty, consumer culture, class relations, race relations and their economic implications, gender politics, masculinity and femininity as shaped by/of money, sexual politics, sexuality and the law, aesthetics, art and art collecting, theater and performance politics, religion and wealth, social service programs, education, travel, entertainment, sporting, financing and producing wealth through science, international connections and compacts, public/private divide, differential health care, class mobility, marriage, widowhood, inheritance, prostitution, child rearing, infanticide, property politics, movements motivated by money (Chartism, socialism, communism, trades unions, reform), immigration, empire, war, and slavery. Equally welcome are paper and panel proposals concerning the processes of creating mythic structures around money including governmental campaigns, the publishing industry, legal processes, military campaigns, advertising, propaganda, and novelizations.

Abstracts (250 words) for 20 minute papers, author’s name and paper title in heading, with one page c.v. by September 15, 2010: Marlene Tromp, Program Chair, Denison University: nsca [at] denison [dot] edu

Presenters will be notified by December 15, 2010.

Graduate students whose proposals are accepted can at that point submit a full-length version of the paper to compete for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses. Registration and accommodation information available November 15, 2010 at

Keynote Speaker:

Mary Poovey, Samuel Rudin University Professor of the Humanities, Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge and Department of English, New York University. Author of Genres of the Credit Economy (2008), A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society (1998), Making a Social Body: British Cultural Formation, 1830-1864 (1995), Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England (1989), and The Proper Lady and the Woman Writer: Ideology as Style in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen (1984), all with University of Chicago Press.


Bing Crosby sings Wordsworth

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An upcoming re-release of Bing Crosby's final album, Seasons, contains a musical version of Wordsworth's "Lucy Gray," along with selections by Kipling and Longfellow. The sung poems are all bonus tracks that Crosby recorded for poetry fan clubs just a month before his death in October of 1977. The album, Seasons (Deluxe Edition), is due out on May 18 and represents the first time it has been issued on CD.

A full article on the album can be found here:

Romantic Circles selected as "Historic Collection" by Library of Congress

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Library of Congress

The United States Library of Congress has selected Romantic Circles ( for inclusion in its historic collections of Internet materials. The Library's traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and to the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including Web sites.  Over time, the Web archiving team will make Romantic Circles available to researchers both onsite at Library facilities and though the Library's public Web site

According to the Web Archiving Team:

Our Web Archives are important because they contribute to the historical record, capturing information that could otherwise be lost. With the growing role of the Web as an influential medium, records of historic events could be considered incomplete without materials that were "born digital" and never printed on paper. For more information about these Web Archive collections, please visit our Web site (

Short-Term Research Fellowships at NYPL

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via Elizabeth Denlinger, curator of  The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at the NYPL:

The New York Public Library is delighted to announce the availability of up to ten fellowships to support visiting scholars pursuing research in the Library’s Dorot Jewish Division; Manuscripts and Archives Division; Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs; or Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.  Fellowships will range from $2,500 to $3,000.

Scholars from outside the New York metropolitan area engaged in graduate-level, post-doctoral, or independent research are invited to apply.

Applications must demonstrate how The New York Public Library’s collections are essential to the research proposed, and successful applicants are expected to contribute a report on their findings, suitable for posting to the Library’s website, at the conclusion of their research.

Applicants who are neither United States citizens nor entitled to work in the U.S. will be responsible for arranging their own visas. Fellowships will be handled as reimbursements when this is required due to the awardee’s visa status.

Applications must be received by April 1, 2010, and should include:
Cover letter
Curriculum vitae
Outline of proposed research and indication of Library holdings to be used
(not more than 1,000 words)
Outline budget for travel and per diem expenses
Proposed dates to be spent in residence
One letter of recommendation

Application materials, including letters of recommendation, may be submitted by e-mail in PDF format (the preferred submission method) to jbaumann [at]

Awards will be announced April 30.

The official site (with all the above info and more) is here:

Also, look here for more info on the Pforzheimer.

Byron Society Collection to go to Drew University

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The Byron Society of America announced January 22, 2010 that it has chosen Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, as the new home for its Byron Society Collection. The collection of almost 5,000 items, including rare books, portraits, letters, and other priceless material, will be housed with the Drew Library’s special collections, where students, scholars, and members of the public will be able to access it. Robert Weisbuch, president of Drew University and a specialist in nineteenth-century British and American writers, stated in his welcome: “The arrival of this collection will provide a feast of research opportunities for scholars and undergraduates alike.”

Included in the Byron Society Collection are letters from Mrs. Byron, Thomas Moore, and Lady Byron, and the splendid collection of 1,900 volumes, including many early and rare editions, together with 600 booklets and 60 material objects belonging to collector Michael Rees, former secretary of the International Council of Byron Societies. Papers, correspondence, books, and photographs once owned by the late Leslie A. Marchand, author of Byron: A Biography, and editor of Byron’s Letters and Journals, likewise form an essential part of the collection’s holdings. The collection also includes visual representations of the poet, such as Rembrandt Peale’s 1825 lithograph of Byron, as well as statuary, mezzotints and engravings, Staffordshire figures, and decorative and other material objects that demonstrate the impact of Byron’s life and works on his readers, both past and present.

“The deposit of the Byron Society’s important archive of books and cultural materials in the Drew University Library is one of those events that do not often capture public attention,” noted Jerome McGann, editor of Byron: The Complete Poetical Works. “But it is a moment in the history of the university where its commitment to the preservation of our cultural heritage is clearly displayed.”

Drew University ( is known for its special collections and archives, including distinctive holdings on Willa Cather, Walt Whitman, John Wesley, and the history of world Methodism. Discussions between Drew and the Byron Society began when it became known that the university had been given the coveted Byron and Whitman holdings of private collector Norman Tomlinson.

“Drew is the natural home for the Byron Society Collection,” commented Marsha Manns, chair of the Byron Society of America and co-founder, with Leslie A. Marchand, of the Byron Society Collection. The library’s current holdings, including the Tomlinson Byron Collection, along with the value placed on collections of material culture and the university’s willingness to provide wide access to the collection, were all important considerations for the society.” Scholars agree. “The settlement of the Byron Society Collection at Drew University opens exciting new opportunities for research and teaching in material culture,” said William St Clair, author of The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period and That Greece Might Still Be Free, “Given the rich collections already there and Drew’s pioneering work in studying the reception and diffusion of ideas, I see a perfect fit. Many scholars and others will wish to be associated with this imaginative project.”

The Byron Society of America ( is a non-profit literary organization founded to study the life and works of the English Romantic poet, George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), whose immense cultural impact extends from the nineteenth century to the present day. The Society is one of forty societies representing forty countries that collectively comprise the International Byron Society.

For further information, please contact

John Cam Hobhouse diary: fresh content and new location

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The diary of John Cam Hobhouse on the Web has undergone some changes. It's current location at has moved to the Blog site of Peter Cochran at With the move comes significant new content, including full coverage from the years 1809-1824 and new material from Hobhouse's time in London and Switzerland.

From the foreword to the Hobhouse diary:

John Cam Hobhouse (1786-1869) was Byron’s best friend. Educated at Westminster and Trinity College Cambridge, he travelled east with Byron in 1809, was Best Man at Byron’s wedding in 1815, travelled across Switzerland in Byron’s company in 1816 after the separation, around Rome with Byron in 1817, and lived with Byron in Venice in the same year. He met Byron at Pisa again in 1822, after Byron’s facetious poem on his imprisonment in Newgate, My Boy Hobby-O, had almost terminated their friendship. As a member of the London Greek Committee he encouraged Byron on his last journey in 1823; and had he insisted, Byron’s memoirs would almost certainly not have been destroyed in 1824.

Hobhouse’s diary was published in heavily truncated and censored form, as part of Recollections of a Long Life, edited by his daughter, Lady Dorchester, in six volumes between 1909 and 1911. He had used it as the basis for three previous publications: A Journey through Albania, and other Provinces of Turkey in Europe and Asia, to Constantinople, during the years 1809 and 1810 (1813), Travels in Albania and other Provinces of Turkey in 1809 and 1810 (1855) and Italy: Remarks made in several visits from the year 1816 to 1854 (1859).

John Cam Hobhouse’s diary is one of the two major texts written about Byron by his contemporaries which has still to see the full light of day – though it is about much more than Byron, for Hobhouse became, as he cast off his Byronic shackles, a significant political figure in his own right. The sections on his two Napoleonic French excursions – on both of which he went without Byron – are worth books in themselves. His weeks in Newgate, just before he was elected MP for Westminster, will be included. However, the extent to which he played Sancho to Byron’s Quixote - Pylades to Byron’s Orestes - Hal to Byron’s Falstaff - Horatio to Byron’s Hamlet - Celia to Byron’s Rosalind – cannot be exaggerated, and will have justice done to it.