Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 0220-5610 - ISSN (Online) 2271-6149
Published by Revues.org [400 journals]
- Decoration, Deviation, and the Selected Edition: Some Poems of Lionel
Authors: Jeremy Valentine Freeman
Abstract: With the 1912 publication by Elkin Mathews of a selection from Lionel Johnson’s posthumous works titled Some Poems of Lionel Johnson, the complex representation, marketing, and intellectual inheritance of Victorian, late-Victorian, and fin de siècle lyric poetics are represented in a unique material and culturally specific form. By radically abridging the collected writings of Johnson and distilling them into a marketable form, Mathews constructs particular ways of reading the poetry book of the fin de siècle and of creating a poetry book that could function as a seductive short encounter for the reader. This essay explores the critical spirit informing the posthumous editions of Johnson’s poetic works and how such key figures of the period as Mathews, Yeats, and Pound articulated their critical revisions of fin de siècle poetic practices through the selective editing of Johnson’s complex poetic style. This essay argues that this kind of strategic revision of late-Victorian lyricism...
- Framing the Woman Poet: William Archer’s Poets of the Younger
Authors: Sarah Parker
Abstract: This article focuses on the representation of women poets in a significant poetry anthology of the Edwardian era, William Archer’s Poets of the Younger Generation, published by John Lane in 1902. In Poets, Archer attempts to canonize thirty-three poets of the late nineteenth century, including nine women poets (among them Katharine Tynan Hinkson, Nora Hopper, Alice Meynell, and Rosamund Marriott Watson). Archer’s entries are accompanied by woodcut illustrations by Robert Bryden, based on photographic portraits of the poets. This essay situates these woodcuts within the context of late-Victorian celebrity, the aesthetic revival in woodcut and wood-engraved illustration, and the increasing presence of the authorial portrait in the age of mechanical reproduction. My essay then analyses the complex interaction between the critical vocabulary Archer uses and Bryden’s images. As Archer’s critical commentary gradually builds a vocabulary of judgment and hierarchy based on assumptions regar...
- Material Turns of the Screw: The Collier’s Weekly Serialization of The
Turn of the Screw (1898)
Authors: Kirsten MacLeod
Abstract: This essay considers the original Collier’s Weekly serialization of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898) from a materialist and sociological perspective. It uses the contexts of the magazine and contemporary literary culture together with an analysis of relevant periodical codes to consider the following: first, what did this story mean, in a broad sense, for a new, young editor attempting to reinvent a struggling magazine, and how did it contribute to creating a new meaning for Collier’s? Second, what did this story mean to James at this point in his career and in its Collier’s manifestation? Finally, how might readers of Collier’s have understood the tale, taking into account their understanding of the contemporary literary and periodical scene, James’s place in it, and the manner in which the story was presented in Collier’s? In considering these questions, this essay engages with existing scholarship on the Collier’s serialization but also with issues raised in the wider f...
- The Triptych of Dorian Gray (1890–91): Reading Wilde’s
Novel as Three Print Objects
Authors: Brett Beasley
Abstract: Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has the rare distinction of having not only controversial content, but a controversial textual history as well. In fact, the two are inseparable. The prosecutors in Wilde’s trials made use of the fact that Wilde had changed—or ‘purged’, as they put it—many aspects of the novel after its first appearance in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. But neither they nor the majority of Wilde readers knew that his original typescript had already undergone a great deal of censorship without Wilde’s permission before the novel found its way into print. In this paper I investigate these three texts—the typescript, the magazine version, and the first edition—using both the methods of textual studies and the methods of social and literary history, showing that the various texts of The Picture of Dorian Gray actually embody different arguments about the status of material objects themselves. Wilde’s only novel has long been recognized as a critique of Vict...
- A Great Exhibition of Printing: The Illustrated London News Supplement
Authors: Paul Fyfe
Abstract: The Illustrated London News offered extensive coverage of the Great Exhibition of 1851 and even exhibited one of its own printing machines in the ‘Machines in Motion’ display. The ILN’s printing press helped supply its illustrated supplements for the Great Exhibition and stoked visitors’ curiosity about the steam-driven press at the show: an Applegath four-feeder printing from a revolving vertical type drum. Notably, this machine was printing mostly text-based pages on a single side. The periodical’s signature illustrations had to be printed on a different press at the ILN’s offices in the Strand. This article recreates the twinned origins of a single leaf of paper from the ILN’s Great Exhibition supplement from 31 May 1851 as evidence of the changing ontology of industrially printed things at mid-century. The sheet demonstrates the technological evolution of illustrated periodicals as well as their hybrid conceptual status, blending text and image in a genre that claimed the immedi...
- ‘The Drunkard’s Raggit Wean’: Broadside Culture and the Politics of
Authors: Kirstie Blair
Abstract: This article examines the circulation of a well-known temperance poem and song by Glasgow poet John Crawford, ‘The Drunkard’s Raggit Wean’, considering its function as a broadside and its reprinting in the newspaper press and other venues. It argues for the significance and continued popularity of broadsides in the mid-Victorian period, and highlights the importance of temperance verse in this period’s popular culture.
- The Victorian Thumb Bible as Material Object: Charles Tilt’s The Little
Picture Testament (1839)
Authors: Alyssa J. Currie
Abstract: In the nineteenth century, miniature books and curiosities proliferated; in particular, thumb Bibles, miniature synopses of the Bible, experienced widespread popularity. Intended to provide children with a simplified introduction to Biblical narratives and religious instruction, thumb Bibles illustrate the mediation of religious instruction through material culture. The presence and influence of religious groups in the publishing industry, paired with publishers’ new-found capacity to cater to middle-class demand for novelty children’s books, created an environment in which thumb Bibles’ popularity soared. This article begins by tracing the thumb-Bible genre from its development in the seventeenth century to its immense popularity in the Victorian era. It considers how their physical forms, connected to ‘toy books’, integrate play and religious instruction. This essay considers one example of this popular genre, The Little Picture Testament, published by Charles Tilt in 1839. A deta...
- ‘Larks in Season’: The Comic Almanack (1835–54)
Authors: Brian Maidment
Abstract: By the 1830s, the almanac was one of few print genres to have found a broad readership across all classes of society. Differing kinds of almanacs provided either general information linked to the agricultural, ecclesiastical, or parliamentary year or else spectacularly inventive predictions. Early-Victorian print culture attempted to stamp out superstitious predictive almanacs and establish the genre as an authoritative source of information. One response to such reformist impulses was the comic or travesty almanac, and this essay centrally forms a study of the longest lasting and most successful satirical almanac, The Comic Almanack, which ran from 1835 until 1854. With a list of contributors that included Thackeray, Horace Mayhew, and Gilbert à Beckett and centrally dependent on both etched and wood engraved illustrations by George Cruikshank and H. G. Hine, The Comic Almanack both parodied and celebrated the almanac tradition. In particular, it showed a sustained interest in the ...
- Object Lessons: The Victorians and the Material Text
Authors: Mary Elizabeth Leighton, Lisa Surridge
Abstract: The most notorious object lesson in Victorian literature appears at the beginning of Charles Dickens’s Hard Times (1854). Schoolteacher Thomas Gradgrind is delivering a lesson: ‘Girl number twenty’, he demands of Sissy Jupe, ‘give me your definition of a horse’. Sissy, whose father works with circus horses, is ‘thrown into the greatest alarm by this demand’ (4) and unable to respond. Another student, Bitzer, produces a response that satisfies Gradgrind: ‘Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy counties, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth’ (6). Bitzer’s answer is clearly memorized and regurgitated; it reflects no actual knowledge of horses. By contrast, Sissy, who lives in the circus and knows a lot about horses, is unable to formulate her experiential knowledge in a way that Gradgrind might recognize. Dickens thus satirizes t...
- Bridget Walsh, Domestic Murder in Nineteenth–Century England: Literary
and Cultural Representations
Authors: Hubert Malfray
Abstract: The question of crime has been a major source of interest in Victorian studies, particularly from the last quarter of the 20th century, ranging from literary to historical, sociological, scientific and literary studies, mostly because, as reminded by Bridget Walsh throughout her book, it keeps tormenting readers and critics with the double question of attraction and repulsion. With Domestic Murder in Nineteenth-Century England: Literary and Cultural Representations, Walsh is clearly laying the stress on one specific type of crime, i.e. ‘domestic murder’, and its representation through various media, including trial transcripts, newspaper coverage, broadsides, but also fiction and, most original of all, the stage. Laying aside other types of crime or violence, her choice of ‘domestic murder’ is accounted for by ‘the greatest publicity’ (2) it received, thus revealing, according to Walsh, much about the Victorian state of mind. This undertaking also allows her to reflect about the dom...