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Archive for the ‘Academia and Research’ Category

As almost everybody I know is currently saying, how can it be 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer first aired? It’s been such an important part of life, and I can still remember the first time I saw it, completely by accident. I was at university, with less than regular access to a television, so had somehow managed to miss the first series. One day at the family seat, I was channel hopping, and stopped at the sound of Cibo Matto. Hello, ‘When She Was Bad‘, where have you been all my life? Note: before you proceed, if you’ve never watched the show, there will be spoilers in this post. (more…)

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I really should have written this yesterday, but Comic Con and family time took precedence, as they should. WordPress wished me Happy Anniversary, with a notification that my blog is now 5 years old. How did that happen?!? I started writing as part of my preparations for my first visit to Canada, with this post. I couldn’t have foreseen at that point how much Canada would come to mean to me, or how I would make some very good friends through my subsequent visits. The blog’s name, The Victorian Librarian, has become my preferred pseudonym, if not my alter ego (which still needs some fleshing out). I even have my own crest now (below), featuring two of my favourite flowers, the iris and the bluebell, in addition to my absolute favourite thing, a book.

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The Victorian Librarian crest, designed by Lora Jones 

How should I celebrate my 5th anniversary? I think that the best thing to do would be to write more regularly here, to stop neglecting my blog. Working full time for the first time in four years, in addition to other real life commitments, has taken priority, as it must, but I don’t want to get out of the habit of writing. Will this be the year I sign up to NaNoWriMo just to keep me writing? (more…)

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Yesterday, it had been 400 years since Shakespeare died. Today, it has been 74 years ago since Lucy Maud Montgomery died. I can’t believe that she died so comparatively recently! I’ve spoken about her a lot on this blog, and last year made a lifelong dream come true by visiting Green Gables and L. M. Montgomery’s own world on Prince Edward Island in Canada.  I really haven’t written as much about that as I ought to have done, but in this post I mention said visit to Green Gables.  I also grin as calmly as possible, so as not to scare the helpful friendly tourist taking my picture (see below). It really was a wonderful day. (more…)

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I should open this blog entry with a confession; other than seeing the Enchanted Dreams: the Pre-Raphaelite Art of E. R. Hughes exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, I had no high expectations of Birmingham as a place to visit. I stand most definitely corrected. (more…)

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One of my favourite books (source: Goodreads)

The best thing about turning 12, as I recall, was that I finally got access to all the books in my local public library. One of the books I remember most is The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales, edited and compiled by Chris Black, published in 1992, when I was 15/16. When I think about reading it, I remember that I was in the top bunk bed, which doesn’t sound quite right, either in terms of the perfect location for reading  Gothic literature, or in reality, as I’m not sure we still had those beds then. But I recall that the bunk beds were in the attic, which is eminently suitable for the reading of Gothic fiction. The memory plays strange tricks, and for me, that means Gothic fiction being somehow tied up with childhood, or at least with teenage-hood. (more…)

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Thus far, this has been a week of celebrating the birthdays of some of my favourite men – first Tolkien, and now Hayao Miyazaki, who is still alive, and is 75 today! Thanks to the Glasgow-Edinburgh chapter of Geek Girls Brunch for bringing this to my attention on Facebook this morning! (more…)

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Night with her train of stars, by E. R. Hughes (1912). Source: Birmingham Museums

During this cycle of Christmas Literature blogging, I have been strongly feeling the lack of Dame Byatt. Today – huzzah! – I have finally managed to work in my Byatt fix. It’s been quite a problem writing these posts when the majority of my own wee (ok, wee-ish) library is still in storage. I’ve developed a new appreciation for e-books. I was particularly delighted today to find Byatt’s The Children’s Book, set in Edwardian England, because it contains a particular reference to 23 December. (more…)

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