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Archive for the ‘Victorian Studies’ Category

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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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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1915 P100

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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Frozen pond and trees

Midwinter morning in the local park (my photo)

I knew this poem as a Christmas carol long before I had heard of the Rossetti siblings, and when I finally happened across it in a poetry book in the school library, I was delighted to find that it was written by the sister of one of my favourite artists. Christina Rossetti, according to her other brother, William, composed poetry before she could write, and continued writing throughout her life, despite her prolonged ill health.  As tomorrow is the shortest day, it seems like quite the thing to do to herald its coming with a poem about midwinter. You can also listen to the Mediaeval Baebes’ version of it here, set to the traditional music by Gustav Holst.  (more…)

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The Pre-Raphaelite Society explaining National #PRBDay 2015

The Pre-Raphaelite Society explaining National #PRBDay 2015

The first #PRBDay was organised by the Pre-Raphaelite Society on 8 September 2012, to celebrate 164 years since the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in a small house on Gower Street, in London. I used to walk past this house most lunchtimes when I worked on London (6.5 years!) and it always made me terribly delighted imagining the conversations they must have had behind that front door.

I’ve been following the enormously busy Twitter thread (#PRBDay, as above), since I got up much, much later than planned today, and I really recommend dropping in on it throughout the day, or, you know, if you have the time, staying glued to it all day (which I would love to do). Serena Trowbridge, editor of the Review of the PreRaphaelite Society and creator of the Culture and Anarchy blog, will be there to chat to (@serena_t), along with Madeleine Pierce, coordinator of the Society’s London and South East Chapter (@nouveaudigital); she also writes the blog Nouveau Digital: Digital and the Pre-Raphaelites. (more…)

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