Tracing the Legacy of William Blake

By James Carney

Second-year English Literature and Classics student and Gale Ambassador James Carney reflects on ‘Tracing the Legacy of William Blake with British Literary Manuscripts Online’, his recent piece published in The Gale Review.

Writing this article on William Blake finally satisfied an itch that I held for quite a long time in the most effective way possible. Over the course of my studies, Blake’s name had hung in the background as some sort of enigmatic shadow that I would encounter later, when I was ready. In my A-Level English Literature class on Christina Rossetti and the pre-Raphaelites, his influence lingered but was never explicitly discussed. As I progressed to university, this ghostly influence became even more pronounced – from thematic parallels in works like J.M. Barrie’s to the shared cultural context of romanticism in studies of Wordsworth, I felt like I was gradually honing in on this mysterious figure. So, when Gale commissioned me to write an article using their British Literary Manuscripts Online, I knew exactly where my interest lay.

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Conference Event: Practices of Collaboration in Early Modern Theatre

International Conference (online): 2nd – 4th December 2021

Practices of Collaboration in Early Modern Theatre: Authors, Actors, Printers, Playhouses, and Their Texts

This international conference takes into view the intricate interplay of numerous agents in the early modern dramatic arena: authors and their respective playing companies, actors, printers, and playhouses. 21 speakers from Australia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, and the US will discuss a spectrum of collaborative practices between these various agents in the early modern dramatic arena. Situated at the intersection of literary studies, cultural studies, and early modern history, the conference aims to explore concepts of early modern collaboration and, consequently, of early modern authorship.

Keynote Speakers:

Lucy Munro (Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature, King’s College, London, https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-lucy-munro ): Heminges and Condell and Shakespeare

Andy Kesson (University of Roehampton, London): “I was appointed to perform this work” (Aemelia Lanyer): What Is Early Modern Attribution?

Tiffany Stern (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham): Product Placement in the Time of Shakespeare

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Red Light, Green Light

By Jane Elliott

The Korean TV drama Squid Game is Netflix’s most popular show ever, having reached the number one spot in ninety countries. It tells the story of a diverse group of characters, all heavily in debt, who agree to compete in a series of traditional children’s games with untraditional stakes: losers are killed and the final survivor takes the entire jackpot. Continue reading Red Light, Green Light

On an Ecstatic Return to the Archives

By Beth Potter

As I write this, by hand at first to keep things loose and free, I sit before a document on my laptop screen, a dense 39 pages of notes. Its title is ‘BBC Written Archives visit’, and I compiled it in early September during three intense – enriching, nourishing, project-broadening, but intense – days in Caversham a few weeks ago, during which my neck cracked a thousand times and no amount of shoulder rolls saved my back from the archive ache.

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The Female Character and French Aristocracy in Edith Wharton’s ‘The Custom of the Country’ and ‘The Reef’

By Samantha Seto

In Edith Wharton’s American novels, the heroines are part of the French aristocratic milieu. The American expatriates, Undine Spragg and Anna Leath, are situated in France and characterized by attributes that suggest French influence through literary elements such as narration and dialogue in The Custom of the Country (1913) and The Reef (1912). Wharton reveals an implicit feminism in a patriarchal society and thematic marital relations drive the plot, which indicates the conventional role for women dedicated to the social traditions of the aristocracy. The French have their own code of manners in society, idealised aesthetic of female beauty, and their honour resides in the social expectations of probity. In my narratological analysis of character identity, French cultural norms and the common French aesthetic blends into the portrayal of the primary female characters. Wharton interweaves a French theme into the narratives which shape the portraits representing aristocratic women and particularly their romantic conflicts that arise at the turn of the century. In the novels, Wharton establishes heroines characterised by attributes that belong to the French aristocracy.

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