Literature

Love in a ‘green old age’: the octogenarian romance of Mrs Piozzi
14 February 2020

Writers in the long eighteenth century were not kind to the elderly; in a culture fond of classical learning, age – particularly the age of a woman – was often euphemised with Ciceronian nature metaphors. A young woman was in flower-like bloom, bright and beautiful, while an elderly woman was considered to have wilted and faded away. However, many women resisted this trope, rebelling against it as they aged through a sheer refusal to wilt. One such woman is the remarkable Hester Piozzi, who proves to us all that there’s no such thing as too old for romance.

Brass Orchids: Sex and Relationships in Samuel R. Delany
31 January 2020
This January marked the 45th anniversary of Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany’s science-fiction masterpiece telling the story of ‘the Kid’, an amnesiac author lost in the terrifyingly surreal city of Bellona. Sexuality, relationships and sex are central to the narrative of Dhalgren and Delany’s other fiction; and the recent publication of Sex and Sexuality inspired me to write today about this most intriguing of classic science-fiction authors.
From Vegetarianism to Veganuary: January’s not so recent trend
24 January 2020

Mid-January is often regarded as the most miserable time of the year. The indulgences of Christmas have passed, everyone is skint and Dry January is in full swing. In recent years, the UK has witnessed a growing trend towards ‘Veganuary’ for both ethical and environmental reasons.

The Transformative Nature of Vampirism: Two Centuries of Gothic Characterisation
10 January 2020

The legacy of the vampire character is a revealing case study, tracing the ways in which tropes and genres are influenced by societal changes and cultural trends throughout history. Adam Matthew’s Victorian Popular Culture resource provides an insight into how the characterisation of vampires has evolved over the last two centuries.

‘Cracking on’ in the Eighteenth Century: Conduct Books and Courtship
26 July 2019

Love it or hate it, Love Island fever has undeniably swept through the nation for yet another summer and with the infamous dating reality show now gearing up to the final next week it seems appropriate to take a moment to step back in time and see how our eighteenth century predecessors went about ‘cracking on’.

Arthur, le Roi des Britons: The Influence of French Literature on England’s Greatest National Myth
10 July 2019

The Adam Matthew collection Arthurian Legends and the Influence of French Prose Romance, one of fifteen collections in Research Source: Medieval and Early Modern Studies, offers an insight into how one of England’s most famous nation-making myths was not only shaped, but transformed, by the literature of France.

My drops of tears I'll turn to sparks of fire: Burning down and building up the Globe Theatre
27 June 2019

On 29th June 1613, a theatrical cannon misfired during a performance of Henry VIII and set fire to the thatch of the Globe Theatre, engulfing the roof in flames. Within minutes, the wooden structure was also alight, and in under an hour the Globe was destroyed.

He Hōʻiliʻili Hawaiʻi: A Brief History of Hawaiian Language Newspapers
30 April 2019

Prior to foreign arrival, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) was a completely oral language. From the advent of the birth of the islands to our kūpuna (ancestors) who first called Hawaiʻi home, and from the volcanic deities’ love escapades to campaigns of warring chiefs staking claim over ʻāina (land), what we as Hawaiians know about ourselves and our collective histories was memorized and passed down from generation to generation via the spoken word.

A special guest blog by J. Hauʻoli Lorenzo-Elarco.

Playing God: Richard Brinsley Peake and the Fate of Frankenstein on stage
26 April 2019

Last year marked 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel that has since become one of the premiere titles of Gothic fiction. Rivalled only by Bram Stokers Dracula, it has been adapted for film, television, radio, opera and the theatre.The first of these adaptations (at least those recorded) however, is perhaps just as influential as the novel which spawned it. Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption: Or the Fate of Frankenstein, is a three act play first performed in 1823 and is included in our Victorian Popular Culture collection. What is so astounding about this version however is that it features several elements not included in the novel which have reappeared consistently in subsequent adaptations.

 

20 March 2019

In her Annals of a Publishing House (1897), the English writer Margaret Oliphant refers to George Eliot, otherwise known as Mary Anne Evans, as “the woman of genius” who occupies the space of being “one of the great writers of her time”. Eliot’s reputation continues to live on over 120 years later.

Romancing the Stone: Alchemy and Dr John Dee in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
21 February 2019

This week sees the release of Research Source: Medieval and Early Modern Studies , a rich resource covering topics such as the Black Death, the restoration of the English Monarchy and the Glorious Revolution. One of the most interesting and certainly intriguing collections included is Renaissance Man: The Books and Manuscripts of John Dee.

Freedom's Signal for the Indians
10 October 2018

While reading through American Indian Newspapers, one particularly arresting image repeatedly caught my eye; an illustration of a man trapped beneath a fallen tree trunk carved with the title, “Indian Bureau”. This striking tableau comprised the masthead of Wassaja, “Freedom’s signal for the Indians”.

Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps): The Japanese Yokai
02 August 2018

Being something of a fan of the stories of M. R James, whose heroes often come across intriguing manuscripts telling of ghosts and demons, I couldn’t help but be reminded of his work when I happened across today’s featured item, the ‘Book of Monstrosities’ (or, Nihon itai jinbutsu zu).

 

 

 

What links W.H. Smith, Rudyard Kipling, Edward VIII, and Harold Macmillan? A Special Guest Blog by Ian Gadd
16 August 2017

What links W.H. Smith, Rudyard Kipling, Edward VIII, and Harold Macmillan? They were all members of the Stationers’ Company, the 600-year-old London livery company whose records have just been digitised by Adam Matthew as Literary Print Culture: The Stationers' Company Archive, 1554-2007.

Adam Matthew presents!: Conference papers and panels
21 July 2017

Scarcely a week goes by at the Adam Matthew office without a report landing in my inbox from colleagues returning from conferences in far-flung locations such as Utrecht, Florida and Budapest. One or other of us is forever off to an academic gathering somewhere in the world, often as an exhibitor with a booth of leaflets and goodies, and other times as an inquisitive delegate attending papers and workshops.

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