The English Team Go Mad (For Research) in North Wales

The English Team Go Mad (For Research) in North Wales

  At the end of May, with marking almost complete, staff in English refocused their attention on research at an Away Day event in Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. In the inspiring environment of this wonderful Victorian place, and blessed with brilliant sunshine, we discussed our postgraduate provision, our public engagement activities and funding for research. There was time too to share research ideas – and moderate our marking. Conversations, animated or quiet, took place in various corners of the library and its grounds. Colleagues found new connections in their research work, and took a rare opportunity just to talk about what they’d been reading. We even found time for a country ramble – which, when confronted with a series of stern signs, revealed that some of the English team are more inclined to risk-taking behaviour than others (you know who you are!) ...
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English MRes Residential at Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential at Gladstone’s Library

Every year, students studying on LJMU English's Masters by Research Programme spend a couple of days at the wonderful Gladstone's Library in North Wales, to read, discuss and reflect upon their work. Here, Andreas Theodorou reflects upon the trip on 13th - 14th February 2017.  As one of LJMU’s English MRes students, I was offered the opportunity to participate on a residential trip to Gladstone’s library in Hawarden. This picturesque building houses the collection of William Gladstone, who amassed over 20,000 books. During a guided tour around the library I saw a multitude of books on theology, and even some books about places I frequented myself. The building left me absolutely speechless, and the vast quantity of books was enough to leave me awestruck. We were shown the annotations that Gladstone would make in the books which he read, his personal collections, and, of course, his axe… because every great reader needs a good axe… We started the trip with a discussion on a...
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English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

English MRes Residential 2016: Gladstone’s Library

Every year, LJMU English's Masters by Research students attend a residential with their supervisors and some of the department's PhD students to talk, read, and reflect on their studies on the programme so far. Here, Edward Dafnis gives his account of our (wonderful) trip in January 2016: An hour’s drive from LJMU is Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden, North Wales. Completed in 1902 to house William Gladstone’s personal collection of over 20, 000 books, periodicals and journals – all read by the man himself and with an estimated 11, 000 containing annotations, the library now houses 250, 000 texts and promised to be a reflective place of study and discussion. Articles by Walter Benjemin, Jorge Luis Borges and Alberto Manguel plus a short story by Alice Munro started the afternoon discussions before a tour of the spectacular library. Nestled amongst the rows of leather bound tomes were armchairs and simple wooden tables where people sat and read and worked in silence. Despite...
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On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2014

On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2014

The Students Report: Overview: Anthony Robson Over the course of January 23rd and 24th the English Literature and Cultural History MRes found itself relocated to the beauty and elegance of Gladstone’s Library. The essence of the relocation was to get us to think about reading, libraries and our own individual research. Once at the library and checked in, we were treated to a quick tour of the library and the history of it, and how the collection was sorted, based upon Gladstone’s collection of books. Once the tour was done, we were left to browse the collection and see for ourselves the amount of literature and books held there. From books on specific authors to books on the history of English counties to the volumes of Punch, we all found something which engaged us as researchers. This was followed up by a discussion upon selected reading, in which the main question was “Where did the elephant go?” Next came the unusual role reversal were...
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On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2013

On Location: Gladstone’s Library Trip 2013

In late April MRes students went on an overnight reading party field trip to Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden.  The Library, established by Gladstone himself in his later years, provides a wonderful resource for scholars of the nineteenth century but also, for us,  an ideal environment in which to discuss, argue, reflect and to extend debates that had emerged during the taught elements of the Masters programme.  The schedule for the visit included an information session on doctoral study; a short story analysis; a poetry seminar, where everyone present chose, read and led discussion on a particular poem; a research paper given by a member of staff; and a theory session where we engaged in particular with the work of Stanley Fish. We also had time to sit around the fire, in enormous leather armchairs, seeing a large moon outside the gothic windows and pondering many things.   What follows are student impressions and accounts of some of these sessions.  Liam Mushrow Short story Discussion: The Elephant...
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