Digital Victorians Module

Digital Victorians Module

This is a new module running in the second semester (2017). Unfortunately I cannot restart my degree to take this module, or add it on to my modules for level 6! Not only does it look amazing but unbelievably helpful in introducing you to research skills early on in your degree. You will have the chance to research through digital sources whilst using social media and 'hands on' blogging to explore the past. If you plan to start reading for this module early, it is best to start with Sydney Padua's The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the Frist Computer. I have already added this to my 'for fun' reading list too! You will also look at Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.  This will be read on the module in its intended serial form (with week by week analysis), so you do not need to read this in advance (obviously you can, if you like). In this...
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Singing a Song of Victorian Poverty

Singing a Song of Victorian Poverty

In a summer break largely consumed by traditional conference duties (Victorian Periodicals in Ghent in July, more periodicals in Stockholm in September) it has been a relief to step out a little from normal scholarly events. In late July, on the strength of a long standing interest in writing by labouring class men and women in the nineteenth century, I was invited by a radio producer based in Manchester to contribute to a programme on the popular literature of the industrial revolution to be broadcast on Radio 4. The great attraction, apart from the fascination of seeing how something like this is put together, was that the presenter of the programme is Eliza Carthy, one of Britain’s leading traditional singers. I had heard Eliza and her father Martin sing and play together a few weeks previously, and I was very interested to meet her. The programme was put together in Chetham’s Library in Manchester, a library based in beautiful medieval buildings...
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Punch Ledgers Launch

Punch Ledgers Launch

Valerie Stevenson, Head of Research and Learner Support at LJMU's Aldham Roberts Learning Resource Centre, introduced the Punch and the Victorian Periodical Press Collection. A satirical magazine, Punch or the London Charivari ran from 1841-2002. It was printed weekly in a standardised format, containing text and image. It is a highly useful resource in that the magazines can be used to give context to literary or historical moments. For example, the case of Jack the Ripper and serial killers in London give historical insight into the social concerns surrounding the novella Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. It can also be used solely on its own merits, as a primary resource. Liverpool John Moores’ database of the Punch Ledgers, on which Clare Horrocks has been working for a number of years,  offers a special insight into the inner workings of Punch. As Clare demonstrated, the Ledgers, and their digitised excel counterparts,  contain such details as the names of contributors, their pay, the...
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Research Seminar: Oh, What Beautiful Books!

Research Seminar: Oh, What Beautiful Books!

‘Oh, What Beautiful Books!’: Captivated Readers in an Early-Victorian Gaol As November ushered in its customary chill, a warm welcome awaited the delegates who gathered for the first paper in this year’s series of seminars. The turn-out was impressive, featuring staff and students from both LJMU and our neighbours at the University of Liverpool, all eager to hear Dr Helen Rogers’s fascinating research into the impact of nineteenth-century prison visitor Sarah Martin and her work with the inmates of Yarmouth Gaol. What followed was a hugely affecting paper, felt all the more keenly owing to Helen’s presentation of the material, which revealed her own emotional response to the scholarly research. We learned how the literally ‘captive’ boys were simultaneously captivated by the reading material offered by Sarah Martin. She sought out books that they could keep and they in turn made the learning process their own, jostling to pore over the illustrations depicting simple moral tales featuring characters seemingly like themselves and...
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