Literature

Works Cited in the Captions for the “George Eliot Portrait Gallery”

Works Cited in the Captions for the “George Eliot Portrait Gallery”

“Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Johnson.” Smithsonian American Art Museum. Accessed July 13, 2020. americanart.si.edu/artwork/abraham-lincoln-11524.

Cross, John. George Eliot’s Life, as Related in Her Letters and Journals. Cabinet Edition. Vol. 1. 3 vols. London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1885.

Cross, John Walter. George Eliot’s Life, as Related in Her Letters and Journals. Vol. 2. 3 vols. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1885.

The George Eliot Portrait Gallery: Perspectives on the Writer

Curated in partnership with the George Eliot Archive, this COVE edition of “The George Eliot Portrait Gallery: Perspectives on the Writer” features portraits of the writer Mary Ann Evans, known to the world as George Eliot. “The George Eliot Portrait Gallery” is remarkable in the number and scope of rare portraits that it presents. And as the editorial introduction discusses, the collection remains in an exciting state of flux, as a newly discovered painting of Eliot was authenticated as recently as 2017, and we anticipate a previously unpublished sketch of her being made public soon. Moreover, our project has expanded to include two galleries of illustrations from rare, antique sources, and we are already planning a second COVE edition to engage in a critical discussion about these images as well. “The George Eliot Image Gallery: Perspectives on the Writer’s Works” will feature two galleries, the “Selected Illustrations of George Eliot’s Works” and the “Original Illustrations of Romola.” Ultimately, it is our hope that making these scholarly resources available will evoke well-informed, scholarly engagement with the visual texts that can reflect and even influence how the writing—and the writer—are read.

Finding a Refuge for the Victorian Illustrated Book in the COVE

Much of the joy of teaching a course I designed on “The Victorian Illustrated Book” comes from introducing students to the rare book room at Skidmore College.  Even senior English majors are often surprised to discover that Special Collections exists at a small liberal arts college.  In the rare book room, we study physical books, serials, and prints in the forms they appeared to the Victorians when they were first issued, though some have been rebound or put in archival boxes for safe handling.

The City of the Jugglers

Set in the aftermath of Chartism, the European revolutions of 1848, and the bursting of the railway bubble, William North’s The City of the Jugglers; or, Free-Trade in Souls: A Romance of the “Golden” Age is constructed around the rise and fall of an audacious commercial speculation in human souls, and, with it, England’s reactionary social order.  Punctuated by Carlylean statements of moral outrage, self-regarding authorial footnotes, diverting speculations on matters ranging from monetary policy to the state of modern cookery, repeated panegyrics on the versatile excellence of men-of-letters, and at least three doubled secondary plot lines, the book repeatedly transgresses and thereby calls attention to the formal conventions of the Victorian novel.  This edition of The City of the Jugglers seeks to make this deliberately problematic text both available and accessible to a twenty-first-century audience of students and scholars.  Freed from the market that it excoriates, hopefully North’s self-described “mythical history, magnetic revelation, dream of poetic vanity, incomprehensible cartoon, or whatever else it turn out to be in the eyes of men or angels” can speak to a new generation of “defenders of the people, which we, and we only, represent, in this age of transitions.”

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