The Victorian Supernatural

The Fashionable Science of Parlour Magic / British Library, Public Domain Challenging the idea of the 19th century as one of secularisation, exploring the popularity of mesmerism, spiritualism and ‘true’ ghost stories in the period. By Dr. Roger Luckhurst / 05.15.2014 Professor of Modern Literature Birkbeck College University of London The 19th century is routinely thought[…]

The Poetry of Victorian Science

Watercolour portrait by William Buckler of Robert Hunt, 1842 — Wellcome Library, Creative Commons In 1848, the mineralogist, pioneer of photography, and amateur poet Robert Hunt published The Poetry of Science, a hugely ambitious work that aimed to offer a survey of scientific knowledge while also communicating the metaphysical, moral, and aesthetic aspects of science to the[…]

Pens and Needles: Reviving Book-Embroidery in Victorian England

Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) / Internet Archive By Dr. Jessica Roberson / 03.21.2018 Postdoctoral Fellow William Andrews Clark Memorial Library University of California, Los Angeles There are few more pleasing accupations [sic] for the skillful fingers of[…]

Mrs. Giacometti Prodgers, the Cabman’s Nemesis

Cartoon from Punch magazine, March 6th 1875, pp.106: (Internet Archive) Heather Tweed explores the story of the woman whose obsessive penchant for the lawsuit struck fear into the magistrates and cabmen alike of Victorian London. By Heather Tweed / 03.23.2016 Artist and Educator Imagine, if you will, strolling towards a Hackney cabstand in late 19th century London.[…]

Bad Air: Pollution, Sin, and Science Fiction in William Delisle Hay’s The Doom of the Great City (1880)

Coloured aquatint, ca. 1862, depicting a man covering his mouth with a handkerchief, walking through a smoggy London street / Wellcome Library Deadly fogs, moralistic diatribes, debunked medical theory — Brett Beasley explores a piece of Victorian science fiction considered to be the first modern tale of urban apocalypse. By Brett Beasley PhD Student in[…]

The Eternal Guffaw: John Leech and The Comic History of Rome

Detail from John Leech’s illustration “Tarquinius Superbus makes himself king” featured in The Comic History of Rome – Internet Archive At the beginning of the 1850s, two stalwarts from the heart of London-based satirical magazine Punch, Gilbert Abbott à Beckett and John Leech, cast their mocking eye a little further back in time and published The Comic History of Rome.[…]