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This Thursday, Dr. Alice Crossley (Lincoln) will be talking to us about Victorian Valentines. The session will begin with refreshments at 5pm, with the paper itself due to start at 5.15pm. We will be in room MB3202.


‘Love and Things: Victorian Valentines’

Although we might think of it as a very recent custom, the tradition of sending a valentines card each year on 14th February became popular in the nineteenth century. This paper will begin by providing a brief history of valentines, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century when such cards came in various forms: pretty and sentimental, witty and playful, or vulgar and crude. Each type will be explored, illustrated by a wealth of examples to encapsulate the imagery, trace the thematic trends, and to showcase the different categories of Victorian valentine.

This paper will explore some of the ways that these objects signify, in part through an analysis of their representation in literary texts. This will include discussion of a sustained fascination with valentines cards in the Victorian press, as well as the use of valentines in fiction by Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. It will consider how valentines function symbolically to encapsulate an emotional bond, but also how viewing them as a simple gesture of love or courtship flattens and simplifies their role in Victorian culture.


Alice Crossley is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature in the College of Arts, specialising in nineteenth-century literature and culture. She joined the department in 2016. Her research focuses on masculinity and representations of adolescence in the Victorian novel, as well as nineteenth-century valentines.


Events Programme, 2016-17 Semester B


  • 9th February – Alice Crossley (Lincoln): ‘Love and Things: Victorian Valentines’



  • 9th March – Constance Bantman (Surrey): ‘Jean Grave and French Anarchism (1870s-1930s): A Reassessment’



  • 30th March – Emma Butcher (Hull): ‘Children Writing War in the Nineteenth Century’



  • 27th April – David Ibitson (North Lindsey College): “My friends have been making me take up golf: golf and the construction of masculinity in the ghost stories of M.R. James’


All meetings take place in MB3202. Refreshments will be served at 5pm and the session will begin at 5.15pm. Please follow us on twitter (@19thCLincoln).

C19 Poster, 2016-17, Semester B-page-001

This Thursday (1st Dec), Alyson Wharton-Durgaryan (Lincoln, History and Heritage) will be speaking to us on municipality and government in the Ottoman Empire. The seminar begins at 5pm (paper to start at 5.15pm) with refreshments. We are in MC3202 as usual.


Wharton pic


Please find details of Alison’s talk below.


The ‘House of Government’ (Hükümet Konağı), the Municipality (Belediye) and the struggle for public space in Erzurum, Bitlis and Van in the Hamidian Era (1876-1909).



The mid-nineteenth-century reforms led to the spread of municipalities (belediye) across Ottoman Empire, purporting to grant inhabitants participation in local governance and to implement the centralizing policies of the reforms. In reality, these new structures were dominated by local notables, as a reinforcement of the old regime. In cities of the east on the frontier with Russia- Bitlis, Van and Erzurum- where there were sizeable Armenian and Kurdish populations, dissatisfaction was voiced. The response was a securitization of urban space under Abdülhamid II (r.1876-1909), reflected in the construction of a network of police stations, telegraph lines, detention and correctional facilities, barracks, and houses of government (hükümet konağı). This seminar will discuss the implementation of the municipality and the house of government in Bitlis, Van and Erzurum to show how architecture intersected with socio-political dynamics on a local level, and the changing direction of governance in the empire.

This Thursday (3rd Nov) we have Anna Barton from the University of Sheffield talking to us about Charlotte Brontë’.


Refreshments will be served from 5pm, and the paper will begin at 5.15pm. We are in room MB3202 (top floor, Minerva Building) See you there!


Anna Barton (Sheffield): ‘Poetry as I comprehend the word’: Charlotte Brontë’s lyric afterlife’
This talk explores the apparently limited afterlife of Charlotte Brontë’s poetry. Addressing the critical fortunes of the Aylott and Jones collection of 1846 and considering Charlotte’s discussion of poetry in her letters, it argues that the author incorporates traces of the early poetry into her novels in different guises. Focusing on Jane Eyre and Shirley, it proposes Brontë’s fiction as a sequence of experiments in the poetics of the Victorian novel that retrieve and reform the Romantic lyric, granting it a marketable posthumousness and securing the feminine lyric voice for the printed page.
Anna Barton is a Senior Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Literature at the University of Sheffield. She is the author of Tennyson’s Name (Ashgate 2008) and a guide to In Memoriam (EUP 2012) and has published work on a variety of  Romantic and Victorian poets, including Alfred Tennyson, Edward Fitzgerald, Edward Lear, EBB, Blake and Swinburne. Her latest monograph, Nineteenth Century Poetry and Liberal Thought: Forms of Freedom is due to be published by Palgrave in 2017.

Professor Jane Chapman on 19th century periodicals, 5pm 13th Oct, MB3202.


‘Double the Work, but Double the Scope? Comparative International Research in 19th Century Periodicals’


In periodical studies the field of comparative study beyond the English-speaking world and the British Empire is still relatively unexplored, despite the fact that connections between Britain and non-Anglophone countries have always been strong. The question is how can the researcher identify and study them? This paper argues that the most obvious way is by using periodicals to research trans-national themes such as modernism, “orientalist” trade, cultural and scientific exchange, design, or fashion. Focusing on Germany, France and Japan, some areas for further research are identified: science periodicals in Europe, women’s uses of periodicals in the late nineteenth century, periodicals for ex-patriot communities and satirical publications.







Jane Chapman is Professor of Communications, a grant research team leader and a comparative media historian, specializing in late 19th and early 20th century newspaper history – both illustrative and textual.


Her first degree is in history from UCL, her masters and PGCE are in history from Cambridge, where she remains a Research Associate, and her doctorate was under James Joll in the department of International History, LSE.


Jane had 14 years as a television documentary producer and on-screen news reporter and has since written 10 books and almost 40 articles and book chapters.


In this current academic year she is running 3 AHRC grants on the First World War, and since 2007 has been a serial grant holder for British Academy, ESRC and AHRC, with a total of 6 grants for the latter.  She is a member of both AHRC and ESRC Peer Review Colleges, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a former visiting fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge, and an Associate Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney.


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