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 Ricardo title-page

In a talk for the group on 19 February, Matt discussed his new research concerning John Stuart Mill’s private library and the Victorian reader. He focused most of his paper on annotations made by Mill’s father James in the copy of David Ricardo’s Essay on the Influence of a Low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock (1815) in the library. (The library, which has been little discussed, is held by Somerville College, Oxford.) These annotations represent an interesting resource for the book historian because, while early notes show James Mill trying to make sense of Ricardo’s argument, the tone of the marginalia shifts as Mill reads. The voice in the margins changes from one that is self-directed, to one that is directed at Ricardo with public understanding in view. Matt connected this to the concern shared by John Stuart Mill, James Mill, Ricardo, and other nineteenth-century thinkers as to the manner in which economic theory should be brought to market. Moreover, he argued that the library itself, by incarnating the sharing of ideas and multiple readerships, provides a fitting metaphor for this endeavour.

Matt is a lecturer in English at Magdalen College, Oxford; he also currently teaches on the Georgian literature and ‘Dis-Locations’ modules here at Lincoln. Look out for his essay on Dombey and Son in the 2014 Dickens Studies Annual.

At top: the title-page to the second edition of Ricardo’s Essay (Bodleian Library copy).

Hello all, happy New Year! Our programme for the next months is as follows:

19 February: ‘J. S. Mill’s Library and the “Marketplace of Ideas”’. Dr Matthew Kerr, English Faculty, University of Oxford. Room MB1001.

12 March: ‘The Kaleidoscope and Mental Labour in the Nineteenth Century’. Dawn Correia, PhD candidate in Art and Design, University of Lincoln. Room MB1001.

14 May: Joint session on Neo-Victorianism with the 21st-Century Research Group. Programme TBA; confirmed speakers include Dr Benjamin Poore, Department of Theatre, Film, and Television, University of York. Room MC0024. 

Meetings either take place in the MHT Building (rooms beginning MC) or the Main Admin Building (rooms beginning MB). Campus map here. All welcome! 4 p.m. refreshments; 4.15 p.m. start.

Just a short post to introduce the new coordinators of the group and to give some information about the events we’ve held this term.

After convening the Nineteenth-Century Research Group here at Lincoln for a number of years, the group’s founder, Rebecca Styler, has handed over coordination responsibilities to two new lecturers in the School of Humanities, Hannah Field (that’s me) and Owen Clayton. We look forward to publicising 2014 events here in due course; anyone who would like to subscribe to the group mailing list can contact either me hfield at lincoln dot ac dot uk or Owen oclayton at lincoln dot ac dot uk. And in the meantime, we wish to thank Rebecca for her sterling work on the group!

Our first talk of the term took place on 23 October. Annie Richardson of the School of Art and Design spoke to the title ‘”Remember André!” Monumental Controversies, Anglo-American Relations and Major John André’, in a presentation that opened the group’s eyes to the quite surprising uses (chipping off souvenirs, bombing, and adorning with poetry, to name a few) to which late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century monuments were put. Then, last Wednesday 27 November, Owen gave a paper on Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, drawing fascinating interdisciplinary links between photography, chemistry (a handy hint on photographic processes, drawn from an article in a boys’ magazine contemporary with Jekyll and Hyde: ‘Do not use potassium of cyanide!), psychology, crime, and literary character and technique at the fin de siècle. Thanks to Annie and Owen for their talks, and we look forward to greeting you with further excellent speakers in the New Year.

Illustration below: Eadweard Muybridge’s Horse in Motion (ca. 1886), one of the photographic images that featured in Owen’s presentation.


Dear all
The next meeting of MIVSS will be kindly hosted by the University of Birmingham, who will be providing a free lunch! Not to be missed, I’m sure you will agree. I’m attaching the programme (please note, on this occasion we do ask you to register, details in programme), and an article which will form the basis of the discussion session. I hope to see you there!

Article for MIVSS July 5th 2013

July 5th 2013 Programme

Dear Nineteenth-Century Group,

A reminder of our next meeting on Wed 13th March at 4.15-5.30pm, in MC0019, the MHT building on the Lincoln Uni Brayford Campus, ground floor. Tea/ coffee and biscuits will be served at the beginning, as has become customary.

Our subject is ‘Digital Resources for Nineteenth-Century Studies’. Members are invited to briefly introduce an on-line resource which has potential for use in research and/or teaching – we have the computer facilities to ‘show and tell’.

Some members have already chosen Dickens Journals on-line, the British Library Nineteenth-Century Newspaper Archive, Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles (C19 section), and the William Blake Archive. If you’d like to introduce another one, please drop me a line to let me know. Otherwise, come along and share ideas on the resources that are introduced.

Best wishes,


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