The Nineteenth-Century Research Group

Promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the nineteenth century at the University of Lincoln

Month: March 2017

Emma Butcher, ‘Children Writing War in the Nineteenth Century’

On Thursday 30th March, Emma Butcher (Hull) will be talking to us on ‘Children Writing War in the Nineteenth Century’. Refreshments will be served at 5pm, with the paper to start at quarter past. We are in room MB3202 (Minevra Building).



Please find Emma’s abstract below:

The focus on children and war throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century is integral to our understanding of war’s brutalities and its wider cultural impact. Currently, the media’s fixation on suffering children in the wake of the recent Syria crisis is central to our engagement with military issues that may not have otherwise affected the British public. Going back, the most famous child writer of the twentieth century, Anne Frank, still remains a significant example of how the world can conceptualise the horrors of war through one child’s voice.

This paper will expand the field of ‘children and war’ by focusing on the child writer and reader in the long nineteenth century. A number of British literature’s most famous Victorian writers, such as the Brontës and George Eliot, wrote war literature in their childhood. They consumed periodicals, recorded information and invented stories that sought to process military events of the contemporary age, which ranged from the Napoleonic Wars up until the Boer War. By introducing the stories, letters and diaries of children, I will seek to introduce the child’s perspective as an important alternative history of war.Biography

Emma Butcher is an AHRC-funded Ph.D researcher at the University of Hull, working on the The Brontës and war. She is one of the BBC’s ‘Next Generation Thinkers’. In 2015, she co-curated a major exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage. She has written for The Guardian and also appeared in the BBC2 documentary Being the Brontës.


Constance Bantman on Jean Grave and French Anarchism

Thursday 9th March, MB3202, 5-6.30pm (paper begins at 5.15pm)

Dr Constance Bantman (University of Surrey)

‘Jean Grave and French Anarchism (1870s-1930s): A Reassessment’.



“Les Temps Nouveaux? It was Grave’s paper, and that’s all one needs to know”.

This talk will propose a biographical approach to the study of anarchist activism, applied to one of the most influential figures in the French and international anarchist movement between the late 1870s and the First World War: the activist Jean Grave (1854-1939). Adopting a relational approach delineating Grave’s formal and informal connections, it focuses on the role of print in this relational activism, through the three papers which Grave edited between 1883 and 1914, Le Revolte, La Revolte and Les Temps Nouveaux. It also highlights Grave’s transnational entanglements and links with progressive circles in France. This, in turn, provides a basis to reassess the nature and functioning of the French anarchist movement during its “heroic period”, by stressing its transnational ramifications and inclusion in progressive campaigns and punctual coalitions. As Grave’s life and militant career are so closely bound with the Paris area, this inquiry also offers a fascinating portrait of a highly prolific, yet largely ‘immobile’ transnationalist.