The Nineteenth-Century Research Group

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

Month: December 2021

C19 Research Roundtable (12pm, 13th Dec 2021)

You are warmly invited to attend a lunchtime seminar organised by the Nineteenth-Century Research Group on Monday 13th December, starting at 12pm (ending before 2pm). The meeting will be held on Microsoft Teams and the meeting room will be open from 11.50am. Please email Laura Gill ( to register and receive the meeting link.

This event brings together scholars from the College of Arts working in different disciplines to share focused aspects of their current writing and research. Researchers working in English and History will each give a short paper of c. 10 minutes, covering a range of topics related to the nineteenth century:

  • Dr Jim Cheshire (History): Remembering ‘Hodson’s Horse’: Commemoration and the Indian Uprising of 1857–8.

This paper will analyse a memorial to William Hodson in Lichfield Cathedral designed by George Edmund Street in 1859 and question the way that it commemorates Hodson’s controversial military career. I will argue that the aesthetic agenda of the Gothic Revival and the moral agenda of muscular Christianity combined with Anglo-Catholicism to generate an ideologically partisan and inaccurate representation of events surrounding the Indian Uprising of 1857-8 and that the monument has subsequently functioned as a focus of conservative military historians.

  • Dr Rebecca Styler (English): George Macdonald and Human-Animal Fellowship.

The Scottish author George Macdonald (1824-1905) is best known for his fairy tales which embody some of his most cherished theological and moral ideals. In the context of Macdonald’s beliefs about animals’ spiritual consciousness and afterlife, stated in his Unspoken Sermons, I consider the depiction of inter-species sympathy in ‘The History of Photogen and Nycteris’ (1879) as a poetic form of ecotheology, and ecofeminism. Macdonald can be placed among other Victorian ecotheological poets, and a longer Christian tradition of reverencing animals as spiritual fellows and co-tenants of the earth.

[The story can be found at]

  • Dr Pietro Di Paola (History): A Furious Champion of Goodness: Anarchist Women and Emotions.

Focusing on the contrasting representations of the revolutionary Louise Michel, a furious champion of goodness, the paper investigates emotions as an analytical tool to reassess the political significance of militant women in the anarchist and radical movements.

Talks will be followed by a Q&A. Please note that the research papers will be recorded, but the Q&A section of the seminar will not be recorded. The event is open to all and you are welcome to join us just for the talks if you are not able to stay for the whole session.

Dr Claire Wood, ‘Charles Dickens and Decadence’ (20th Oct 2021)

Our first research seminar of the 2021–22 academic year took place on Wednesday 20th October. Dr Claire Wood joined us from the University of Leicester, to talk about her new research on Charles Dickens and Decadence.

Dr Wood’s research centres on Victorian fiction and death culture, with a particular focus upon the contradictions and complexities inherent in the Victorian ‘celebration of death’. Her book on this subject, Dickens and the Business of Death, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. This explored Dickens’s fascination with the many different ways that you could make money from a corpse in Victorian England, from anatomy to authorship. She is currently working on ‘Dead Funny’, a project that examines death comedy in the work of Dickens and a range of other nineteenth-century writers. She is also co-editing the Edinburgh Companion to Dickens and the Arts for Edinburgh University Press.