Speakers | Abstracts

Sibylle Erle  (Bishop Grosseteste University)
Voicing Indignation, Reading Female Character: Mary Wollstonecraft's Response to Views of Women and Johann Caspar Lavater's Physiognomy
Wollstonecraft analysed the plights of women to tell educators and children in Thoughts on Education (1787) and Original Stories (1788) how to make girls more resilient. Wollstonecraft was a schoolteacher, governess and companion, before the publisher Joseph Johnson recruited her, and, like William Blake and Henry Fuseli, Wollstonecraft was involved in the translation of Johann Caspar Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy (1789-98). In this paper I want to contend that Wollstonecraft engaged with Lavater's physiognomical theory, character readings, intuitive method and attitude towards women; I want to suggest that her objections to Lavater and by extension Fuseli's ideal woman can be traced in her teaching methods, normally discussed as indebted to Locke, Rousseau and Catherine Macaulay. I think that Wollstonecraft's early pedagogical writing, which draws on Lavaterian ideas about improvement made 'visible' in the face, interrupted her feminist writing, such as "The Cave of Fancy", a work begun in 1787 but published posthumously by Godwin.
[Programme UK Time]   [Programme EU Time]

Graham Jefcoate  (Director of Nijmegen University Library from 2005 to 2011)
John Henry Bohte and Thomas De Quincey
A plaque attached to the façade of the former No. 4, York Street in Covent Garden informs us that this is where Thomas De Quincey wrote Confessions of an English Opium Eater, perhaps the most celebrated example of English Romantic autobiography. It omits to inform us, however, that, at the time (1821), these were the premises of John Henry Bohte, the German bookseller. In this paper, I shall explore the evidence for De Quincey's difficult relationship with Bohte and speculate on its significance. I shall also discuss Bohte’s putative role in promoting the Confessions on the German market.
[Programme UK Time]   [Programme EU Time]

Eugenia Perojo-Arronte  (Universidad de Valladolid)
History, Biography and the Novel in Adam Smith, Hugh Blair and Henry Fielding's critical discourse
Scholars have linked eighteenth-century novels to other kinds of writings to explain the origins of the genre. The connection with history has been discussed either in terms of the fact/fiction dichotomy or in relation to the historical novel. However, eighteenth-century rhetoricians such as Adam Smith and Hugh Blair included the novel within the historiographic genres, as Paul G. Bator has argued. Carrying Bator's discussion a step forward, this paper explores the relation between history, biography and the early novel in the eighteenth century through an analysis of the rhetoric handbooks by Smith and Blair, on the one hand, and Henry Fielding's critical discourse on the other, to show the extent to which their shared narratological features seemed to blur their boundaries precisely at the time in which they were progressing as independent and distinct genres.
[Programme UK Time]   [Programme EU Time]

James Raven, FBA  (Essex University | Magdalene, Cambridge)
Constructing a Book Biography. The Case of Erik Pontoppidan's Natural History and its German Edition
What is a "book biography" or a biography of a book? This talk opens with some observations about the writing of biography and then presents a discussion of Erik Pontoppidan's Detførste Forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie (1752-3) as a "book biography" as it is translated from Danish into German Versuch einer natürlichen Historie von Norwegen (1753-4), and English The Natural History of Norway (1755).
[Programme UK Time]   [Programme EU Time]

James Vigus  (Queen Mary University | Hamburg Institute for Advanced Study)
Satyrane's Letters: Coleridge's Autobiography of his Hamburg Journey
This paper presents a discussion of Coleridge's Satyrane's Letters—strictly autobiography rather than biography—comparing Coleridge's record of his journey to Hamburg in September 1798 to other accounts.
[Programme UK Time]   [Programme EU Time]

Maximiliaan van Woudenberg  (SIT | Clare Hall, Cambridge)
Biography in German Libraries: Coleridge in Göttingen, Wolfenbüttel and Helmstedt
Upon returning from Göttingen to England in June 1799, the British Romantic Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge made a detour to the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel and the library at Helmstedt University. Coleridge had already gathered materials for a Life of Lessing at the university library in Göttingen, so what was Coleridge looking for in the libraries at Wolfenbüttel and Helmstedt? What did he find? And most importantly, how did his engagement with biographies of G. E. Lessing, Hans Sachs, and others in German library collections influence his future work and thought? The paper will also discuss how "biography" collections in German libraries are a valuable resource both for Coleridge, as well as contemporary archival research.
[Programme UK Time]   [Programme EU Time]

Last Updated: 2021-11-09 00:00:00