Monthly Archives: May 2012

Researcher’s Database

Edwardian Culture Network

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to our researcher’s database thus far. As things stand, we have over twenty researchers listed, from institutions across the United Kingdom, dealing with a range of subjects from Egyptology to Theosophy, Conrad to conservatoires, animality to self-reflexivity: a clear indication of the variety and liveliness of Edwardian Culture studies today.

Other researchers (from all over the world; the network is not limited to the UK) are encouraged to submit their own research interests to help build up the database. We also encourage regular browsing through the database: already there are exciting parallels developing between research projects.

You can also ‘like’ us on Facebook, where all blog posts will be re-posted.

Call for Papers: Pedagogies of the End

Call for Papers: Pedagogies of the End: Teaching and Knowledge at the Fin de Siècle

Co-Editors: Dan Bivona, Arizona State University, and Helena Gurfinkel, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.500-word abstracts and 1-paragraph bios to and by August 1st, 2012.

This collection explores a possible relationship between the fin in the fin de siècle (the turn of the nineteenth century) and pedagogy. We welcome essays about fin de siècle literature and culture Continue reading

Conference: Imagined Civities

On June 8th, the University of Cambridge will host a one-day conference entitled ‘Imagined Civities: Cities and Alternatives in the 19th century.’ Papers will deal with a range of themes, from the modern reconstruction of medieval cities, and representations of the city in fiction, to the development of urban history in the later nineteenth century. For more information see here.

What Signifies a Theatre?

On Saturday 7th July Royal Holloway will host ‘What Signifies a Theatre?’ at the University of Notre Dame in London. This one-day conference promises an ‘exploration of the practice, significance and potential of non-professional theatrical performance in the long nineteenth century’, and will feature papers on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century non-professional theatre. For more information please visit:

‘The sheer vulgar fatness of wealth’

Where the Rainbow Ends

‘There never was, I suppose, in the history of the world a time when the sheer vulgar fatness of wealth, without any kind of aristocratic elegance to redeem it, was so obtrusive as in those years before 1914. It was the age when crazy millionaires in curly top-hats and lavender waistcoats gave champagne parties in rococo house-boats on the Thames, the age of diabolo and hobble skirts, the age of the “knut” in his grey bowler and cut-away coat, the age of The Merry Widow, Saki’s novels, Peter Pan and Where the Rainbow Ends, the age when people talked about chocs and cigs and ripping and topping and heavenly, when they went for divvy week-ends at Brighton and had scrumptious teas at the Troc. From the whole decade before 1914 there seems to breathe forth a smell of the more vulgar, un-grown-up kind of luxury, a smell of brilliantine and créme-de-menthe and soft centred chocolates – an atmosphere, as it were, of eating everlasting strawberry ices on green lawns to the tune of the Eton Boating Song. The extraordinary thing was  the way in which everyone took it for granted that this oozing, bulging wealth of the English upper-middle classes would last for ever, and was part of the order of things. After 1918 it was never quite the same…’ (George Orwell, ‘Such, Such Were the Joys’ 1947)


Camden Town Group in Context

Camden High Street in 1905

This week sees the official launch of the long-running Tate Research Project Camden Town Group in Context, a pioneering online catalogue dedicated to the Camden Town Group, who held three exhibitions in London between 1911-1912. The site includes a wealth of material, including images, short films, scholarly essays, transcripts of original reviews, correspondence and recordings of contemporary music hall songs. It explores key themes such as gender and sexuality, social class and social type, modernity and metropolis, and performance and popular fiction. The launch coincides with the re-design of the Tate website.

Camden Town in Context represents an incredible online resource for anyone studying this period of British art – and an enjoyable distraction for anyone else. Highly recommended.

Composer, Lover, Enigma

Delius by Rothenstein

Frederick Delius, by William Rothenstein (1919)

On Friday 25th May the BBC will air a new documentary on the life of the influential composer, and key Edwardian cultural figure, Frederick Delius (1862-1934). This boldly titled programme – Frederick Delius: Composer, Lover, Enigma – aims to explore the ‘multiple contradictions of his colourful life’, not least the contentious issue of his British identity.

The programme also forms part of a wider celebration of Delius’s life and work, marking 150 years since his birth in Bradford. For a comprehensive list of events, including live performances of Delius’s work, please see the Delius Society website.