Monthly Archives: November 2012

39th Annual Conference of The Joseph Conrad Society (UK)

‘Joseph Conrad’ by William Rothenstein

THE JOSEPH CONRAD SOCIETY (UK) invites proposals for papers for its 39th Annual International Conference, to be held in Rome at the Università di Roma Tre, 10-13 July 2013.

Proposals for 25-minute papers and for panels on all topics related to Conrad’s life, work, and circle are invited. The deadline for submission of abstracts (of about 300 words) is 1 March 2013. They should be sent in MS Word format to Professor Richard Ambrosini, who is kindly hosting the conference, at:

Participants who are not already members of the Society will be requested to take out membership for one year.

Please note that this is not a residential conference, and participants will need to make their own accommodation arrangements. Suggestions for accommodation will be posted on the site before the end of 2012.

Conference details and the programme will be posted on the Society’s website as they become available.

Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory (Conference)

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following two-day conference:

Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory

11.30 – 19.10, Friday 23 November (with registration from 11.00)
09.15 – 18.45, Saturday 24 November (with registration from 08.45)

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

Revivalism in art and architecture is a fundamental though often overlooked aspect of modernity. From the nineteenth century to the present, styles, ideologies, techniques and approaches have been revived and re-framed. Revival: Utopia, Identity, Memory seeks to investigate the diverse dimensions of revivalism, exploring its meanings and impacts across cultures, periods and media. The extent to which revivalism has been harnessed to promote idealist visions, assert aspects of personal or corporate identity, and grant fresh purchase on memorialization and nostalgia are all productive trajectories for investigation. Continue reading

Review: The Real Life Women of Downton Abbey and Life Below Stairs

Instinct invites me to be suspicious of any book with ‘real’ in the title, let alone one that also manages to fit ‘really’ into its sub-title. Such is the case with Pamela Horn’s The Real Life Women of Downton Abbey: How wives & daughters really lived in country house society over a century ago, recently published in hardback by Amberley Press. If one ‘real’ is unfortunate, two seems careless.

There are plenty of other reasons to be suspicious of this book, not least the fact that it is actually a re-printing of a much earlier text, first published in 1991 with the title Ladies of the Manor. Re-printing a book is no crime in itself – especially if it is in demand – though there is something a little cynical about the way this book has been re-branded to cater for a new audience (although, it must be noted, it is by no means alone). If the book had been re-written, or at least edited, to appeal to Downton Abbey fans, it would be a different proposition. Instead, the book has simply be re-titled and printed in a smart hard-back edition. All very handsomely produced, though at £20 many readers might prefer to scour second-hand book stores for old copies of Ladies of the Manor.

This is not, then, a new book by any means, nor is it in any way connected with the TV show Downton Abbey. Continue reading