Monthly Archives: February 2013

CFP: Social Fabrics – H.G.Wells & William Morris


Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:

Social Fabrics: HG Wells and William Morris Conference

A Conference Jointly Run by the H.G. Wells Society and the William Morris Society; Saturday 14 September 2013, The Coach House, Kelmscott House, London, UK; 10.00am-4.30pm

We are delighted to invite papers on the full range of topics indicated by the title of the conference.Deadline for Paper Proposals: 15 May 2013

Please email abstracts of 500 words to
Emelyne Godfrey,
Helen Elletson,
Patrick Parrinder,
and Sylvia Hardy

Location of Conference:
Kelmscott House, 26 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA
Nearest tube stations: Ravenscourt Park (10-minute walk) and Hammersmith (15-minute walk).

Edwardian Opulence: Events


Yale Center for British Art’s major exhibition ‘Edwardian Opulence’ opens later this week accompanied by a range of events including an opening conversation with curators Angus Trumble and Andrea Wolk Rager, and the graduate symposium ‘Art, Anxiety, and Protest in the Edwardian Belle Époque’. More details on the latter event can be found below:

Art, Anxiety, and Protest in the Edwardian Belle Époque
Graduate Student Symposium
Saturday, March 2, 9 am–6:30 pm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut

Keynote Lecture 5:30 pm

Edwardian Modernities: Art and Music in London, 1901-1910: Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art, Yale University

This one-day graduate student symposium considers the visual arts in Britain and its empire, America, and Continental Europe between 1901 and 1910—the era marked out by the reign of the British monarch Edward VII—in relation to the intersecting social, economic, sexual, political, and psychological tensions and anxieties of the period. Continue reading

Music and the myth of intelligibility (programme)

'Ralph Vaughan Williams' by William Rothenstein

‘Ralph Vaughan Williams’ by William Rothenstein

Music and the myth of intelligibility: An ICE Workshop

Friday 17 May 2013, Wadham College, Oxford

In his 1938 poem, ‘The Composer’, W. H. Auden praises the immediacy of music, juxtaposing it with painting and poetry as arts that require mediation (‘All the others translate’) and reception (‘by painstaking adaption’). Auden’s poem is just one of the most famous articulations of the idea that, of all the arts, music is the one that requires no intervention to render it intelligible across time and space (as suggested equally by Longfellow’s reference to music as ‘the universal language of mankind’). This workshop aims to scrutinise this influential yet problematic myth with a particular focus on the period 1870-1920.


1000            Registration and coffee

1030            Welcome and introductions Continue reading

Crinoline, Chenille Nets, and Pork-Pie Hats

Irene Vanburgh in 'Trelawny of the "Wells"', costume notes.

Irene Vanburgh in ‘Trelawny of the “Wells”‘, costume notes.

‘At last I have seen Pinero’s ‘Trelawny of the “Wells”’ and am not converted to crinoline, chenille nets, and pork-pie hats. How beauties in ‘the early sixties’ contrived to appear beautiful in such deforming costumes one is at a loss to imagine… The plot is slight, but interesting.’ (E E B. Harper’s Bazaar, April 30th 1898)

Arthur Wing Pinero’s almost-Edwardian play ‘Trelawny of the “Wells”’ is being revived by the film director Joe Wright at the Donmar Warehouse in London this month. First performed in 1898, it not only spawned an interest in 1860s’ fashions, but two paintings starring actresses Hilda Spong and Irene Vanburgh by leading artists Walter Sickert and William Rothenstein.

‘When Pinero’s Trelawny of the Wells was put on at the Court Theatre, I went with Sickert to see this enchanting piece. Here was a play which seemed written for our delight. What fun it all was; and how enchanting the costumes! And such a chance it provided that Sickert asked Miss Hilda Spong – a magnificent creature who acted a part – to sit for him; while I approached Irene Vanbrugh. Miss Vanbrugh took infinite trouble, and endured many sittings. Sickert had Miss Spong photographed, and from a small print and with few sittings he achieved a life-size portrait. Miss Vanbrugh’s portrait I sent to the first exhibition of the International Society.’ (William Rothenstein, Men and Memories, Vol I, p.335)

Sickert’s portrait, appropriately enough, was titled ‘The Pork Pie Hat: Hilda Spong in the Trelawny of the “Wells”’. See Wendy Baron, Sickert, Paintings and Drawings (New Haven 2006), p.215 for more information. See more on Hilda Spong here.

Painting a Working Cornwall: Newlyn and St Ives 1880-1930

'Girl Peeling Onions' by Elizabeth Forbes

‘Girl Peeling Onions’ by Elizabeth Forbes

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following symposium:

‘Painting a Working Cornwall: Newlyn and St Ives 1880-1930’
Friday, 1 March
18.00, Research Forum South Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

Speaker(s): Alison Bevan (Penlee House Gallery and Museum); David Tovey (author, lecturer, and curator)
Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission. There will be no advance booking for this event and places will be available on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis
Organised by: Martin Caiger-Smith and Roo Gunzi (The Courtauld Institute of Art) in conjunction with Two Temple Place, supported by The Bulldog Trust

Towards the end of the nineteenth-century, growing numbers of artists settled in West Cornwall, at the harbour towns of Newlyn and St Ives. Influenced by both Naturalism and Impressionism, and with a commitment to painting en plein air, artists such as Stanhope Forbes, Henry Scott Tuke, Adrian Stokes, and Anders Zorn sought to apply French techniques learned on the coasts of Brittany to British rural subjects. Continue reading

RA Exhibition Catalogues


The Royal Academy of Arts have digitized their Winter Exhibitions catalogues from 1879 to 1939. Edwardian highlights include several Old Masters shows, memorial exhibitions for George Frederick Watts and Laurence Alma-Tadema, and George McCulloch’s collection of modern painting and sculpture. Highly recommended.

CFP: Arnold Bennett and London Life

'Arnold Bennett' by William Rothenstein

‘Arnold Bennett’ by William Rothenstein

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:

CALL FOR PAPERS: The 10th Arnold Bennett Conference will be held on 8th June 2013 at The North Staffs Conference Centre, Hartshill, Newcastle, Staffordshire.


“There grows in the North Country a certain kind of youth of whom it may be said that he is born to be a Londoner”. So begins Bennett’s first published novel, A Man from the North, based on his own youthful experience in “Town”. Many of his subsequent novels are set in London, from the light-hearted to the more serious such as Riceyman Steps, written in 1923 (the only one to win a literary prize) and so there is considerable scope for papers on a wide variety of topics, not only on his creative writing but also his journalism, literary criticism and possibly his diaries.

The Society welcomes proposals for papers within this very wide remit and I do hope that there will be as enthusiastic a response as in previous years. Please send 200 word abstracts for 20 minute papers to Morag Jones, as soon as possible.

Beyond the Garden Party: Conference Poster


As you are no doubt aware, registration is now open for our inaugural conference ‘Beyond the Garden Party: Re-thinking Edwardian Culture’ – and costs only £10 (something of a bargain, we think, for two days’ worth of exciting Edwardian scholarship). The image above is our conference poster: please feel free to download and distribute!

More information on the conference will follow shortly.