CFP: Victorian and Edwardian Lives and Letters


Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:

Victorian and Edwardian Lives and Letters

Venue: University of Hertfordshire and Knebworth House: Thursday 10- Friday 11 July 2014.

Keynote speakers: Professor Jane Ridley, University of Buckingham
(Bertie: A Life of Edward VII; The Young Disraeli; The Architect and his Wife: a life of Edwin Lutyens).

Professor Katharine Cockin, University of Hull (The Collected Letters of Ellen Terry; Women and Theatre in the Age of Suffrage; Edith Craig (1869-1947))

Submissions are invited for this two-day conference to be held at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield and at Knebworth House, the country home of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton (1803-73). The conference will focus broadly on the topic of life-writing in its different manifestations and the challenges posed by Victorian and Edwardian figures from across the literary, theatrical, political and social scenes. How, for example, were Victorian lives recorded by Victorian contemporaries? How did a Victorian subject go about writing an autobiography or memoir? What was/is the relationship between life-writing and creative writing? Given that the fields of biography and autobiography regularly undergo re-evaluation as notions of identity, selfhood and `suitable’ subjects shift, how do those working on nineteenth century topics in the twenty-first century approach them. Where is the field going?

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers for a range of topics. These might include, but are not limited to:

Challenges in recovering both well-known and forgotten subjects

Celebrity and infamy

Working with letters and diaries

Creative writing’s use of Victorian and Edwardian lives

Shifting reputations

The legacies of earlier biographers (e.g. Froude, Strachey)

New developments in the field

Teaching life-writing

The conference includes a tour of Knebworth and conference dinner at the house. Residential accommodation is at the University of Hertfordshire.

Please email 300 word abstracts or enquiries to the conference organisers, Rowland Hughes, Andrew Maunder and Janice Norwood at The closing date for abstracts is 31 January 2014.

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