• Biblical proximity and women: the image of Arabs in Victorian works of religious nature

      Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Arab World English Journal, 2015-10)
      Abstract The pro-suffrage campaign to elevate the Oriental female did not give emphasis to Arab women; however, they were vividly presented in religious literature and romances of a religious nature. The inferior position and the victimisation of Arab women, attributed to Islam, delivered a political and a religious message that helped steer the Victorian reader’s opinion towards a desired effect. The paper will focus on the image of the Arab woman in some of these publications to highlight that the use of the biblical element of the Middle East was employed to reinforce Christianity and combat Ottomans. The image of the victimised Arab woman also prepared the public for a future military involvement in the Middle East. The paper suggests that the Victorian depiction of the Arab female may well be the precursor of present-day use of Islam-phobic slogans that trigger sorrow easily transformed into anger at the men, culture and the religion that victimise women.
    • Book review: 'Posthumanism' by Pramod K. Nayar

      Darwood, Nicola (Taylor & Francis, 2014-06-25)
    • A brilliant alumna: the papers of Veronica Forrest-Thomson

      Farmer, Gareth; University of Bedfordshire (Girton College, 2014)
    • The canon and the curriculum

      Owens, W.R. (Plovdiv University Press, 2010)
    • CARA changed my life

      Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2013-04)
    • Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, and the Barbary Pirates

      Owens, W.R.; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2013)
      This essay explores the significance for Defoe and his contemporaries of a brief episode near the beginning of Robinson Crusoe (1719) where Crusoe's ship is captured by pirates and he is held as a slave in Morocco for two years before escaping with a Morisco boy named Xury. At the time the novel was published, thousands of Christian slaves were being held in Muslim North Africa, and public campaigns to ransom them were organized on a large scale. Defoe's readers would have had access to many accounts describing how the ‘Barbary pirates’ operated, and the conditions in which their captives were held. Defoe himself regarded the activities of the pirates as a serious threat to the development of international trade and commerce, and frequently called for the creation of a pan-European military force to suppress them.
    • Empty boxes, empty spaces: Elizabeth Bowen’s 'The little girls'

      Darwood, Nicola (AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2009)
    • The English version of the Polyglot Bible

      Owens, W.R. (Scala Publishers, 2012)
    • Escaping to the desert: the case of Gertrude Bell

      Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (2011-05)
    • Eviction from Eden: the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen

      Darwood, Nicola (Christian Literary Studies Group, 2010)
    • False freedoms

      Witwit, May; University of Bedfordshire (Sage Journals, 2012-09)
      It is hard to appreciate freedom until you experience losing it. It may be difficult for someone born in a democracy to understand, but it’s somewhat like comparing what a wild bird feels when locked in a cage, as opposed to a bird born in captivity that regards a cage as its natural environment. When I am asked about academic freedom in Iraq, it is this parallel that leaps to mind. As a former lecturer at the University of Baghdad who has recently completed a PhD in the UK, I have felt the difference acutely.
    • The farther adventures of Robinson Crusoe

      Owens, W.R. (Pickering & Chatto Publishers, 2008)
    • Generation and regeneration: a tale of 'Helen’s Babies'.

      Darwood, Nicola (2015-07)
      In 1876 John Habberton published his first novel, Helen's Babies: With Some Account of Their Ways Innocent, Crafty, Angelic, Impish, Witching, and Repulsive, Also, a Partial Record of Their Actions During Ten Days of Their Existence. The novel follows the trials and tribulations of Harry, Helen’s brother, left alone for a fortnight with his two nephews whose behaviour both charms and exhausts him in equal measure. It was a popular adult book from its first edition; however, over the succeeding years the novel has come to be regarded as a children’s book, rather than one for adults, and this transition, this regeneration, provides an interesting component in the history of the publication of children’s fiction. Although Habberton might have believed that the novel ‘had no literary justification for surviving its first summer’,[1] reporting that it was ‘declined by every prominent publishing house in the United States’,[2] George Orwell noted that ‘in its day [the novel was] one of the most popular books in the world–within the British Empire alone it was pirated by twenty different publishing firms, the author receiving a total profit of £40 from a sale of some hundreds of thousands or millions of copies.’[3] Part of its enduring charm may lie in its picture of a past which Orwell describes as ‘not only innocen[t] but [depicting] a sort of native gaiety, a buoyant, carefree feeling’’,[4] its popularity possibly enhanced by the 1924 movie adaptation starring the child actor Baby Peggy and Clara Bow.[5] With each edition and revision of the text, a new audience was sought. The regeneration of the text – from adult book to children’s book – is a fascinating story; through an analysis of six different editions of the book which focuses on the materiality of the book, the type and the illustrations, this paper charts that journey of regeneration, as Helen’s Babies became a novel which was firmly at the heart of childhood in the mid twentieth century.
    • The Gospels: Authorized King James Version

      Owens, W.R. (Oxford University Press, 2011)
      A unique edition of the Gospels, in the Authorized King James version, that provides the reader with all the information they could need to appreciate the theological importance and literary and cultural significance of these great writings.
    • The Handbook to Literary Research

      da Correa Sousa, Delia; Owens, W.R. (Routledge, 2009)
      The Handbook to Literary Research is a practical guide for students embarking on postgraduate work in Literary Studies. It introduces and explains research techniques, methodologies and approaches to information resources, paying careful attention to the differences between countries and institutions, and providing a range of key examples. Packed with useful tips and exercises and written by scholars with extensive experience as teachers and researchers in the field, this volume is the ideal Handbook for those beginning postgraduate research in literature.
    • The history of reading, Vol. 1: international perspectives, c.1550–1945

      Towheed, Shafquat; Owens, W.R. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011)
      How do we accurately recover the diverse engagement of readers with texts across time and in widely differing societies across the world? This volume brings together a representative sample of original, evidence based research in the History of Reading. Chapters cover individual readers, reading communities or groups and their engagement with texts in societies ranging from nineteenth-century Poland and Germany, apartheid era South Africa, Antebellum America, colonial Canada, India and New Zealand, and early modern England. Deliberately juxtaposing research on different countries, linguistic communities and historical periods, The History of Reading, Vol. 1: International Perspectives, c.1500-1990 demonstrates the challenges and rewards of undertaking empirical research on reading practices and asks whether readers' responses to texts are always entirely conditioned by their historical, socio-economic, or political circumstances. A wide-ranging critical introduction provides a succinct overview of evidence based approaches to the history of reading, and reminds us that the task of recovering the evidence of readers through history and across the world is still in its infancy.
    • The history of reading, vol. 2: evidence from the British Isles, c.1800–1945

      Halsey, Katie; Owens, W.R. (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011)
      How can we find evidence of reading in the past? And how can we interpret this evidence to create a 'history' of reading? To answer these questions, this volume presents eleven fascinating accounts of readers and reading in the British Isles over two hundred years. The authors reveal the huge variety of evidence that exists, not only of what people read, but how, and in what circumstances they read. Covering a wide range of readers and texts, the essays demonstrate how individual reading practices are influenced by – even sometimes defined by – factors such as social class, political affiliation, the place of reading, the availability of books, and changes in publishing practices. With chapters highlighting the importance of reading communities, the uses to which reading may be put, and the importance of newspapers, the volume provides a richly textured account of reading practices in Britain.