Recent Submissions

  • An alternative afterlife: Plath’s experimental poetics

    Farmer, Gareth; Brain, Tracy; University of Bedfordshire; Bath Spa University (Cambridge University Press, 2019-08-01)
    Following Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s lead, Gareth Farmer repositions Plath’s work in experimental British, European and American lineages, testing the complexity of her ‘poetic artifice’ against Forrest-Thomson’s theory and offering ‘other’ intellectual and literary contexts of her work. Such contexts activate alternative questions for the poetry, such as the role and function of form in carrying epistemological and cognitive information, or the ways in which poetry offers a critique of lyric singularity, address and subjectivity. A more sustained concentration on Plath’s poetic artifice offers new intellectual contexts as well as alternative horizons for understanding the afterlife of her work.
  • Flying dangerously: Elizabeth Bowen’s To the North

    Darwood, Nicola (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020-12-01)
    In To the North Bowen draws on notions of restlessness, change and destruction in her desire to write about geographical place and, in so doing, clearly demonstrates her understanding of the technological advances of the age. The novel foregrounds ideas of travel – by train, car and aeroplane – as Bowen explores the world through her young protagonist, Emmeline Summers. Both the pleasure (that is, perhaps, the sense of curiosity identified by Gindin) and the inherent danger of travel are recurrent themes in To the North, echoing the Modernist desire for speed, but Bowen’s use of this motif can also be read as a metaphor for the destruction of the innocent individual in an increasingly corrupt and disconnected society where it can be more convenient to speak to others by means of a ‘speaking-tube’ (To the North 69) rather than communicating in person. This essay explores the notion of ‘flying dangerously’ in the novel, through Bowen’s representation of ‘airmindedness’ (TN 144), where travel proves to be dangerous (both morally and physically) and, ultimately, fatal on that final journey on the road ‘[t]o the North’. It focuses particularly on the role of Emmeline as a partner in the travel agency, an agency which ‘seemed to radiate speed’ (TN 144), and also provides a discussion which locates Emmeline’s work both in terms of the travel industry of the 1930s and her position as a female partner in an expanding business.
  • ‘A grand Christmas pantomime': Nancy Spain's Cinderella Goes to the Morgue

    Darwood, Nicola (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    Exploring Nancy Spain’s appropriation of the fairy tale of Cinderella and its pantomime form, this essay traces both the antecedents of pantomime and the growing popularity of Cinderella as a pantomime; it considers the comedy that has its roots in the commedia dell’arte and French ‘night pieces’ and discusses how Spain draws on this tradition to recreate the world of pantomime in Cinderella Goes to the Morgue.
  • Works from the Cinderella Collection

    Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    A list of books forming part of the Cinderella collection in the Polhill campus library archive at the University of Bedfordshire
  • Introduction to Retelling Cinderella: Cultural and Creative Transformations

    Darwood, Nicola; Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    Introduction to the essays in the volume which reflect on material and cultural legacy of the tale of Cinderella and how it remains active and relevant in many different societies where social and family relationships are adapting to modern culture. Each essay is introduced to show how the retelling illustrates a continuing attraction in the duality of the story. The uplifting message of Cinderella still sells an increasingly problematic conformity to traditional womanhood by persuading you to buy comfort, aspire to be a domestic goddess or reaffirm the myth of a ‘happy ever after’. But it’s also evident that she can also be the symbol for suffrage, for equality and empowerment. Her story will continue to be reused, reappropriated, and refashioned in a way that continues to highlight changing societal mores and ideologies: always fascinating, for ever changing.
  • The material culture of Cinderella: introducing the Cinderella Collection

    Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    In August 2012 the University of Bedfordshire was given a collection of items all about Cinderella. It was one person’s collection, gathered over a number of years in the 1990s and is an example of a fascination with the fairy tale and its retellings in our culture. It is housed at our library in Bedford and shares its archival lodging with the much larger Hockliffe collection of rare primers, readers and children’s books that was donated by a specialist bookseller from the town. On the open shelves in this cool room are the books and along side are the archive boxes with the objet and ephemera. There are cuttings, tins, jigsaws, souvenir programmes, figurines, and porcelain collectables. Each are not necessarily unique in themselves, but as a collection it is intriguing. It offers unusual insights into the range of discourses and disciplines that claim the tale of Cinderella. Through insights into the Special Collection of Cinderella material its archiving and display at the University of Bedfordshire, this chapter will examine the material culture surrounding Cinderella from the nineteenth and twentieth century. The Collection opens up the varied range of adaptation and performance that the story has inspired, containing materials ranging from opera and ballet programmes, books and theatre models, to collectable figurines, toys and merchandise. This chapter takes a perspective from publishing studies and delves into the different market sectors in the Collection such as folklore, psychology, education, self help, fiction, illustration and women’s studies. Opening the covers of these volumes it explores the tales of personal transformation as they have been reinscribed in modern retellings.
  • Introduction to Fiction and 'The Woman Question' from 1850 to 1930

    Darwood, Nicola; Owens, W.R.; Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholar, 2020-08-01)
    The various aspects of ‘the Woman Question’ in the later nineteenth century, and into the twentieth century—education, suffrage, financial and emotional independence, marriage and motherhood—are all explored and debated in the chapters making up this collection. In bringing together this collection of essays, we have decided to focus attention not on famous writers or works, but on fiction written by authors who have attracted relatively little critical interest in recent years. Writers discussed include Stella Benson; Marie Corelli; Kate Chopin; Dinah Mulock Craik; Clemence Dane; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; George Gissing; Ouida and William Hale White (who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Mark Rutherford’). While no longer be as well-known as when they were publishing their novels, many of them were extremely popular with the reading public of their time, and some were compared by critics to writers who are now more often in the forefront of Victorian studies. In providing critical accounts of some key works by these writers, we hope that this collection of essays significantly extends our understanding of how fiction can be used to represent female characters who, in varying degrees and with mixed success, sought to defy the social, sexual and political constraints placed upon them. The short stories, novellas and novels considered in this volume demonstrate how fiction contributed in striking and memorable ways to debates over ‘the Woman Question’ and gender equality—debates that continue to have relevance in the twenty-first century.
  • Retelling Cinderella: cultural and creative transformations

    Darwood, Nicola; Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge Scholar, 2020-12-01)
    Cinderella’s transformation from a lowly, overlooked servant into a princess who attracts everyone’s gaze has become a powerful trope within many cultures. Inspired by the Cinderella archive of books, objet and collectables at the University of Bedfordshire, the essays in this collection demonstrate how the story remains active in many different societies where social and family relationships are adapting to modern culture. It explores the social arenas of dating apps, prom nights, as well as contemporary issues about women’s roles in the home, and gender identity. Cinderella’s cultural translation is seen through the contributors’ international perspectives: from Irish folk lore to the Columbian Cenicienta costeña (Cinderella of the coast) and Spanish literary history. Its transdisciplinarity ranges from fashion in Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm’s publications to a comparison of Cinderella and Galatea on film, and essays on British authors Nancy Spain, Anne Thackeray Ritchie and Frances Hodgson Burnett.
  • Women, suffrage, and Clemence Dane: a game of speculation

    Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholar, 2020-07-03)
    Clemence Dane (1888-1965) was one of the newly enfranchised women eligible to vote for the first time under the suffrage act of 1918. An articulate novelist, actress and sculptor, her writings and speeches about women for magazines and the radio give us an insight into some of the complexities that faced women as they formed opinions on topical issues in the political sphere. In 1926 she collected those articles in a volume putting, as she phrased it, The Women’s Side. In this chapter I look at Dane’s explorations of The Women Question in her 1926 collection The Women’s Side, and in her own novel Legend (1919) her plays Wild Decembers (1932) about the Brontë family and Bill of Divorcement (1921) which can be read as a reflection on the story of Jane Eyre. Her imaginative talent was stimulated by the gaps in biography where the historian had to give ground to the creative artist and she drew on the licence of the actress in the interpretative performance of a personal story to create a narrative of women’s genius. Dane’s adopts the popular card game “Speculation” from Austen's Mansfield Park as a trope to explore the tensions and stresses for women as they left the familiar and expected conventions of Victorian womanhood and took up an uncertain and contested new role in society.
  • Introduction

    Darwood, Nicola; Turner, Nick (Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2019-09-02)
    Introduction to volume 2 of The Elizabeth Bowen Review - September 2018
  • Book review: Elizabeth Bowen: Theory, Thought and Things, edited by Jessica Gildersleeve and Patricia Juliana Smith (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019).

    Darwood, Nicola; University of Bedfordshire (Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2020-09-30)
    Review of Elizabeth Bowen: Theory, Thought and Things, edited by Jessica Gildersleeve and Patricia Juliana Smith (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019) in The Elizabeth Bowen Review, volume 3
  • Introduction

    Darwood, Nicola; Turner, Nick (Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2020-09-30)
    Introduction to volume 3 of The Elizabeth Bowen Review
  • Elizabeth Bowen

    Darwood, Nicola (Swan River Press, 2020-10-31)
  • ‘You want the truth? you can't handle the truth’: poetic representations of the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre

    Carpenter, Victoria; York St John University (Taylor and Francis, 2015-07-03)
    The 1968 massacre of students demonstrating in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas, in the Tlatelolco district of Mexico City, has been the subject of a corpus known as la literatura de Tlatelolco, whose aim is to keep the event alive in the collective memory and to provide a true account of the massacre. This article explores poetic representations of the massacre, and seeks to establish whether ‘the truth’ about the massacre is necessary to preserve the event in the collective memory.
  • “2 October is not forgotten”: Tlatelolco 1968 massacre and social memory frameworks

    Carpenter, Victoria (Peter Lang, 2019-05-17)
    The massacre of a student demonstration in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas, in the Tlatelolco district of Mexico City, on 2 October 1968, has been the subject of many debates, studies and literary works, whose aim is to keep the event alive in the collective memory and to tell ‘the truth’ about what happened that night. But is this aim achieved by any Tlatelolco discourse? Probably not. Nor, as I argue, is it necessary. What, then, is the function of the Tlatelolco discourses? Is it a matter of the state and popular discourses being at loggerheads in their respective claims to accuracy and ‘truth’? Or is it something else, led not by the search for truth, but by the need for emotional reconciliation? This essay is an in-depth case study of the narratives of the massacre from the perspective of the theory of posthegemony and Maurice Halbwachs’ studies of social memory frameworks. By focusing in such detail on the way the massacre is represented in the contemporary media, the essay determines how memory builds on narratives that emerge in the response to political violence in the modern media society. The most successful narratives are built on the emotions released immediately when the affect wave ‘crests’, so that those emotions are the strongest and the most relevant to the moment of affect and change of habit.
  • The Tlatelolco Massacre, Mexico 1968, and the emotional triangle of anger, grief and shame: discourses of truth(s)

    Carpenter, Victoria (University of Wales Press, 2018-08-01)
    In the aftermath of major violent events that affect many, we seek to know the ‘truth’ of what happened. Whatever ‘truth’ emerges relies heavily on the extent to which any text about a given event can stir our emotions – whether such texts are official sources or the ‘voice of the people’, we are more inclined to believe them if their words make us feel angry, sad or ashamed. If they fail to stir emotion, however, we will often discount them even when the reported information is the same. Victoria Carpenter analyses texts by the Mexican government, media and populace published after the Tlatelolco massacre of 2 October 1968, demonstrating that there is no strict division between their accounts of what happened and that, in fact, different sides in the conflict used similar and sometimes the same images and language to rouse emotions in the reader.
  • Fiction and 'the Woman Question' from 1830 to 1930

    Darwood, Nicola; Owens, W.R.; Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-08-01)
    This book is about how ‘The Woman Question’ was represented in works of fiction published between 1850 and 1930. The essays here offer a wide-ranging and original approach to the ways in which literature shaped perceptions of the roles and position of women in society. Debates over ‘The Woman Question’ encompassed not only the struggle for voting rights, but gender equality more widely. The book reaches beyond the usual canonical texts to focus on writers who have, in the main, attracted relatively little critical attention in recent years: Stella Benson, Kate Chopin, Marie Corelli, Dinah Mulock Craik, Clemence Dane, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Gissing, Ouida, and William Hale White (who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Mark Rutherford’). These writers dealt imaginatively with issues such as marriage, motherhood, sexual desire, adultery and suffrage, and they represented female characters who, in varying degrees and with mixed success, sought to defy the social, sexual and political constraints placed upon them. The collection as a whole demonstrates how fiction could contribute in striking and memorable ways to debates over gender equality—debates which continue to have relevance in the twenty-first century.
  • The making of a suffragette: Stella Benson and I Pose (1915)

    Darwood, Nicola (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-07-03)
    Drawing extensively on Benson’s unpublished diaries and correspondence, this essay irst considers her engagement with the campaign for votes for women, in particular, her work with the Women Writers’ Suffrage League, and the influence of her aunt, the novelist Mary Cholmondeley, in that engagement. Placing Benson’s first novel within the context of other suffragette literature of the period, the essay then focuses on the portrayal of the suffragette movement in I Pose, a novel in which the protagonist rehearses arguments about equality and women’s suffrage
  • Languishing in 'rent-a-Marx/Margaret rhetoric': the phono-politics of Douglas Oliver's The Infant and the Pearl

    Farmer, Gareth; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2019-06-21)
    In The Infant and the Pearl (1985), the poet Douglas Oliver draws on the alliterative and allegorical features of mediaeval verse to create a dream-like satire of Britain under Margaret Thatcher. Once a central feature of most Old English poetry, since Chaucer, alliteration and rhyme have often been used in the service of parody and satire. But, how do complex sound-structures aid satire and generate political content? Drawing on Oliver’s poetic and critical work, as well as contemporary research into prosody and politics, this article argues that the sound patterning in The Infant and the Pearl creates a caricatured version of Thatcher’s ‘politically unsound’ Britain. Oliver uses sonic patterns to create an artificial parody of the bathetic ‘uncommon rhetoric’ of consumerism and the ‘false pearls’ of the political classes. Far from being an accessory to meaning, the sound structures are vehicles for parodying the operations of the rhetoric of the ‘unreal’ apparent in social and political discourse. Oliver envisages sound patterning – as performed with every private and public reading – as offering recalibrations of people’s experience of language and the world, as well as leading to glimpses of a communality beyond political and social division.

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