Reminder: WSG Seminar Jan 2016

Update: 29 January 2016:

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, Chrisy Dennis is unable to give her paper at our seminar tomorrow.  The rest of the programme remains unchanged, and we hope to invite Chrisy back to talk on Mary Robinson at a later date.  Apologies for any inconvenience.


The third WSG seminar of the academic year will take place in just over a week’s time at the Foundling Museum.  Directions for getting to the Museum can be found here.  Doors open after 12.30pm with the session starting promptly at 1, and tea, coffee and biscuits at about 2.30pm.  Non-members who wish to attend the seminar are very welcome to come but will be asked to make a small donation for refreshments.

For the January session seminars organiser Carolyn Williams has scheduled papers on queens, singers, and writers.  WSG are also very pleased that Chrisy Dennis, who couldn’t make it in November, will present her paper at this session.  As ever, attendees are also encouraged to visit the current Foundling exhibition (free!), which in January is about illustrators of orphans from the eighteenth-century to the present day.

Saturday 30th January 2016,  1-4pm, Foundling Museum
Chair: Lois Chaber

Valerie Schutte, ‘Pre-accession Printed Book Dedications to Mary and Elizabeth Tudor’
This paper will offer a comparison of the printed book dedications received by Mary and Elizabeth Tudor before each woman became queen.  This analysis will demonstrate how each royal sibling was connected to early book culture and how that interplayed with her course of education.

Brianna Elyse Robertson-Kirkland, ‘Venanzio Rauzzini (1746-1810) and his female operatic students
Venanzio Rauzzini, an Italian castrato, was described by The Monthly Mirror in 1807 as ‘the father of a new style of English singing and a new race of singers’, and lists a number of the most esteemed opera singers of the period as his students, including Nancy Storace and Elizabeth Billington.

Sarah Oliver, ‘From Rape to Desire: Mary Hays’s Revision of the Love Theme and Jane Austen’s “New” Heroines
The discussion argues that fictional representations of female sexual desire were problematic for women writers in the Long Eighteenth Century, until Radical writers including Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Hays re-worked the theme.

Chrisy Dennis, ‘“We were born to grace society: but not to be its slaves”: Chivalry and Revolution in Mary Robinson’s Hubert de Sevrac, A Romance of the Eighteenth Century (1796)
Mary Robinson’s Romance, written during a period of anti-revolutionary backlash in England, overtly criticises the patriarchal order that pervades Europe.  It offers the reader a new family dynamic – one that is based on equality.

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