Monday, 17 September 2012

New web resources for Romanticists

I've recently discovered two great new web resources for Romanticists: the Great Writers Inspire project from the University of Oxford and the Romantic Heirs network.

Stephen Duck (1705-1756): An early 'peasant poet'
Great Writers Inspire
The Great Writers Inspire blog covers English Literature from Beowulf to the present day, and aims to offer a 'substantial collection of literary themed learning resources available for global reuse'. It is completely free to use, and offers materials which will be of interest to students, teachers, and non-specialists alike. The site features a range of resources, including video podcasts and transcriptions of lectures from world-leading specialists, essays, eBooks, and pictures, and can be explored by author or by theme.

Of particular interest to Romanticists are sections on Jane Austen, William Blake, and Eighteenth-century labouring-class writing. There is so much to explore on the site, but real highlights include a video/audio podcast of Kathryn Sutherland talking about Austen's manuscripts, an essay by Kate O'Connor about 'The Anonymous Jane Austen', a video/audio introduction to Blake's poetry, painting, and engraving by David Fallon, and a pdf transcript of a lecture about Blake and London by Peter Ackroyd.

Also of interest is a video/audio lecture on Stephen Duck by Jennifer Batt; Duck was an early 'peasant poet', and is essential reading for anyone interested in later, Romantic labouring-class poetry. The selection of eBooks available on the site really is fantastic; there are far too many of interest to list here, so it's well worth taking the time to have a look through and see what's on offer.

Romantic Heirs
The recently-created Romantic Heirs network is an exciting new project edited by Fern Merrills and Liam Firth from the University of Sheffield. The site is primarily designed for postgraduate research students and early career researchers interested in the many legacies and receptions of Romanticism, although the editors also welcome submissions and suggestions from those at all stages of education. As the project develops, the site will include videos, papers, podcasts, blogs, and teaching materials, as well as calls for papers and conference announcements, and so should prove to be really useful for anyone with an interest in this area.

Romantic Heirs is currently looking for postgraduates and early career researchers to submit blog posts on all things Romantic; a post should be around 250-800 words and could be a review, a short paper, a report on public engagement activities, a diary piece, or a poem or piece of prose. The editors particularly welcome posts written in a style that is accessible to audiences outside of academia. See the Romantic Heirs website for more details.

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