Disability and the Victorians

When we think of ‘the Victorians’, we’re actually often thinking of a very specific group of people. This is a usually a representational issue. White, upper-class, able-bodied people are the ones we see in most photographs of ‘the Victorians’ (though not all). These are ‘the Victorians’ most often depicted on-screen, or written about in neo-Victorian fiction. If these are the ‘typical’ … Read more

CfP: Penny Dreadful, Gothic Reimagining and Neo-Victorianism in Modern Television

It’s been less than a year since Penny Dreadful ended dramatically in its third season, but this week brings the announcement of a collection of academic essays dedicated to the show. Edited by Manchester Metropolitan University‘s Jon Greenaway and Stephanie Reid, the collection looks to explore the show’s Gothic and Victorian heritage, as well as its contemporary … Read more

Stereophotography: The Victorians in 3D

One of the joys (and sorrows) of research is all the interesting information you find on one topic while doing research on something completely different. While researching spirit photography, for instance, I came across this fascinating account of the Victorian stereoscope in the art book for National Museums Scotland’s exhibition ‘Photography: A Victorian Sensation’.* If you … Read more

Welcome to the Asylum

On a beautiful long weekend at the end of August, I experienced my very first major steampunk event. The Asylum Steampunk Festival – so-named because of the converted mental asylum that forms one of its key venues – takes place every year in Lincoln, and is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in the UK. … Read more

Now Reviewing Penny Dreadful for the Victorianist

This post is a teaser for my weekly review series on Penny Dreadful season 3, starting this Friday (6 May) and featured over at the Victorianist. [UPDATE: You can now find my first review in all its glory at this link.] When the first season of Penny Dreadful was announced in 2013, we were unsure what to expect. Initially, it … Read more

Dan Hillier’s Neo-Victorian Fever Dreams

‘These forgotten images and discarded memories re-write a gorgeously dark period of history, one full of elephant men and taxidermy, death and medicine. The resulting pieces are like postcards coming from Beardsley from a Victorian mansion – if the mansion was populated by circus freaks and Werner Herzog.’ (Dazed and Confused Magazine, April 2007) A … Read more

Victorian Monsters? Strategies of Appropriation in the Neo-Victorian Mashup

This post originally appeared on the Victorianist, the postgraduate blog of the British Association for Victorian Studies, on 18 May 2015. It is reposted here with the kind permission of the editors. I should probably preface this post by admitting that I’m not a real Victorianist. The Victorians were one of my undergraduate passions, and … Read more