Posted by: martinkc | June 4, 2009

Shameless self-promotion by Kathleen Martin

Below you will find a link to the first review of my book, Hard and Unreal Advice: Mothers, Social Science, and the Victorian Poverty Experts.  It appears on the Reviews in History page of the website of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, where I began the archival research for this book longer ago than I would care to say.  I don’t believe that the online publication knew that when my book was sent out for review, but apparently they  thought it was worth reviewing anyway.  To my amazement, the reviewer did understand what this deeply  unusual (not to say iconoclastic) book is about and liked it.  When I returned from my very long maternity leave to write my dissertation, the chair of the Graduate Program in Comparative History at Brandeis asked me in the most patronizing way imaginable whether I understood that the dissertation is required to be original.  I told him this: “Originality has never been a problem for me, at least not the lack of it.”  Fortunately this review does credit, rather than publish, originality.

Posted by: martinkc | March 12, 2009

A book recommendation from Kathleen Martin

I have just finished Peter Ackroyd’s Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination (2002) and loved it.  Needless to say, everyone in this exalted circle would probably disagree with at least one of the many things in it, but I found it both informative and stimulating.  The book is particularly interesting on Victorian Britain’s passion for all things medieval, but Ackryod also had fascinating things to say about the English love of heterogeneity, translation as a source of inspiration, and the connection between Romanticism and forgery  — not to mention the deep roots of English transvestism (or, if you will, drag).  Cheryl would love the material on music, and I will lend her the book if she wants to take me up on it!

Ed Rafferty will give a presentation called “Cyrenus Osborne Ward and Atlantic Radicalism in the 19th Century” on Friday, Feb. 27 in Room 330A (Katzenberg Center) at 2pm.  “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution!”

According to well-known rabble-rouser Roy Porter, ten times as much property damage was inflicted in London during the Gordon Riots of 1780 than occurred in Paris over the entire course of the French Revolution.  (He utters this calumny in English Society in the 18th Century, page 101.)  Obviously Catholics were even more provocative in England than in France, although he does not say so, forcing otherwise constitutionally satisfied Englishmen to wreak such havoc.

Now that even Kathleen Martin, every technophile’s worst nightmare, has managed to post on this website, a new era in Victorian Studies is dawning.   Soon the overworked  Victorianists of the College of General Studies will be able to hold virtual meetings, however crammed their weekly  schedules may be.  For this we have that paragon of men, John Mackey, to thank.

While I may not understand every feature of this site (and let’s face it, I don’t)  I now invoke the immortal words of that eminent Victorian, Robert Browning.  “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

Posted by: John Mackey | December 10, 2008

Breaking News: Victoria Dead

My fellow CGS Victorianists – you might be interested in this story!

The Ex-Queen (shown while still alive)

The Ex-Queen (shown while still alive)

WESTMINSTER – Victoria, long time Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, has died, aged 81.  Her reign was marked by a massive expansion of Britain’s empire and industrial capacity, as well as a marked increase in the use of the phrase “we are not amused!”  When asked to comment on the queen’s passing, Boston University historian Kathleen Martin responded “you realize that she died in 1901, right?  You know – that’s well over a century ago.  So it isn’t really ‘news,’ is it?”  More details on her Britannic Majesty’s demise will be forthcoming as this story develops.

Wow – how about that?  Just wait until this story gets around CGS!

See you all soon.