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A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

By Alice Theobald In executing a fictional will, sixteenth-century poet Isabella Whitney not only presented a defence of women’s legal legitimacy but also externalised herself into the city, channelling her personal impulses into the physical structures and material goods of her London. However, rather than reducing herself to a commodity, she uses her distribution of … Continue reading

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‘Nature is the nurse of sentiment’: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Scandinavian Travelogue

By Alice Theobald So much more than an exercise in travel writing, Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark accounts her unrequited love for her supposed partner, Gilbert Imlay. Reading more like a tragedy in epistolary form, Wollstonecraft’s account of the landscape is interwoven with personal reflections on her … Continue reading

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Beatrice Webb: Progressive Politics and a Pragmatic Outlook on War

By Alice Theobald Beatrice Webb – co-founder of the London School of Economics – had a notoriously pragmatic approach to social affairs, coining the term ‘collective bargaining’ to describe the relationship between employers and employees negotiating working conditions. Cousin to social philanthropist Charles Booth, Webb immersed herself in aiding his research on Victorian urban slums … Continue reading

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An Unwilling Empress: Sisi through the lens of her poetry and the portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

By Alice Theobald Termed by Brigitte Hamann ‘a woman who refused to behave according to her rank’, Empress Sisi’s somewhat playful audacity was always at odds with the official role of Empress of Austria she assumed at the tender age of sixteen. Her childhood spent at Possenhofen Castle fostered an unrestrained environment with few rules … Continue reading