18th century, 19th century, Arts

Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft: A Sublime Lineage

In challenging at once the prevailing political attitudes of the time, and the literary ones, Wollstonecraft lays a foundation for her daughter, Mary Shelley, to continue these efforts. Wollstonecraft was arguing for a sense of radical inclusion, that by ironing out the divisions between men and women mankind might become, in her words, ‘more wise and virtuous’, with a greater sense of equality. Wollstonecraft died giving birth to her daughter, Mary, a fact which haunted Shelley throughout her life.

19th century, Arts, Humanities

“O, Portia! take my heart”: Ellen Terry and the Aesthetics of Costume

“In the 1820s and 1830s […] theatre productions in London were becoming more elaborate in their setting, dressing and ‘getting up’” (Taylor 1993, 3).  Shakespeare productions in the Victorian era were marked by a sumptuous and decadent attention to visual artistry.


Sketches of a Gaze: Céline Sciamma’s Watchful Cinema

In writer-director Céline Sciamma’s landmark lesbian film Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019), set in eighteenth-century France, the young noblewoman Heloïse (Adèle Haenel, who is Sciamma’s former partner) refuses to sit for a portrait. Soon to marry an unknown Milanese man, for whom the portrait is destined, this is the only rebellion she can wage.


Mavis Gallant, ‘The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street’

Mavis Gallant was a Canadian writer, born in 1922. She is known as a short story writer, although other works include the novels: ​Green Water, Green Sky ​(1959), ​A Fairly Good Time ​(1970), and an essay collection, ​Paris Notebooks ​(1986). Working as a journalist for ​The Montreal Standard​, she was one of the first to witness and report on the photos of the liberation of the Nazi camps...

19th century, Arts, Interviews

“L’aimable Jane”?: A conversation with Dr Helena Kelly

By Raffaella Sero  On the cover of “Jane Austen the Secret Radical”, a series of grey silhouette portraits of men and women succeed each other, all wearing clothes from the Regency Era, all facing the same direction - except for one, the red silhouette of a woman, sometimes identified with Jane Austen. According to the… Continue reading “L’aimable Jane”?: A conversation with Dr Helena Kelly

19th century, Arts

The first “truly humorous” female artist: Marie Duval’s satire of the Victorian work ethic

By Ana Olendraru  Comic artistry is an area often perceived and marketed as primarily male. Popular media presents comic books and their characters as a form of art addressed to young boys or to the stereotypical ‘loveable nerd’, most often a man (e.g. The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular TV shows with… Continue reading The first “truly humorous” female artist: Marie Duval’s satire of the Victorian work ethic