Verbal and Visual Banner

The Verbal and the Visual
in Nineteenth-Century Culture

Institute of English Studies
Senate House, University of London
23-24 June 2006




Lindsay Smith ( University of Sussex): 'Lewis Carroll’s Photographic Impulse', Plenary, 23 June, 10.00-11.00
The work of Lewis Carroll, celebrated Victorian author of the Alice books, continues to fascinate scholars from a range of cultures and disciplines.  yet his photography - while figuring consistently in criticism of his creative activities - has yet to achieve the prominence it deserves in his work as a whole.  the act of photographing (especially little girls), the technical skills it requires, along with those conceptual implications it held for visual perception more generally, preoccupied Carroll far more than any other activity.  However, interpretation of his compulsion to photograph has remained polarized; it is regarded either as the predilection of a frustrated bachelor or as the perversion of an eccentric Oxford don.  there occurs little dialogue between these two critical camps.
            This lecture re-assesses Carroll’s photographic practice by demonstrating its fundamental connection with his personal writings.  in the linguistic spaces of his diaries , and those many thousands of letters in which he rehearsed photographic encounters, we not only find a profound conjunction of the deeply private and routinely public personae that he so aspired to keep discrete.  but we also witness Carroll’s complex stake in larger questions of visual representation; such questions newly implicit in the process of ‘taking’, by means of the novel nineteenth century technology of the camera, the ‘likeness’ of a child.

Brian Maidment (University of Salford): 'Scraps and Sketches: Miscellaneity and Commodity Culture in the 1820s and 1830s', Plenary, 23 June, 5.00-6.00
This illustrated paper is centrally concerned with the rapid changes that were transforming ‘middle brow’ taste and consumer habits in visual culture in the 1820s and 1830s. It considers the changing social occasions on which visual culture was displayed and consumed, especially the development of comic images away from traditional single plate engraved political caricature towards a proliferation of smaller scale, simpler comic images often produced by lithography or wood engraving, and related to texts through such genres as the comic annual, the ‘jeu d’esprit’ and the play-text. The ‘scrap’ – an image commercially produced in order to be re-deployed and re-used – can be regarded as symptomatic of many of the changes taking place within the production and marketing of visual culture at the time, and forms the focus for this paper. Traditionally ignored by social and art historians, who have generally deplored the commercial visual culture of the 1820s and 1830s for its triviality, aesthetic shortcomings and miscellaneity, the scrap nonetheless forms a complex medium with a very particular social history. Firstly, scraps may be associated with the making of scrapbooks and albums, a pastime with associated social rituals that especially occupied the leisure hours of genteel young women. But it is caricature among the cultural modes of the period that makes most use of the scrap idea. Caricaturists, well aware of the decline of their traditional market, began to use the new formats, technologies and customers created by the potential of wood engraving and lithography to drive forward a range of innovations, many of them involving seriality, the miniaturisation of the image, the blurring of boundaries between the polite and the vernacular, and a focus on urban subjects. The idea of the ‘scrap’ underpinned many of these innovations and to some extent determined the nature and form of the resultant images.
            After some illustration of these changes, this paper will move on to consider the ways in which cultural historians have tried to understand this changed ‘middle brow’ interest in visual culture in the 1820s and 1830s. Interpretations range from aesthetic disdain for the vulgarisation of the kinds of comic images which followed from an attempt to democratise caricature, to a view that comic art of this period resulted from the repression of radical impulses into diversionary triviality or, more substantially, a sense that the 1820s represented the final failure of an Enlightenment project to construct a coherent national ‘reading community’. The paper will conclude with an evaluation of the significance of ‘middle brow’ (or is it ‘down-market’?) visual culture as a product of the Regency and early Victorian period.   

Michael Hatt (Yale University): 'The Book Beautiful: Reading, Vision, and the Homosexual Imagination in the 1890s, Plenary, 24 June, 10.00-11.00

Kate Flint (Rutgers University): 'Flash! Shocking Illumination and the Nineteenth Century', Plenary, 24 June 2.30-3.30
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, lightning was equated 'in accordance with a long tradition' with the power of sudden, highly-charged revelation. Though such revelation had habitually been associated with divine intervention, lightning had recently become associated with enlightenment thought, and with inwardly-generated clarity. Yet in its most frequent literary and artistic deployment, it continued to stand for the unpredictable force of nature, rendering a moment sharp, unique, and dangerous. Small wonder, then, that Walter Benjamin should have appropriated the vocabulary of the lightning flash when it came to describing the capacity of the camera to seize the moment, to freeze an instant. But Benjamin's analogy fails to take into account the question of agency, as becomes clear on examining the operations of those nineteenth-century photographers who pioneered the use of flash photography. Light, 'as with the powerful arc-lights that were used as a battle weapon in the later nineteenth-century', is here deployed as a matter of deliberate human choice, aggressive and invasive, even when, as in Jacob Riis's documentary work, the underlying aim was to expose poverty and inhumanity. My paper explores the literary and painterly use of lightning in an age increasingly dominated by human technology, calling on writing by Emmeline Stuart-Wortley, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy, before turning to the impact of flash photography itself, and its intrusive, artificial quality. I argue that to align shock, as many have recently done, with the effects of a newly urban, mechanized world, and with the impact of new technologies of vision, is to underplay the role that the uncontrollable discharge of electricity played within nineteenth-century thought. The paper concludes by moving forward into the twentieth century, and the implications for linguistic and visual representation of a blinding flash that annihilates rather than reveals. To explore the aesthetics of flash, I maintain, is to interrogate the connections between light and revelation, the fragility of the borderline between awe and destruction, and the limitations of the technological sublime.

Lynda Nead (Birkeck, University of London): 'The Haunted Gallery', Plenary, 24 June, 5.00-6.00
The dream of motion haunts the visual arts from the classical period to the present day. Statues step down from their pedestals, portrait figures break free of their frames and enter the world of the living; flickers and glimpses of movement are perceived in the great paintings and sculptures of the Renaissance. The gallery, it is clear, is haunted by the possibilities of life and imminent movement. In the last years of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, the transformation from stasis to movement and the varieties and velocities of motion possessed all forms of visual media from high art and art criticism, to still photography and magic lantern slides, popular optical toys and projected film. To many writers and practitioners in this period it seemed as though motion was a condition of all the arts and that stillness was a state of impossibility.
            This lecture looks at the development of the haunted gallery as a space of cultural fantasy through art criticism and ekphrastic writing and through photographic technologies and optical machines. Projected images from the magic lantern and film created particularly compelling and uncanny effects and seemed to have far greater powers of animation than the written word. Early filmmakers frequently turned to the subject of the animated painting, to the image or statue magically endowed with a mischievous life, for the theme was a metaphor for the new medium and its representational powers. It seemed to give inanimate forms life, but its illusionistic capacities were ultimately inadequate, for the moving images were only shadows, ghosts of the real.


1a: Illustrating Periodicals

Laurel Brake (Birkbeck, University of London), 'Illustration and Cheap Journalism in Scotland and England: the divergent cases of Chambers's Edinburgh Journal and The Penny Magazine, 1832 ff'
When in 1832 CEJ and the PM commenced publication within weeks of each other, they had different views on the recipe for popular journalism, with the Scottish weekly eschewing illustration and the English weekly increasingly embedding it.
           Although both titles arose out of the same contemporary movement for universal education, I want to argue that their diverse national origins help account for their different configurations of the ‘popular’, educational market. I will examine the manifestoes and ‘origins’ of both journals, but turn quickly to a comparison of the profiles/overall contents of individual issues in the two titles, and to the micro-level of educational articles without and with illustration.
            With the common and often articulated prejudice against illustration by many journalists of the 19C, and the accompanying contempt for visual contents in the press by educated and wealthy (male) readers, dilutions of the privileging of the word by the visual were often closely allied with journalism for ‘the other’ -- working class or new readers whose reading skills were deemed to be  modest. It is thus interesting to compare these two contemporaneous examples of cheap literature with their different attitudes to the popular reader: while a low price (ca. 1d) is essential and common to both, their attitudes to the centrality of illustration to this market differ. But, the ‘market’ itself may differ: to what extent are their variable formulations of the market attributable to the location/ethnicity of these journals (including, for example, the different religious tenor of England and Scotland in the 1830s, and levels of literacy), and to the different institutional origins and economies of the two titles? Do both journals in the 1830s inscribe national markers not immediately visible?

Ian Haywood (Roehampton University, London): ‘Illuminating Propaganda: William James Linton’s Bob Thin: Or, The Poorhouse Fugitive
As Patricia Anderson notes in her seminal study The Printed Image and the Transformation of Popular Culture 1790-1860 (1991), ‘The hallmark of a transformed and expanded popular culture’ in the early Victorian period ‘was its increasingly pictorial character’. The mass-produced woodcut image became a defining feature of popular print culture, evidenced most strikingly in illustrated journalism and serialized fiction. Radicals played a leading role in this transformation: as Celina Fox observed in Graphic Journalism in England During the 1830s and 1840s (1974; rptd 1988), it was in the cheap publications of George W. M. Reynolds and the work of the Chartist engraver W. J. Linton that the standards of the woodcut were elevated from the crude ‘cut’ to the more sophisticated ‘sketch’. It is the work of the latter that I want to discuss in this paper. Unlike Reynolds, Linton is still a neglected figure: he has received some attention as a Chartist poet and minor disciple of Blake, but Linton’s contribution to radical and popular visual culture in the Victorian period is still unappreciated. In the time permitted in this talk, I want to discuss Linton’s anti-Poor Law poem Bob Thin: Or, The Poorhouse Fugitive. This innovative, illuminated verse narrative first appeared in the Illuminated Magazine in 1845, when Linton acquired the periodical from Douglas Jerrold. As Brian Maidment commented in Reading Popular Prints 1790-1870 (1996, 2001), the Illuminated Magazine had a reputation for high-quality and ‘startlingly varied’ visual material, and I will argue that Linton took the idea of ‘illumination’ to new heights when he composed Bob Thin. In addition to celebrating the richness and sophistication of the dozens of images which ‘grace’ the poem, I will show how Linton appropriated several popular visual and literary genres, including the children’s pictorial alphabet, the ‘floriculture’ of urban gardening, the radical Utopia, and the ‘Condition of England’ fable.

Lorraine Janzen Kooistra (Ryerson University, Toronto): ' Visual/Verbal Relations at the Fin De Siècle: The Yellow Book Redefines the “Illustrated Magazine”'
In spring of 1894, publisher John Lane collaborated with Henry Harland and Aubrey Beardsley to reconstitute that most familiar of Victorian verbal/visual forms, the illustrated magazine. The prospectus issued in advance of the first volume of their avant-garde publication announces their determination to “make it new”:  “The aim of the Publishers and Editors of THE YELLOW BOOK is to depart as far as may be from the bad old traditions of periodical literature, and to provide an Illustrated Magazine which shall be beautiful as a piece of book-making, modern and distinguished in its letter-press and its pictures, and withal popular in the better sense of the word. The pictures will in no case serve as illustrations to the letterpress, but each will stand by itself as an independent contribution” (my italics). The Yellow Book, in short, was to be an Illustrated Magazine with no illustrations, a magazine that was no magazine—a beautiful book rather than an ephemeral periodical. Focusing on the first volume of the Yellow Book, I examine its format, cover design, pictorial selection and sequence, and selected images by Beardsley and Laurence Housman that are illustrative in style and content but independent of any text in order to map some of the key characteristics of illustration at the turn of the last century. I argue that the Yellow Book’s separation of the sister arts into “letterpress” and “pictures” draws the line between them in order to emphasize their differences rather than their similarities, thus asserting the independent, non-referential and increasingly dominant status of the visual in the modern age—the age of the image.

1b: Seeing Science

Melanie Keene (Cambridge): '”Eyes and no eyes”: Gideon Mantell and the art of seeing pebbles’
This paper explores how Gideon Mantell’s verbal description of a fossilised stone in Thoughts on a Pebble (1836) affected and trained the vision of his book’s readers. Inspired by Mantell’s own remembered induction to geology, the serendipitous discovery of a ammonite along the margins of a stream, and, I argue, by the popular children’s tale ‘Eyes and No Eyes’, the book used a small, everyday object found on a walk to open children’s senses and minds to the mysteries of nature, and the wonders of geology.
            In the text Mantell provided a close-up, detailed description of the pebble that brought both the subject and knowledge of geology closer to his reader. Using a present-tense, personalised narration, Mantell created a guide to both the mineralogical fragment and the world from which it had travelled, using literary techniques he would later employ in travel writings about the Isle of Wight and his historic home town of Lewes.
            Unlike many other contemporaries attempting to educate new audiences in geology, Mantell did not employ panoramic spectacles or rely on the modelled resurrection of prehistoric monsters to engage his audience’s interest. Rather, he urged the need to look at actual fossil remains when attempting to conjure up the vistas of vanished lands, even if the fossil itself could be cupped in his palm. The magnification in size and importance of the seemingly trivial in nature was made more explicit in later editions of Thoughts on a Pebble, which appended ‘More Thoughts’, a microscopical investigation of the interior of the stone, and in Mantell’s 1846 companion-piece, Thoughts on Animalcules.
            I demonstrate how Mantell miniaturised and visualised geological phenomena, rendering them accessible to audiences beginning their education in and appreciation of the sciences. By imparting skills of observation, attention, and reasoning, he taught the art of seeing pebbles.

Assimina Kaniari (University of Oxford): 'Buckland to Turner and Lyell to Verne: Geological Theory and the Representation of the Earth in Nineteenth-Century Visual Arts and Popular Culture'
Buckland to Turner and Lyell to Verne Geological theory and the representation of the earth in nineteenth-century visual arts and popular culture Geology occupied an important position among nineteenth-century sciences while geological debate, from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards, addresses not geologists and men of science only, but the public opinion at large. A number of articles on geological theories discussing processes, and the nature of processes by means of which the modern state of the earth came into being, appeared in the public press, as examples from the Atheneaum and the Times show. Such communications in turn were taken up by popular culture giving rise to a number of representations that depicted the earth and geological deep time in a way that was radically different from visual art's earlier representation of geological formations, such as Turner's Deluge, for example. Inherent in Verne's picturing of the earth in his science fiction writing and the visual displays from the 1862 International exhibition was a different understanding of process that mirrored, it can be argued, the changes in geological theory that characterize the transition from Buckland's catastrophies, discussed in Geology, to Lyell's uniformitarianism advanced in the Principles.   The paper explores the interplay between geological narrative and scientific theorizing and its visual counterparts in the realms of art and popular culture in nineteenth-century Britain and France.

Leslie Atzmon (Eastern Michigan University): ‘In His Wildest Dreams: Aubrey Beardsley’s Visionary Fusion’
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, Darwinian theory and pre-Freudian psychology called into question commonly held beliefs about the stability of perception and the place of the self in the universe. In the process, both the science and ideas about the self took on the qualities of fantastic fictions, paving the way for productive intersections with other fantasy narratives—including visual narratives. In this talk, I examine the relationship between this late nineteenth-century scientific discourse and the visual narratives embedded in illustrator Aubrey Beardsley’s foetus imagery.
            Although it is clear that Beardsley was intrigued by phrenology and physiognomy—he subtly inserts phrenological diagrams into his illustrations that feature foetuses—he was also fascinated by the realm of dreams and hallucinations. His dream-like visual narratives, studded with distorted Darwinian hybrids and bizarre physiognomies, render aspects of scientific fact and scientific fiction. A close reading of his foetus imagery reveals the ways in which Beardsley humours the horrible fantasies generated by contemporaneous science.
Beardsley’s foetus imagery challenges the stability of perception by reframing it in unpredictable ways. He presents tragicomic foetus-focused narratives, and then dares viewers to make sense of it all. Beardsley’s foetuses are human monstrosities that manifest Victorian fears about their own grotesque animal phylogeny. His dwarf-foetus freak shows, for example, associate deviant sexuality with embryology and evolution. At the same time, these monstrous foetuses function as if in a dream scenario that deftly sidesteps rationality by accepting, rejecting, dissecting, and reconfiguring aspects of a cultural amalgam of Victorian science. Beardsley not only played out the themes germane to this mélange of scientific discourse, he also played out the uncertainty generated by the coexistence of a plethora of inventive scientific thought.

1c: Visual Cultures of the Book

Louis James (Emeritus, University of Kent): '"Time Smokes the Picture": Imaging the Past in Early Victorian Historical Fiction'
This paper examines the development of illustrated historical fiction in the late eighteen-thirties and the eighteen forties, a time when historical novels and art enjoyed a privileged status as contributing to a national consciousness. The increase in illustrated history impacted on historiography, popularising the modern interest in antiquities for their own sake, and in stage performances that attempted to be an accurate recreation of the past. It focused on tableaux and the representation of significant events. Historical fiction was innovatory, both in the lavishness of its illustrations, and in the way different styles of picturing were adapted to reinforce alternative perspectives embodied in the text. The competing conventions of 'picturing the past' will be illustrated from Dickens' Pickwick Papers (1836-7). These include the Gothic, the picturesque, the antiquarian, the 'historical picturesque', and the theatrical pageant. In 1837, while the popularity of Dickens' novel was at its height, Ainsworth, eying the relationship of the master Pickwick and the servant Weller, projected The Lion, a series of tales alternating 'serious' historical tragedies with 'low' comedy of everyday life. Here the styles of the illustrations were to be central, visually reinforcing the alternative social and historical perspectives of the text. The project was abandoned, but Ainsworth developed his ideas in The Tower of London (1840), and Windsor Castle (1843). The paper will end by returning to Dickens. Ainsworth's projected serial The Lion will be compared to Dickens' subsequent Master Humphrey's Clock (1840-1), in which the 'high' historical tales of the clock, told in the drawing room, were to be contrasted with 'low' comedy of 'Master Weller's Watch', stories recounted in the servant's quarters. The original device failed, but prepared the way for The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) in which illustrations by contrasting artists, as in Ainsworth's novels, were 'dropped into the text' to reflect alternative historical perspectives within the story.

Sarah Davison (University of Oxford): Visual mischief ‘After the Fashion of the late Mr. James Granger’: The doctored books in Max Beerbohm’s library.
Beerbohm’s publicly exhibited caricatures of literary men assume a lateral relation to his victim’s literary works. They play with the idea that the way we see the author, the public face of a work, will affect the way we approach the text. But, how might we approach an author’s work should a caricature or a parody be grafted onto a book from a genuine edition? How might meddling with the decorative forms of a book’s design affect our conception of the book as a material artefact? And, ultimately, how does the book as an apparitional form of a printed text control the way that we approach the text inside?
            My inquiry here concerns Beerbohm’s most private and confidential activities as a caricaturist, parodist and critic. He secretly ‘improved’ the books in his library by drawing title-page caricatures and titivating the printed page. The spur for this pastime habit was James Granger’s A Biographical History of England, a copy of which, from the 1812 edition, was exhibited with great fanfare in London in 1886 after successive generations of extra-illustrators pasted in sufficient material to extend the original work over 19 volumes.
            My paper explores the ways in which Beerbohm seeks to destabilize texts ‘After the Fashion of the last Mr. James Granger’ by tampering with their visual appearance, turning volumes into physical parodies by creating a parallel comic text within a changeling from a genuine edition. I suggest that grangerizing is the dominant metaphor for stylistic parody in the late Victorian period by showing how Beerbohm’s practice advances the bibliographical metaphors that parodists, C. S. Calverley and J. K. Stephen offer as a gloss on their art. Interpreting Beerbohm’s Grangers as a droll extension of The Bodley Head ethos, I reveal the ways in which Beerbohm gives consequence to the ornamental and visual aspects of book design.

Dorothee Wimmer (Freie Universität, Berlin): 'Paraphrase versus ekphrasis? Manet’s illustrations for Poe’s The Raven'
The emergence of the modern interplay and competition between the verbal and visual in the illustrated book began in the nineteenth century, especially in the third quarter, when the mass produced book came into its own. This was the period of the ordinary commercial book and its ever increasing dissemination, made possible by new interventions in papermaking, printing machines and extensive use of the stereotype. The result was to lower the standard of the better work and, in consequence, the inevitable divorce between the ordinary commercial book and the book of quality. It was in fact this development that was ultimately responsible for the success of the livre d’artiste.
1875, the year when Manet’s illustrations for Poe’s Le Corbeau (Mallarmé's translation of The Raven) were published, thus became an important date in the history of the precursors of the livre d’artiste: The French poet Stéphane Mallarmé decided to publish and translate Poe’s poem The Raven and asked his friend, the painter Édouard Manet, for illustrations. It was an astonishingly modern illustrated book with large-format lithographs hors text printed in black and bint between one page with the English text and another one with the French translation by Mallarmé.
            The paper will explore the meaning potentials of this interdisciplinary book project in order to create new openings to the modern interplay and competition between the verbal and visual in the nineteenth century. The central questions are: How do they both, Poe and Manet, link individualism with spontaneity? How do the images and words of these artists create mean­ing for the viewer and the reader? And how are these meanings influenced by each other, how do they complement each other? In other words: Are the images, for the viewer, para­phrases of the text? And is the text, for the reader, an ekphrasis of the images?

2a: Visualising Empire

Prathibha Kanakamedala (University of Sussex): 'Staging Slave Runaways: a How-to Manual from Harriet Beecher Stowe'
This paper will consider the ways in which Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was adapted for the London stage in the nineteenth century. The novel itself was a literary sensation in Britain. Its popularity amongst contemporary readership instigated visual representations of the novel in strange, myriad ways. Unable to be contained, the text's consideration of American slavery was modified, moulded, and ultimately transformed to make entirely new meanings in Britain. A nineteenth century consumer had their choice of Uncle Tom's Cabin wallpaper, brooches, children's books and theatrical productions. In 1852 there were eleven productions of the play in London alone. The visual representation of Uncle Tom's Cabin on the London stage in the mid-Nineteenth century warrants recognition as a crucial episode in theatre history and Atlantic Slavery studies. Yet, the visual traditions in which the plays were embedded have yet to be discussed. Visual clues, offered through stage directions and published images taken from the productions, simultaneously celebrated the antitheses of slave rebellion and obedience. This paper asks then, in which ways did the visuals (e.g. stage directions) from the theatre, and the paraphernalia used to advertise these production (sketches, playbills etc.) change the novel entirely? And to what effect? In what ways did these productions, aid and disrupt the racist theatrical minstrel tradition that surrounded them? And finally, what were readers really seeing in Uncle Tom's Cabin? Illustrations from contemporary periodicals, and editions of the plays, plus a close analysis of various stage directions shall be used as evidence.

Muireann O’Cinneide (University of Oxford): ‘Portraits of Princes: Emily Eden’s Images of Authority in India & Afghanistan’
My proposed paper centres on the interaction between the travel writing and the sketching of Emily Eden, sister of the Governor-General of India 1836-1842. I set up a dialogue between the paintings in Eden’s collection Portraits of the Princes and Peoples of India (1844), and her travel writing, i.e. the letters she wrote to her family in England. Then I consider how upon publication, these sketches are drawn into the debates then raging about the disaster of the First Afghan War and its implications for British colonial expansion.
            I begin with a consideration of the role of the gaze in travel writing, and how this is complicated by the processes of gazing and counter-gazing suggested by the positioning of the Indians in Eden’s pictures. I argue that the dignity and authority with which the ‘princes’ in the collection are represented echo the bonds of cross-racial class sympathies that can be seen evolving in her travel writing. However, her drawings also stage a form of visual revenge for the gender-specific concealments and withdrawals forced upon herself and her sister by the Indian rulers they have met.
            I consider how, in her letters, Eden describes herself becoming a spectacle to Indian watchers, even as she seeks to contain their landscapes and figures within traditional discourses of the sublime and of correct portraiture.
I then move onto to the wider historical and cultural context of the First Afghan War, and the verbal discourses of British failure, incompetence, and vulnerability, against which Eden’s sketches were been received. Finally, I consider the ‘missing portrait’, the portrait of the newly-crowned Victoria whose painting and presentation to the ruler of the Punjab Eden carefully describes in her letters, and the discourses thus set up between the ‘Indian’ rulers whom Eden sketches, and the British ruler who would later become, in visual and verbal iconography, the imperial mother of an empire.

2b: The Language on the Walls

Sara Thornton (University of Paris VII): 'Advertising and the Victorian Virtual Subject'
In this paper I would like to explore the notion of 'the language of the walls' an expression used in 1855 by James Dawson Burn to describe London advertising and its effects on those who consumed it. This language - both verbal and visual - is spoken of not only by Burn but by novelists, journalists, cartoonists as well as the writers of advertising handbooks and histories. For them, at this moment of transition from novelty to banality, advertising was still sufficiently strange not to have become an invisible backdrop and there seems to be a need to define its workings end effects, to provide an aesthetics as well as an ethics of this growing phenomenon.  Text and image are shown to have left the confines of the book and be moving, perpendicular, offered in sections and fragments. This gives rise to forms of montage and mirage which surprise and delight but also confuse and alarm. The reader of advertisements wants to respond and participate in the exchange which is taking place on wall and magazine and to understand the relationship between what is displayed and the one who consumes. If we are imprinted upon and put upon we are also 'called up' and constituted by advertising and it would seem from the comments of advertisers and writers alike - Baudelaire, Dickens and Collins among them - that we are umbilically linked to the printed matrix around us.  I will be looking at text and images which show an engagement with what we might call a virtual world in which a new subject is emerging.

Karen L. Carter (University of North Florida): ' Poster Gazing in Fin-de-Siècle Paris'
During the 1880s and 1890s, colour illustrated publicity posters were increasingly produced and distributed throughout Paris.  Art critics and journalists, who represented themselves as speaking on behalf of the larger public, portrayed l’affiche illustrée as a new cultural phenomenon that elicited a specific type of spectatorship.  These writers used contradictory language to describe the viewing of posters as instigating states of mind in which the passant or passerby was either held spellbound by or, conversely, unconsciously exposed to the form and content of posters.  These two seemingly conflicting, yet related, modes of perception—focused enthrallment and distracted apperception—were described by poster critics as the reactions that typical spectators had when encountering commercial publicity.  This paper will analyze the viewership of poster imagery in relation to nineteenth-century criticism and theories on the perception of visual imagery.

2c: Optical Technologies 1

Sibylle Erle (Queen Mary, University of London): 'Optics and Dissent: More Optic Theory at work in Blake's Creation Myth'
William Blake (1757-1828) repeatedly weighed the range of physical sight against the potential of inner vision. Both are intrinsically linked to his creation myth as well as the contemporary debates about natural and revealed religion. When Blake, in an attempt to make sense of man's situation, first fused the religious and scientific arguments about the human faculties, he produced one of the most evocative images of his oeuvre: man imprisoned inside the cave of his skull and left with nothing but his senses to engage with the world beyond.
            In this paper I will align the opposition between sight and vision in Blake's creation myth with the revisions and discoveries of writers on optics who were contemporary to Blake, such as Thomas Young and George Adams. The intricate workings of human perception had become easily accessible due to the artificial eye which was offered for sale by George Adams as early as 1789. Thomas Young, however, argued that the eye was not a passive receiver of visual data and that lens accommodation depended on the muscular structure of the crystalline.
            In his creation myth Blake probes into the origins of sight and visions while exploring the physicality of perception. While the story of The Book of Urizen (c1794, 1795 and 1818) gets embodied into poetry and is actualised during in the reading process, Blake's readers are not only encouraged to visualise the different images, they have to tackle the gradual process of visualisation in the myth itself as well as negotiate between what can be and what cannot be seen. My argument is that the complexity of Blake's creation myth may be a result of his own tentative, possibly incompetent dabbling with optic theory.

Sophie Thomas (University of Sussex): 'Ekphrasis and Terror: Shelley, Medusa, and the Phantasmagoria'
The starting point for this paper is the image of the Medusa, and a certain anxiety about looking that she—iconically—conveys. Representations of the Medusa were a popular feature of the phantasmagoria shows in Paris and London in the early nineteenth century, and relate not only to the way anxiety about the visual fuelled an interest in the phantasmatic, but also to the prominence of the Medusa in the visual symbology of the French Revolution (itself represented, by Carlyle for instance, as inherently phantasmagoric). The central focus of the paper, however, is the “image” of the severed head of the Medusa in a posthumously published poem of Shelley’s, “On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery.” This poem has been called the “primal scene” of ekphrastic poetry, for the way it constructs—and reflects—the onlooker, and it stands as an effective counterpoint to her deployment as a terrifying apparition at the phantasmagoria. Shelley’s poem, as a represented scene of seeing, brings a telling density to the act of looking figured by the Medusa, while foregrounding the more disturbing features of ekphrasis as a representational mode.
            The importance of the Medusa in this discussion is a function of her central place in two interdependent discourses of visibility: the first, related to public spectacles predicated upon the fear of the invisible, and second, the poet’s more private struggles with the status of the imagination and its productions.

3a: Caricature and Satire

Susan M. Canning (College of New Rochelle): 'Doctrinaire Nourishment: James Ensor’s Textual Strategies of Subversion
Doctrinaire Nourishment, one of the Belgian artist James Ensor’s most notorious and scatological prints, is astounding in its juxtaposition of the visual and the verbal. This print is just one of many works in which Ensor combines language, often drawn from the rhetorical parlance of street and popular culture, with satirical visual imagery to directly address the public with his social critique. This paper will explore Ensor’s creative exploration of text and image in paintings, prints and drawings made between 1886 and 1892 and evaluate how this strategy interacted with the artist’s expressive technique to became an essential component of his art practice.
            Ensor first publicly declared this narrative strategy in a series of large drawings executed in 1885-1886, some of which later served as source material for the monumental The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889.  This painting, like Doctrinaire Nourishment and Ensor’s other socially critical work, presents a contrary, unauthorized narrative drawn from popular culture that confronts the Belgian ruling class with their own hypocrisy. Filled with puns and slang, colloquial expressions and willful word play, expressive distortion and carnivalesque inversion, Ensor’s satirical works utilize both text and image as a form of public address that comments on middle class values and current social and political issues. Immersing his audience in the familiar yet contrary speech of caricature and double entendre, Ensor’s transgressive narratives, easily readable by all classes, accent the dialogical exchange between the artist’s engaged subjectivity and its public representation.  Overthrowing the authority of traditional models, Ensor discovers in the language of the street and popular culture a strategy of subversion, one that endows his art practice and personal discourse of dissent with a critical public voice.

Gerry Beegan (Rutgers University): 'Exchanges and Doubletakes: Text and Image Relationships in the Social Caricature of the 1890s'
The most vibrant new art form of the 1890s was the photomechanically reproduced pen and ink drawing. In middle class weekly magazines illustrators produced social caricatures which, above all else, explored class relations in late Victorian society. These drawings and their written texts often depicted brief snatches of public dialogue in the city. Although the texts for these social sketches were  everyday conversations, and the images showed typical interactions, the relations of meaning between texts and images were far from straight forward. This paper looks at the various exchanges between the text or ‘cackle’ as it was known, and the drawn image. It describes a state of tension, of misreading, misunderstanding, confusion and dissonance.
            The paper uses the work of Phil May, the most popular illustrator of the period, as a case in point. It looks at the range of May’s texts from lettering drawn on sandwich boards, signs and advertisements within his caricatures to spoken dialogues and monologues as well as his printed captions and titles. These are hybrid texts, mixtures of spoken, written and visual systems of communication. I suggest that these caricatures gain their power from the tensions and dissonances between these different types of representation.
            May’s subject matter was the economic and class relations of city life. His social cartoons depicted the city streets as ambivalent spaces, inhabited by indeterminate characters: entertainers, costers, sandwichboard men, beggars, shopkeepers and their middle class customers. By adding conversational text to his drawings May complicated them and changed the way in which they operate temporally. They became doubletakes, not the frozen instant  of the static snap shot, rather brief moments of exchange, or of uncertain oscillation. These images were, therefore, particularly suited to capturing the transitory encounters of modern city life.

Gareth Cordery (University of Canterbury, New Zealand): ' The Verbal and the Visual in Late Nineteenth-Century Politics: Harry Furniss’s “The Humours of Parliament.”'
As illustrator of Henry Lucy’s influential Punch column “The Essence of Parliament” Harry Furniss contributed hundreds of sketches of MPs.  In April 1891 his platform entertainment “The Humours of Parliament,” illustrated with 104 magic lantern slides, opened in London to enormous acclaim and later that year he toured the UK performing before audiences in excess of 3000. 
            The caricature in a weekly satirical magazine exemplifies one form of the interplay between the verbal and the visual.  In particular Furniss’s brilliant “Puzzle Heads” (1889) of Gladstone, Chamberlain, and others fuses the verbal and the visual so that the head of the politician is a composite “portrait” of words and lines and of political events and private features, a combination of the personal and the political that suggests the existence of one is impossible without the other.
            The platform entertainment offers another kind of interplay: between the spoken (not written) word and the magic lantern slide.  Two hours and large audiences demanded simpler, less complex caricatures of politicians.  “The Humours of Parliament” will be this paper’s main focus.  It draws upon the original manuscript of the entertainment in order to describe the nature of the interplay between Furniss’s own words (he was a great mimic) and the slides. 
I conclude by placing “The Humours of Parliament” in the context of the magic lantern industry and discuss its significance for late nineteenth-century politics. I suggest that at a particular historical moment the much ignored platform entertainment, with its unique fusion of the verbal and the visual in a performative format, played an important educational role in bringing politics and politicians to the people, circulating their images and contributing to the burgeoning culture of the celebrity politician.

3b: Visuality in the Novel

Vicky Mills (Birkbeck, University of London): 'Dandyism, Visuality and the "Camp Gem": Depictions of Jewels in Huysmans and Wilde'
Precious stones and gems are often foregrounded amongst the object matter of Victorian literature. The unique qualities of jewels (their aesthetics, optical properties, symbolism and monetary value) have inspired a wide range of authors including Wilkie Collins, George Eliot and Anthony Trollope. In many of these examples, jewels are associated with aspects of female subjectivity. This paper explores the relationship between men and jewels depicted in work by J.K. Huysmans and Oscar Wilde. This can be seen as part of a trajectory that includes John Ruskin’s interest in mineralogy explored in Deucalion and Walter Pater’s model of the ‘crystalline man’. Pater’s exhortation in the Conclusion to the Renaissance ‘to burn always with this hard, gem-like flame’ alludes to the centrality of the jewel motif for writers associated with late nineteenth-century aestheticism. This paper focuses on representations of jewel collections in Huysmans’ Against Nature, which is read alongside Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray and Salome as well as museum guidebooks and periodical articles that deal with the subject of precious stones.
            According to British writer and comedian Kenneth Williams, ‘camp is a great jewel, 22 carats’. The paper explores the idea of the ‘camp gem’ as a metaphor for queer visuality that can be linked to aspects of fin-de-siecle dandiacal identity. The properties of gems, their multifacetedness, preciousness, hardness, refractive power and inter-relational complexity will be examined in relation to both the aesthetic experience of men (Dorian Gray, Des Esseintes, Herod) and the performative nature of gender identity; the dandy as a jewel on display. With a particular focus on Huysmans’ description of Gustave Moreau’s ‘Salome’ portraits in which precious stones are to the fore, the paper will show how jewels signify in the construction of masculine identity despite (and indeed as a result of) their close association with dissident female sexuality. As part of this exploration, questions are raised about the literary depiction of objects and ekphrasis.

Heather Tilley (Birkbeck, University of London): '"A Power of Vision": Charlotte Brontë and the Blind Writer'
This paper explores Charlotte Brontë’s relationship with blindness, reappraising the significance of Rochester’s blinding in Jane Eyre (1847). I argue that blindness is a key textual device in the narrative, suggesting Charlotte Brontë’s own direct self-conscious reflection on the act of writing. This links the text to current theoretical debates on the identity of the writer, especially the material, gendered body of the writer. Critically, Rochester’s blinding associates him with both Charlotte’s own father, Patrick Brontë, who underwent successful surgery for cataracts the year before Jane Eyre was published, and the patriarchal literary figure of Milton. Thus the act of Rochester’s blinding, situated at the climax of events in the novel, and towards the beginning of Jane’s retrospective narrative, is a point around which we can explore authorial anxieties as to whether there is a true originary voice. Secondly, the paper explores the significance of Elizabeth Gaskell’s suggestive construction of Charlotte Brontë as a blind writer, as she focuses extensively on her short-sightedness, her dread of ‘ultimate blindness’ and the effect of witnessing her father’s sight degenerate before being medically cured. An epigraph from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh (1857) inscribed on the frontispiece of Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) invites us to read Gaskell's biography and Aurora Leigh alongside Jane Eyre. These three texts, all dominated by the idea of what it means to write a life, are haunted by the metaphor of blindness and thus demonstrate the importance of the figure of the blind to the nineteenth-century writer, because of the challenge he presents to the visible material form of writing. The speakers’ encounters with blindness challenge the interpretative act of reading and writing, questioning whether there can be a text without eyes. In Jane Eyre, Jane’s voice and hands become the medium through which she interprets and relates the world to the blind Rochester, who, in this role, occupies the space of the reader. Yet anxiety must be registered, for at this historical moment, there is yet to be a systematic writing for the blind; the voice of the author can only be brought into being through the visual form of print.

Catherine Maxwell (Queen Mary, University of London): 'Theodore Watts-Dunton’s Aylwin and the Reduplications of Romanticism'
Theodore Watts, or Theodore Watts-Dunton as he became after 1896, now best known as the friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the companion of Swinburne in his latter years, was seen in his own time as a leading literary critic and a respected poet. However, he was most famous for his best-selling novel Aylwin, (1898), now almost unknown. Yet Aylwin is a fascinating work with many features that might prove attractive to modern readers. Influenced by the sensation fiction of Wilkie Collins, and in part a roman à clef featuring members of Watts-Dunton’s own literary and artistic circle including his close friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the novel is a strange amalgam of gypsy lore, the occult, mesmerism and Romanticism.
            My paper examines the novel’s specific treatment of looking and the gaze in relation to its hysterical heroine, Winifred Wynne. Trauma becomes visible in her petrified and petrifying gaze of horror, which finds an analogue in Coleridge’s ‘Christabel’, one of Watts-Dunton’s favourite poems. (In the novel ‘Christabel’ is the subject of a painting which acquires a powerful dramatic significance.) But Winfred’s look alternates between her gaze of ghastly horror, which recurs in seizures when she recalls the origin of her trauma, and a state of dreamy unconsciousness. I propose that this dual aspect, heavily influenced by Romantic symbolism, prefigures what Frank Kermode identifies as the ‘Romantic Image’ in the works of major literary Modernists and suggest that Aylwin, through its complex structure of repetition and transmission, reveals the hidden lines of a Romantic genealogy that extends from Coleridge, through Rossetti, to writers such as Yeats, demonstrating the hidden continuity between Romantic and late-Victorian literature, as well as foreshadowing the crucial transition from late-Victorian literature to literary Modernism. (294)

3c: Optical Technologies 2

John Plunkett (University of Exeter): 'Moving Books, Moving Images: Optical Recreations and Print Media'
Optical shows and devices were ubiquitous in nineteenth-century popular culture. The growth of optical recreations parallels the growth of popular print media; this paper correspondingly explores the link between the visual and the verbal through the crossover between screen practise and print media. Numerous writers, for example, equated the experience of reading with that of viewing an optical show. Moreover, there was an intermittent production of books, usually aimed at a juvenile audience, which attempted to exploit the novelty of the latest optical device or show. Insofar as it was possible they attempted to replicate the viewing experience of peepshows, dioramas and panoramas. The success of optical recreations exerted creative pressure upon the material organisation of the book. Thus, in so far as it was possible, books altered their material form so as to become peepshows, dioramas or panoramas. Examples include Dean’s Peep-Show, Magic Picture Book showing Wonderful and Life-Like Effects Of Distance and Space (1865), Mrs George Cupples, Sights at a Peepshow; Or, Pretty Pictures and Pleasing Stories, and Our Parlour Panorama (1871).
            The nature of this influence can be though of in terms of Bourdieu’s notion a cultural field, which the aesthetic rules of the field are determined by the dominant position within it. In the field of nineteenth-century popular culture, the pervasiveness of optical recreations meant that, at least to some degree, there were able to define the aesthetic mode of the field. This paper will examine the success of ‘moving’ and ‘optical’ books in terms of the crossover between the visual and verbal. It will encourage a rethinking about the way the nineteenth century conceived the relationship between text and image.

Susan Zieger (University of California, Riverside): ‘Victorian Hallucinogenic Visuality: from Print Culture to Cinema’
For the greater part of the nineteenth century, artificially-induced hallucination was the province of the literary scholar, most notably in the paradigmatic example of Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English-Opium Eater (1821) and its sequel, Suspiria de Profundis (1845), which represent their narrator drinking laudanum, reading Kant and Schiller, and watching himself flee from Indian gods in vivid narcotic nightmares. By century’s end, hallucination had gone mainstream in the form of the pleasant dreams and visions thought to accompany the leisured man’s tobacco smoking and lighter reading. Why do opium, hasheesh, and tobacco combined with reading have the power to transport their consumers to otherworldly realms? I contend that both drugs and books mirrored the consumption of print culture as an imaginative prosthetic, because both reading and drug-taking induced visions that existed at a slight angle to reality.
            But late Victorian medical accounts of hallucinogenic experience by Havelock Ellis, S. Weir Mitchell, and others, emphasize the visual over the verbal; so much so that they repeatedly stage the failure of language as they aestheticize and denarrativize hallucination.  Referencing Monet, Moore, and Beardsley, these medical writers suggest a realm of purely visual information, and therefore a departure from the earlier literary milieu of De Quincey. Instead, fin-de-siècle hallucinogenic experience emerges as a unique form of cinema, in which visions are “projected on the screen of consciousness” and subjects are “apt to dream half-controlled stories….” Friedrich Kittler emphasizes the cut quality of the filmed body, which separates physiology from information technology; but in this discourse, we must account for the hallucinating body of the professional medical researcher, who produces and consumes his own visions. The mescaline-permeated body becomes a paradoxical medium without the mass distribution of information. Not just cinema, but advertising is implicated in this new development of Victorian hallucinogenic visuality.

Keith Williams (University of Dundee): 'Realist of the Fantastic: H.G. Wells, Modernity and the Movies'
My paper examines synergies between Wells’s writing and modern visual technologies. ‘Realist of the Fantastic’ (Conrad’s accolade to Wells), could be equally applied to cinema as a medium rendering the actual and the impossible with virtually equivalent verisimilitude.
            Wells’s texts are often driven by ‘optical speculations’ producing radically defamiliarised forms of vision connected with the social and cultural impact of media technologies of various kinds, but also extending the ancient principle of ekphrasis into anticipations of new narrative forms. My paper samples the sheer range of such ‘optical speculations,’ starting with the documented link between The Time Machine (1895) (published the same year as the Lumières’ cinematograph) and British pioneer R.W. Paul’s patent application for an exhibit simulating a journey into the future. Wells’s early fiction is fascinated by ‘paradoxes about space and time’ (‘The New Accelerator’ (1901)) indicative of transformations in the ‘chronotope’ of Modernity in specifically cinematic terms. Among narrative strategies from the early stories are accelerated and slow-motion, ‘frame freezing’ and chronological ‘reversing’. Similarly, numerous parallel universes speculate about new forms of technology allowing ‘here and now’ to overlap, dissolve into, and/or interpenetrate with ‘elsewhere and -when’.
            I also show how Wells explored modern subjectivity through other themes and tropes, such as wish-fulfilment amongst cinema audiences made possible by technologised voyeurism (e.g. ‘The Plattner Story’ (1897)). Wells’s early fiction is permeated by ‘living pictures’ and autokinesis (e.g. ‘The Temptation of Harringay’ (1895)). ‘The Man Who Could Work Miracles’ is a Mélièsque tour de force of ‘stop-motion’ illusionism and trickfilm effects. Given the Victorians’s twin obsession with machinery and mediums, Wells frequently reworks occult narratives in (pseudo)scientific terms reflecting new media as what Alison Chapman calls ‘technologies of the uncanny’.

4a: Galleries and Catalogues

Richard Salmon (University of Leeds): ' The Luminous Author:  Thomas Carlyle and the Literary Galleries'
 This paper will explore the intersection of  verbal and visual codes within a  distinctively new form of  literary iconography which began to proliferate within print culture in Britain from the 1830s onwards. Beginning with the publication of William Maginn’s Gallery of  Illustrious Literary Characters, published in Fraser’s Magazine between1830 and 1838 and illustrated by Daniel Maclise, I will consider the ways in which authorship – or the notion of  the ‘literary character’ – came to be represented through the metaphorical framework of  the ‘portrait gallery’, a textual space organized through visual signs. Thomas Carlyle, an early contributor to Fraser’s Gallery, used his 1832 essay on Maclise’s portrait of Goethe to develop an understanding of  the iconic value of  the heroic man of  letters which was to reverberate throughout much of  his later writing. Through the publication of  his famous 1840 lecture series, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History,  Carlyle, I would argue, appropriated and remodelled the popular contemporary genre of  the biographical portrait gallery, paying particular attention to the historical and contemporary significance of  literary ‘idols’ – a word meaning both ‘symbol’ and the ‘thing seen’ in Carlylean etymology. In turn, Carlyle’s theorization of  literary iconography can be shown to have influenced numerous contemporary narrative  representations of  authorship during the succeeding decades of  the 1840s and 1850s. I would like to discuss two striking examples of  the broader dissemination of Carlyle’s ideas on literary idolatry and iconography in the form of  Charles Kingsley’s novel Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet (1850) and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s novel-poem Aurora Leigh (1856). Both of  these texts are manifestly in dialogue with Carlyle and both focus centrally on the problems attendant upon the iconic embodiment of  the literary character, yet to divergent ends since the former considers the iconicity of  a working-class (male) author and the latter that of  a (middle-class) female poet.

Catherine Flood (Victoria and Albert Museum), ‘And Wot does the Catlog tell me?’ (Punch, 1886) Nineteenth century exhibition catalogues and gallery guides in satire and in use.
Casually consulted, poured over, brandished, fumbled with, the catalogue or gallery guide is an ubiquitous element in depictions of 19th century galleries and museums. Of the various interpretative resources on art that were available to the Victorian viewer, the catalogue had a particularly immediate connection to the objects it described and was carried into the gallery for words to be linked directly to images as eyes travelled between page and painting.  In the gallery with people under pressure to respond correctly the catalogue can represent the interface between the idea of authoritative, printed knowledge and the interpretation of the individual. 
            The absence of labels in most galleries made catalogues an integral part of exhibition going. However a  carefully followed catalogue is often represented as a sign of the diligent but inexpert art viewer – “The Ladies who ‘do’ the gallery with glass at eye and catalogue in hand” (Illustrated London Times, 23 August 1862). For satirists the interactions of viewers with their catalogues provided a scenario for lampooning cultural failings and pretensions. Using a catalogue was by no means a passive process. Readers might responded verbally, write comments into the margin or send a letter to The Times with detailed corrections.
            This paper will explore attitudes towards the exhibition catalogue through graphic satire, popular illustration, newspapers and novels.   It will also look in detail at a Manchester Art Treasures exhibition catalogue from 1857 that has been heavily annotated by its owner,  providing an insight into one woman’s actual use of her catalogue. Her pencilled comments and sketches suggest it was an opportunity to articulate her own knowledge and to record and personalise her experience of the exhibition.

4b: Photography and Travel

Stefano Maria Evangelista (University of Oxford): 'Wilhelm Von Gloeden, the Italian Boys, and the Photographic Memories of John Addington Symonds'
John Addington Symonds (1840-1893) is today remembered as a somewhat marginal figure to the late-Victorian literary canon. But in the late nineteenth century Symonds’s writings were widely read and appreciated. He was an influential critic, a respected poet and a popular travel writer. His early studies were a central influence in the development of aestheticism and his style was the object of widespread imitation. Like many of his fellow aesthetes (Pater, Wilde, Vernon Lee) Symonds consciously experimented with a poetics of same-sex desire at a time in which, as many Foucauldian critics have amply demonstrated, homosexuality was becoming an independent cultural category.
            My paper explores the uses of photography (both in the concrete terms of actual artefacts and in the more general terms of photographic imagination) in Symonds’s work on classical antiquity. Ever since the publication of the early Studies of the Greek Poets (1873), Symonds had emphasised the visual appeal of the ancient world. This technique, which followed Winckelmann’s influential model of homoerotic ekphrasis, was aimed at engaging the male reader in a dynamic homoerotic relationship with the visual object. According to this model, homoerotic desire provides cultural authority, acting as a sort of shortcut to the aesthetic ideal. After his permanent move to the Continent in 1877, Symonds started to experiment with the expressive potential of photographs of contemporary, working-class Italian boys and young men as visualisations or actual memory of a pastoral Greek past. He corresponded with the homophile German photographers Wilhelm Von Gloeden and Wilhelm Plüschow, both of whom specialised in nudes of Italian peasant boys. He obtained many photographs from them and acted as a medium for the circulation of their work in Britain, mainly via the periodical The Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Arts). He also circulated erotic photographs of his own Italian lover, Angelo Fusato, amongst his closer friends. In his later years Symonds used Von Gloeden’s male nudes as research material for his studies of classical aesthetics, of which, according to Symonds, the naked body of the young male functions as ideal centrepiece. 
            Von Gloeden’s photographs provide a striking illustration of the convergence of aesthetic and erotic interests that dominates Symonds’s work.  Reading/viewing Symonds and Von Gloeden next to each other, I want to scrutinise the practice of idealising the naked body of the working-class man through references to the high cultural tradition of classical antiquity. In my paper I will address questions such as: what is the function of eroticism in the enjoyment of high culture? How does the homoerotic gaze shape the canon of late-Victorian aestheticism? How do the works of Symonds and Von Gloeden free the reader/viewer from the moral frameworks of nineteenth-century art criticism? Are they the expression of an ‘orientalist’ desire for a subaltern erotic object; and how is the homoerotic gaze implicated in the logic of the Empire?

Graham Smith (University of St Andrews): ‘“Delicious things … left unbought”: Travel Photographs in Henry James’s “Four Meetings” and Other Writings’
Henry James’s attitudes to photography have been discussed by a number of scholars, beginning in the 1980s with Ralph Bogardus and Carol Shloss and continuing in recent years with studies by Wendy Graham, Adam Sonstegard, Laura Saltz, Melanie Ross, and others. Bogardus and Shloss focused upon James’s collaboration with Alvin Langdon Coburn on the frontispieces to “The New York Edition” and upon James’s discussion, in the preface to The Golden Bowl, of the proper relationship between writing and photography. Among the recent studies, Sonstegard has explicated James’s attitudes toward painting and photography as they appear in The Tragic Muse (1890); Saltz has examined James’s personal relationship to photographic portraits of himself, most particularly the daguerreotype made by Matthew Brady of young Henry with his father Henry James Sr.
            My intention is to consider some of the many references to travel photographs that appear in James’s letters, travel writings, novels, and short stories in the years between 1865 and 1914. This period encompasses James’s youthful tour of 1869 and 1870, when he visited Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples for the first time, and embraces all his novels, short stories, and travel writings set in Italy; it extends also from the end of the American Civil War to the beginning of World War I, two cataclysmic events that had fundamental consequences for American travel in Europe. These years also constitute a discrete period in the history of photography, reaching from the first decade of the great commercial photographic studios in Europe to the introduction of roll film and portable, easy-to-use cameras, developments that made photography a truly popular medium

4c: Criminal Visualities

Bridget Walsh (Birkbeck, University of London): '"The Demon in the Dock": Visual and Verbal Representations of the Domestic Murderer'
This paper charts the visual representation of the domestic murderer from street literature of the 1830s and 1840s to the later populist publications The Illustrated Police News and Lloyds Weekly London Newspaper.
            Domestic murder was a particularly threatening crime for a Victorian readership; transcending class and gender boundaries, it struck within the home, the one area of life deemed ’safe’. In order to contain the threat implied by such crimes, the coverage in street literature adopted the tropes of melodrama, most particularly the visibility of good/evil on the body, and the ultimate belief in justice and punishment.  This paper will argue that the crude woodcuts featured in murder broadsides belied the simplicity of their execution, and served an important function in reinforcing the textual content in a highly ritualised fashion. 
            The growth of increasingly cheap newspapers and periodicals in the second half of the century, many of them featuring illustration, occasioned a decline in the broadside.  Alongside such changes in the dissemination of information this paper will argue for a growing level of moral uncertainty in the portrayal of the domestic murderer.  Focusing on the 1890 case of Eleanor Pearcey, hung for the murder of her lover’s wife and child, a comparative analysis of the coverage of the trial and its aftermath in the Illustrated Police News and Lloyds Weekly London Newspaper will show a continuum with earlier murder and execution broadsides, but also significant ambiguity in the visual representation of Pearcey herself.
            The paper will also argue that the relationship between the visual and verbal changed across the period in question.  Earlier woodcuts in broadsides reinforced the visceral content of the written text; illustration in later publications either echoed the  restraint of the written coverage of the case, or provided a sensationalism lacking in the text.

David Ogawa (Union College, NY): 'Text, Photographs, and Identity in a Parisian Police Archive'
In 1857, the Paris police arrested a woman for posing nude before the camera of the photographer Lepage. This might have been just another petty crime lost to history, but a clever Parisian policeman thought to cut one of the confiscated stereoscopes representing her in two and to paste one of them into the register where her arrest was recorded. The enticing three-dimensional effect of her nude body was transformed into a complex hybrid of text and image that became her identity: Augustine Guy, seventeen year old unmarried seamstress, residing at 34, rue de la Pépinère. The usefulness of this hybrid to the police is evident through her subsequent arrests, as well as in the records of the many other individuals identified in this way over the next eight or so years.
            The register is an early attempt to join the visual truth of the photograph with the juridical certainty of the textual record, and in this it anticipates the “clean” photometric methods of Alphonse Berthillon of three decades later. This paper will consider the earlier register as a “dirty” version of this impulse, both literally and figuratively. As the verbal and visual work in the register to define the photographic obscénité and to identify its subjects, they chart a range of cultural anxieties about gender and the representation of sexuality. At the same time, the verbal/visual mechanism makes the register useful as documentation for the historian of photography with regard to other photographic obscénités of the period. With it, one can make attributions, date photographs, and, of course, identify models. The register is thus also an invitation to consider the ways that the verbal and visual can confer authority not just on the police, but on the historian as well.


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