20 April – Talk by Prof Nick Roe Cancelled

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the following talk has been cancelled: 

20 Apr Prof Nick Roe (St Andrews) ‘Romantic Biography and the Secrets of the Dead’.

I hope all friends of CRECS are keeping safe and well in these unusual times.

We are hoping to rearrange the talks that have been cancelled and invite those speakers to Cardiff on alternative future dates in the 2020/21 academic year. More details to follow in due course.

16 March – Professor David Duff on Coleridge

The next Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth Century Seminar will take place on Monday 16 March at 6pm, in room 2.47. Prof David Duff (Queen Mary) will give a talk entitled ‘Coleridge as Prospectus-Writer’.

You can read more about David’s talk below. Refreshments are provided and all are welcome!


Coleridge as Prospectus-Writer

Coleridge’s ability to spawn new projects ‘like a herring’ is well documented, as is his tendency to leave many of them unfinished – or even unstarted. One indicator of his projecting impulse is his lifelong fascination with the genre of the prospectus, a type of printed advertisement widely used in the book trade to attract subscribers for a projected book, journal or newspaper, or to advertise a subscription lecture series. Over the course of his career, Coleridge wrote many such prospectuses, including the ‘flaming prospectus’ to his radical periodical The Watchman, the prospectuses to his later journal The Friend and to the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana, announcements of his various lecture series, and proposals for his Imitations from the Modern Latin Poets, which was advertised but then disappeared without trace. Coleridge’s intellectual and financial investment in prospectuses is suggested by the large number of copies he had printed (running into the thousands in some cases) and by the meticulous attention he paid to their wording and typography, which sometimes underwent multiple stages of revision. Even as schoolboy at Christ’s Hospital, Coleridge fantasised about publication with his bizarrely titled ‘Prospectus and Specimen of an Intended Translation of Euclid in a Series of Pindaric Odes’. Presenting new research on this important but largely forgotten genre, this paper will analyse a selection of Coleridge’s published and unpublished prospectuses, showing what they reveal about his working methods and imaginative proclivities and about Romantic literary culture in general.


David Duff is Professor of Romanticism at Queen Mary University of London. His books include Romance and Revolution: Shelley and the Politics of a Genre (1994), the award-winning Romanticism and the Uses of Genre (2009), and a number of edited books including an anthology of Modern Genre Theory (2000), a collection of essays on Scotland, Ireland, and the Romantic Aesthetic (2007), and The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism (2018). He has also recently co-edited two special issues of the journal Litteraria Pragensia, on Wordsworth and France (2017) and on Exiles, Emigrés and Expatriates in Romantic-Era Paris and London (2019), both arising from conferences of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar, which he co-founded in 2016. He is currently editing The Oxford Anthology of Romanticism and writing a literary history of the Romantic prospectus, of which the paper on Coleridge will form a part.

9 March – Tim Webb – Event Cancelled

The Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth Century Seminar on 9 March 2020, a talk on Leigh Hunt by Prof Tim Webb, has been cancelled due to industrial action.

Our next seminar will take place on 16 March with Prof David Duff on ‘Coleridge as Prospectus-Writer’, followed by the final CRECS Spring event on 20 April by Prof Nick Roe: ‘Romantic Biography and the Secrets of the Dead’.

Please  follow us on Twitter @CRECSCardiff for updates.

Dr Lizzy Spencer, 18 February 2020

The first CRECS research seminar of Spring 2020 will take place on Tuesday 18 February at 6.30pm in room 2.47 (John Percival Building, Cardiff University, CF10 3EG).

We are delighted to welcome Dr Lizzy Spencer to Cardiff.

Lizzy is a Lecturer in Eighteenth Century and Public History at the University of York. Her research interests lie in the gender, social, and material history of England, 1680-1830, and in particular on the lives of women. She also has practical and research interests in Public History, including living history and re-enactment, museum display, and period dramas.

This talk will give an introduction to Lizzy’s current research project, which offers one of the first in-depth historical studies of women and accounting – and of women as accountants – in England c.1680-1830. It will trace the evolution of the project from doctoral research into women and their clothing and, drawing on a wide range of sources including account books, bills and receipts, drafts, and correspondence, will suggest that we need to pay careful attention to the intertextual processes involved in keeping account.

Please join us for: ‘Women, Accounting, and Intertextuality in England c.1680-1830’ on Tuesday 18 February at 6.30pm (room 2.47). All welcome. Refreshments provided.

Questions? Contact Dr Anna Mercer (mercerA1@cardiff.ac.uk) and Dr Josh Powell (powellJ15@cardiff.ac.uk).

Hogarth 18 Feb LS

A Trip to Bath, December 2019

At Cardiff University, we run a module for taught postgraduates entitled ‘Narrative and Nation: Politics, Gender and History, 1780-1830’. This course invites students to examine the key prose genres that dominated the Romantic period, with a close eye on those three thematic clusters: gender, politics and history. We look at authors such as Jane Austen, Frances Burney, Olaudah Equiano, William Godwin, Lady Morgan, Ann Radcliffe, Walter Scott, Horace Walpole and Mary Wollstonecraft (to name a few!). During the Romantic period, the idea of the ‘nation’ came under intense scrutiny, and this module allows students to explore how this was reflected in British literature and culture. MA students taking this module are often members of CRECS, attending the talks and writing on the authors that CRECS celebrates. Read more about studying for an MA in English Literature at Cardiff here.


Narrative and Nation MA students on the trip to Bath, December 2019

On 13 December 2019, the 2019-20 cohort of postgraduates and the module leader Anna Mercer went on a day trip to explore the city of Bath. It is well-established that a walking tour of this city is highly recommended for those interested in Austen – but we sought out some other literary sites/sights along the way that are perhaps less famous. Here’s some photos of our very successful trip, that also included a visit to No. 1 Royal Crescent, a stunning museum delivering a unique insight into Georgian spaces.

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The South Parade, where Frances Burney lived, and a plaque marks her lodgings. On 7 April 1780 she wrote of Bath: ‘this beautiful City, – which I really admire more than I did, if possible, when I first saw it. The Houses are so elegant, the streets are so beautiful, the Prospects so enchanting!’


The new plaque to Mary Shelley by Bath Abbey. We often think of Mary Shelley being in Geneva when writing her literary masterpiece and debut novel, Frankenstein (1818), but on her return from mainland Europe Mary Shelley took lodgings in Bath in a spot that is now part of the Pump Room extension. Although supposedly the idea for Frankenstein came to Mary Shelley on one stormy night in Switzerland, the manuscript of the novel required much revision and editing (with some assistance from her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley). Some of this literary labour took place in Bath.


The Frances Burney Memorial at Walcot Church (now: St Swithin’s Walcot). Hidden away up a hill away from the main tourist zones, you would be forgiven for walking past this modest memorial and not even noticing it. As Margaret Doody wrote: ‘Walcot Church was not, and is not in the fashionable area of Bath […] the other memorial [to Burney] is a street called d’Arblay Street in Soho, London, near the site of the old Burney residence in Poland Street. Walcot and Soho – Burney did not in death make an entrance into the fashionable world’.

We also spent time seeking out several key streets that appear in Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion (1818), the final text on our course, including Camden Crescent (for spectacular views: also where Sir Walter takes lodgings in the novel), Milsom Street (where Anne Elliot meets the Admiral), the Westgate Buildings (lodgings of Mrs Smith) and Bath Street (where Mrs Clay and Mr Elliot are spotted together).

We had an excellent lunch at Ponte Vecchio and ended up in the museum on the Royal Crescent…


Really bringing Georgian culture to life!


You can read about a previous MA Narrative and Nation trip to Bath in 2016 here.


CRECS 2019-20: Spring

We’ve now finalised the speakers and dates for our 2019-20 spring series of research seminars. All events start at 6pm, room 2.47 in the John Percival Building, Cardiff University, CF10 3EG. We hope you can join us!

18 Feb Dr Lizzy Spencer (University of York) ‘Women, Accounting, and Intertextuality in England c.1680-1830’

9 Mar Prof Tim Webb (University of Bristol) ‘Leigh Hunt and Romantic Imprisonment’

16 Mar Prof David Duff (Queen Mary, University of London) ‘Coleridge as Prospectus-Writer’

20 Apr Prof Nick Roe (St Andrews) ‘Romantic Biography and the Secrets of the Dead’

Talks are 45-50 minutes followed by questions. Refreshments are provided. 

Screenshot 2019-12-10 at 10.14.06

Detail from Leigh Hunt by Edmund Blunden

CRECS events w/c 25 November 2019

The Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth Century Seminars taking place w/c 25 November have been cancelled due to industrial action. The cancelled events are:

Mon 25 Nov Dr Katherine Fender (Oxford University) ‘“Feast…upon the wideness of the Sea”: Melancholy and the Solace of the Sea in the Poetry of John Keats’

Wed 27 Nov Prof Andrew Bennett (University of Bristol) ‘Meaning and Exemplarity in Poetics and Literary Theory: The Example of Keats and Yeats’

Our next seminar will take place on 17 February 2020 with a paper by Dr Elizabeth Spencer (York). We are also delighted to announce three more speakers for the 2020 Spring Term: Prof Tim Webb (Bristol), Prof David Duff (QMUL), and Prof Nicholas Roe (St Andrews).

Further information about these events will be circulated soon. In the meantime, please  follow us on Twitter @CRECSCardiff for updates.

– Anna and Josh