Long Eighteenth Century Reading Group

Upcoming meetings

Friday, 13 October 2017

Nature or Artifice? Ballet and the Body in Literature

Led by: Mia Tsikrikas

Past Meetings

Friday, 15 September 2017

Adam Smith's sore eyes: Towards a visual theory of feeling

Led by: Megan Nash

Optional readings:
The theory of Moral Sentiments
A New Theory of Vision

Friday, 4 August 2017

Pavlovsk Park Panopticon: Viewing peasants in the Empress Maria Fedorovna’s garden

Led by: Ekaterina Heath.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Eighteenth century so white: problems of diversity on screen, page and stage

Led by: Dr Olivia Murphy.

Friday 2 June 2017

Catharine Macaulay and the "Equal Eye" of Compassion

Led by: Shane Greentree

Primary readings:
Catharine Macaulay: History of England, Vol IV (Excerpt) [1768]
Catharine Macaulay: Preface to History of England, Vol VI [1781]
Catharine Macaulay: 'Letter XX: Sympathy'', from Letters on Education [1790]
Anna Letitia Barbauld, 'The Mouse's Petition' [1773]

Optional reading:
Observations on the Reflections of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, on the Revolution in France (1790)

Friday 5 May 2017

Major Themes in the Writings of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), with a focus on the first chapter of The Religious Affections

Led by: Jonathan Martinovici
Supplementary reading: The first chapter ("Part 1") of The Religious Affections.

Friday 21 April 2017

The Carnival of the Moon: the place of infinite jest in an uncertain Providential scheme. Coleridge’s A Soliloquy of the Full Moon

Led by: Dr Alison Cardinale

Friday 10 March 2017

'Some impressions on her heart': Images of Textual Bodies in The Female Quixote

Led by: Dr Amelia Dale
Supplementary reading, Chapter 1 from The Female Quixote.


Friday 14 October 2016
The Art of Surgery: Descriptions of Skin in Turner and Hogarth

William Hogarth: The Analysis of Beauty (London: Printed by John Reeves for the Author, 1753)

Led by Sara Crouch.

Friday 2 September 2016

JOINT SESSION: "Romanticism: A Critical Mythology" and "The Singer as Bird in the Eighteenth Century"

Led by:
Elias Greig, 'Romanticism: A Critical Mythology'

Jessica Sun, 'The capon and the nightingale: the singer as bird in the eighteenth century'
Giacomelli 'quell'usignolo che innamorato' (Merope) (YouTube Clip)
"Quell’usignolo che innamorato" ("That nightingale in love") is one of many "nightingale arias" written in the Baroque period, created for the singer to demonstrate his adeptness at imitating birdsong.

This aria is from Geminiamo Giacomelli’s opera La Merope (1734), and was first sung by the great Italian castrato Farinelli. Listen for the bird-like trills and extravagant embellishments typical of the style, as well as the exceptional vocal range necessary for singing this piece.

Friday 5 August 2016

JOINT SESSION: "Travelling Trifles: The Souvenirs of Late Eighteenth-Century Female British Tourists" and "A Response: Souvenirs de Voyage and Metropolitan Connections"

Emma Gleadhill
Travelling Trifles: The Souvenirs of Late Eighteenth-Century Female British Tourists.
Dorothy Richardson's Journals (1761-75)
Martha Bradford (née Wilmot) Journals and letters 1803-8
Dorothy Wordsworth's Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland A. D. 1803

Judy Barbour
A Response: Souvenirs de Voyage and Metropolitan Connections.
Chapter VIII & Chapter IX from Mary Ann Parker, A Voyage Round the World in The Gorgon Man of War: Captain John Parker (1795)
Greg Dening ‘O Mai! This is Mai’: A Masque of a Sort’

Friday 8 July 2016

"A Cultivated Mind": Early Posthumous Writing on Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft (1797-1803)

Led by Dr Shane Greentree.

Friday 3 June 2016

The content and meaning of British botanical diplomacy 1770-1820.

Led by Ekaterina Heath.

6 May 2016
Lessons in Feeling: Quixotic Mothering in Late Eighteenth-Century Women's Writing.

Mary Charlton, Rosella, Volume 1, Chapter 7 (1799)

Led by Amelia Dale.

8 April 2016
Getting Intimate with George Cheyne: Passions, Diets, and Self-Help in the Eighteenth Century.

George Cheyne, The English Malady, Introduction (1735)

George Cheyne, The English Malady, The Case of the Author (1735)

Led by Jessica Hamel-Akré.

18 March 2016
Samuel Richardson's passionate heroines-reexamining emotion in the eighteenth-century novel.

Led by Olivia Murphy.


6 November 2015

Venery and Vivisection

Primary readings:
Thomas Erskine, A Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Method to be used to prevent it (1720)

Supplementary Readings:
Sailor/tavern scene in John Cleland's Fanny Hill

Led by Sara Crouch and Judy Barbour.

9 October 2015
"A quarrel on the left": Wordsworth, Godwin and The Borderers.

Led by Elias Greig.

11 September 2015
Half-man and leading man: the Italian castrato singer in England.

Issues for discussion:

The changing attitudes towards masculinity and sexuality in the eighteenth-century
English attitudes toward Italy
Emerging British Nationalism versus the Hanoverian aristocracy

Led by Jessica Sun.

7 August 2015
Research Roundtable

10 July 2015
A Short and Extremely Partial Account of the 1790s

Primary readings:
Thomas Erskine, A View of the Causes and Consequences of the present War with France (London: J. Debrett, 1797)

John Thelwall, 'Preface' to Democracy Vindicated (1796)

John Thelwall, The Tribune, Vol. II [preface only] (1796)

Supplementary Readings:
Joseph Gerrald, The Address of the British Convention, Assembled at Edinburgh, November 19, 1793, to the People of Great Britain (London: D. I. Eaton, 1793)

London Corresponding Society, Address to the Nation, from the London Corresponding Society, on the Subject of a Thorough Parliamentary Reform (London: London Corresponding Society, 1793)

Led by Elias Greig.

12 June 2015

Three Histories of England.

David Hume, History of England (1754)

Catherine Macaulay, History of England (1768)

Jane Austen, History of England (1791)

Supplementary readings:
Catherine Macaulay, Preface to History of England (1781), Vol VI

David Hume, "Of the Study of History" (1742)

Karl Bottigheimer, "The Glorious Revolution" (1992)

David Hume and Catherine Macaulay Letters (1783)

J.G.A. Pocoock, "The Fourth English Civil War" (1992)

J.G.A. Pocoock, "Three British Revolutions: 1641, 1688, 1776" Chapter 8 (1980)

Led by Shane Greentree and Olivia Murphy.

8 May 2015

Natural History, Experimental Science and the Antipodean Imaginary in Oliver Goldsmith's History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1774)

Judith Barbour, "The Professor and the Orang-Outang: Mary Shelley as Child Reader"

William Godwin, "Memoirs of the Author of 'The Rights of Woman'" Chapter 10

Burton/Booklist image

Led by Judy Barbour.

6 March 2015

"The Organ of Sensibility: Skin and Feeling in Sentimental Novels" Sara Crouch

"Quixotism in the “Air and Climate”" Amelia Dale

Led by Sara Crouch and Amelia Dale.


7 November 2014
Mary Hays:
'Improvements Suggested in Female Education' The Monthly Magazine, March 1797, 193-195

Female Biography, 3 vols. [1803] (Philadelphia: 1807) (excerpts)

Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 4 vols. (London: 1763) (excerpts from volume IV.)
Led by Shane Greentree.

10 October 2014

William Beckford and Vathek

Led by Judy Barbour.

12 September 2014

Nahum Tate, The Ingratitude of a Commonwealth; or, The Fall of Coriolanus (1681)

John Dennis, The Invade of His Country; or, The Fatal Resentment (1719)
Led by Huw Griffiths.

13 June 2014
Wordsworth's First Steps.
Led by Elias Greig.

9 May 2014
Helen Maria Williams
Helen Maria Williams Letters 1790
Helen Maria Williams Letters 1794

4 April 2014
"Moonites and Quixotes"
Preface to Eaton Stannard Barrett, The Heroine
Led by Amelia Dale.

7 February 2014
"The Improvement of Harry Ormond: Edgeworth's Ormond, Character Networks, and the Bildungsroman"
Led by Michael Falk.


1 November 2013
"Erasmus Darwin, fifty shades of green"
Led by Judy Barbour and Alexandra Hankinson.

4 October 2013
"Actresses and Affect"
Led by Penny Gay and Amelia Dale.

13 September 2013
"Betwixt and Between"
Led by Jennifer Milam.

16 August 2013
"Spenser and Romantic Spensarianism"
Led by Claire Hanson and Elias Greig.

7 June 2013
Slavery, Abolitionism and Equiano

3 May 2013
"Literary Reactions to William Godwin"
Led by Elias Greig and Amelia Dale

12 April 2013
Edward Young’s "Night Thoughts"