Image Collection of the Week: The Victorian illustrator whose designs came to life

Born in London in 1846, Kate Greenaway exhibited a prodigious talent for delicate illustration. She attended the School of Art in South Kensington and completed her education in the Slade School of Art at University College London. She is now celebrated for her charming and nostalgic illustrations of childhood in the English countryside. The British library and the…

The Art of Beauty: To rouge or not to rouge

Throughout our corpus of nineteenth-century novels, there are numerous references to the transformative power of cosmetics. As well as striving to survive the noxious levels of lead and arsenic in your potions and pastes, you are also tasked with achieving socially acceptable levels of rouging. According to Madam Lola Montez’s 1858 book The Art of Beauty or…

Image of the Week: Back to School

After a successful round of summer events and the official launch of the Nation, Genre, Gender project,  it’s almost back to school time. First things first, a new uniform…        

Insult of the Week: “the big slobbering washing-pot head of him”

In chapter two of  Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Cranly and Stephen discuss the latter’s plans for the future. During their exchange, Cranly recalls Stephen’s wrangling with a school acquaintance about the shortest way from  the Sallygap to Larras. A voice spoke softly to Stephen’s lonely heart, bidding him go and telling him that…

Image of the Week: A beautiful fiend

This week’s image is inspired by an early scene in M.E Braddon’s huge sensational hit Lady Audley’s Secret 1862. While the duplicitous Lady Audley is out and about, George Talboys and Robert Audley enter her private boudoir to look at the impressive collection of paintings stored there. The lads take a look around the “glittering toilette”…

Image of the Week: A Plunge into Space

Born in County Down, Robert Cromie  (1855-1907) published his science fiction novel A Plunge into Space in 1890 at the age of 35. The text does pretty much what it says on the tin and follows an expedition to Mars and while it doesn’t feature in our project’s corpus, it is perhaps a good example of Irish fin…

Insult of the Week: A “stiff-necked, arrogant imbecile, pig-headed numskull”

This week’s insult is brought to you by Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. During an ongoing feud between Mr Lawrence Boythorn and Sir Leicester Dedlock over “the green pathway by the old parsonage-house” (that neither man actually seems to want), Boythorn explains their exchanges on the subject “The fellow, by his agent, or secretary, or somebody,…

Image of the Week: A slice of Mrs. Weston’s wedding-cake

This weeks image is inspired by a short scene in Jane Austen’s Emma. Concerned for the digestive health of the guests at Miss Taylor’s wedding, Mr. Woodhouse tries to dissuade them from eating the wedding-cake… There was no recovering Miss Taylor—nor much likelihood of ceasing to pity her; but a few weeks brought some alleviation…

Image of the Week: Alice’s Appetites

This week’s image is taken from The Nursery “Alice,” – an adapted  version (for younger readers) of Lewis Carroll’s  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The work contains a number of rich colour images by the British illustrator and cartoonist Sir John Tenniel. This famous illustration captures the moments after Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole. Anxious to find her way through a tiny…

Image of the Week: Portrait of a frustrated artist

This week’s image is taken from Chapter 17 of  Katherine Cecil Thurston’s beautifully illustrated novel Max (1910). It is one of eight illustrations by the British painter and illustrator Frank Craig (1874-1918). The image effectively captures Max’s growing frustration at the quality of his/her latest work and captures the moments leading up to a heated exchange between the…