Cat got your collar?

Unsure of how to wear regurgitated lace? Well, Cranford’s Mrs Forrester has the answer. In Chapter 8 of Elizabeth Gaskell’s celebrated novel, Mrs Forrester advises us on how to retrieve a prized piece of lace from the belly of your pet. “Of course, your ladyship knows that such lace must never be starched or ironed. Some people wash…

Insult of the Week: I am often sorry to notice how unrefined your ideas are

In Mary Cholmondley’s 1893 novel Diana Tempest (vol I, vol II, vol III), our eponymous heroine has the doubtful pleasure of encountering a recently married friend, Madeleine Verelst, at a gathering at the home of Lord and Lady Hemsworth.   As is typical for this book, which is characterised by incisive and bleakly funny observations of…

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 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…

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…