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Placing the Author
Literary Tourism in the Long Nineteenth Century
Saturday 20 June 2015
Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester.
The nineteenth century witnessed a surge of enthusiasm for visiting places associated with authors and their works, and a related interest in the preservation and consecration of authors’ houses. In 1847 one of the world’s most famous sites of literary tourism, the birthplace of William Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon, was purchased and established by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, while the first blue plaque was introduced in 1867 to mark the birthplace of Lord Byron. This conference – alongside the Postcard Project and blog – explores questions of what visitors to literary graves, houses and landscapes were seeking, and how these engagements were mediated by the spaces themselves. It is particularly interested in how writers’ houses ‘place’ the author: canonically, within a particular space and time, and in the promotion of a carefully curated image of the author.
Panel B: Encounters past and presentChair: Dr Felicity James, University of Leicester
Dr Irene Wiltshire, From Family Home to Literary Shrine: Elizabeth Gaskell’s House
The Brontës at home
Chair: Professor Helen Rees Leahy, University of Manchester
Kimberley Braxton (Keele University), “Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living” – The Cultural, Economical and Spiritual Power of the Brontë Relics.
Dr Amber Pouliot (Bishop Grosseteste University), “Gather round the presences who have drawn strength from this solitude”: Summoning and Sustaining the Brontë Ghosts.
Dr Amber Regis (University of Sheffield), Weird writing in a wild old place: Gaskell’s fantasied parsonage in The Life of Charlotte Brontë.
Professor Deborah Wynne (University of Chester), Charlotte Brontë At Home.
Professor Nicola J. Watson (Open University), Mrs Gaskell’s Fire and otherways of animating the Author.