Medicine, mortality and music

[This story was published on November 10 on the Sussex Express website. Read the original story at sussexexpress.co.uk/whats-on/music/review-medicine-and-music-make-an-unlikely-but-effective-duo-1-7674014.]   Medicine and Mortality, Ensemble Moliere, Brighton Friends’ Meeting House, November 5 France, 1725. A Monsieur Valancourt has taken ill. The bells of Sainte Genevieve Abbey sound in the Parisian neighbourhood, and, as the patient’s condition worsens, the […]

Still Standing: Chichester’s Market Cross

[This story was published on November 10 in the Observer series. Read the original story atchichester.co.uk/news/chichester-s-cross-is-still-standing-1-7673522.] Now that we have seen the scaffolding come down on the Chichester Cross, Chichester City Council is looking forward to the next hundred years of the monument. Perhaps now is a good time to think about the past of the […]

Desperate Romantics: Will the Real Fanny Cornforth Please Stand Up?

[This story was published on November 4 on the BAVS Neo-Victorian blog. Read the original story at victorianist.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/neo-victorian-review-desperate-romantics-will-the-real-fanny-cornforth-please-stand-up.] “An artist is nothing without a model, a muse” – Desperate Romantics Earlier this week, I talked about the mystery of Fanny Cornforth, muse and model for Dante Gabriel Rossetti, which was solved in 2015 by her biographer […]

Whatever Happened to Fanny Cornforth?

[This story was published on November 2 on the BAVS Neo-Victorian blog. Read the original story at victorianist.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/whatever-happened-to-fanny-cornforth.] [Image: Bocca Baciata, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1859. Image labelled for reuse] Even if you don’t know her name, you’ll certainly know her face. The beauty behind iconic Pre-Raphaelite paintings Bocca Baciata, The Blue Bower, Found, Fair Rosamund, images reproduced […]

Mythic Monsters, Living Fossils, and Liminal Spaces: The Essex Serpent

[This story was published on October 14 on the BAVS Neo-Victorian blog. Read the original story at victorianist.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/neo-victorian-review-mythic-monsters-living-fossils-and-liminal-spaces-the-essex-serpent.] In late September of this year, I was lucky enough to hear Sarah Perry reflect on her second novel, The Essex Serpent, at an evening event held at Royal Holloway. With wit and humour, Perry discussed her process […]

Darwin, Photography, and the ‘Screaming Victorians’ of Anthony Rhys’s Visual Biofiction

Or; Whose Biofiction is it Anyway? [This story was published on September 23 on the BAVS Neo-Victorian blog. Read the original story at victorianist.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/neo-victorian-review-darwin-photography-and-the-screaming-victorians-of-anthony-rhyss-visual-biofiction-or-whose-biofiction-is-it-anyway/.] [Image: Asylum Feeding, by Anthony Rhys. Reproduced with kind permission of the artist.] If you attended the BAVS conference held in Cardiff earlier this year, you may have had time to explore the […]

Tales from the Archives: Unearthing an iron foundry

[This story was published on September 8 in the Observer series. Read the original story at chichester.co.uk/news/nostalgia-fernhurst-iron-foundry-unearthed-1-7562966.] [All images: West Sussex Record Office] A fascinating history was unearthed at Fernhurst in 1989. Historical remains tracing the local iron industry in the 16th century were unearthed by a team of archaeologists. Experts were uncovering and cleaning up […]