Wolverhampton BTW

News & Events

New Light on Lord Byron’s ‘Furniture’ in Don Juan, Canto 3

Posted 3 Feb 2018

In a letter to his publisher John Murray on 23 August 1821, Lord Byron owned up to various borrowings in his poems, including Don Juan: ‘By the way much of the description of the furniture in Canto 3d is taken from Tully’s Tripoli’ (L&J 8:186). As Peter Cochrane has demonstrated, the Narrative of a Ten Years’ Residence at Tripoli (1816) was the source in fact ‘for virtually all of the furniture in Canto III, much of the food and drink, the greater part of the costume, plus several other useful details’ (77).

Cochrane also reminds his readers that Tully’s Tripoli was written not by the British Consul, Richard Tully, but by his sister-in-law ‘whose name has not come down to us’ (77). Subsequent scholars and many library catalogues have since referred to the author simply as ‘Miss Tully’, but with no further information on her relationship to Richard Tully. Richard Tully, too, has until now remained a shadowy … read more

Arrivals and Departures

Posted 28 Sep 2017

Research in the John Murray Archive and Special Collections at the National Library of Scotland has resulted in a departure from the database and some new arrivals. Gone is the entry for the Journal of a Short Excursion among the Swiss Landscapes, attributed to Anne Blund and supposedly published by Murray in 1803 (see OCLC 79964602).

This attribution was already shaky on the basis of a curious article appearing in the November 1816 issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine in which the author (signed ‘L.S.’) purports to be giving a draft preface to an unfinished series of articles published in that journal from July to December of 1815 under the title ‘General Outline of the Swiss Landscape’, all of which are generally attributed to Rowley Lascelles. In a note to the 1816 ‘preface’, Lascelles indicates that the ur-text behind this latest incarnation was none other than the Journal of a Short Excursion.

The National Library of Scotland copy of the first edition of th… read more

New Publications

Posted 8 May 2017

Two recent publications by Benjamin Colbert showcase the Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840 database under development in the Communities of Authorship project:

'British Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840: Bibliographical Reflections', Women's Writing 24.2 (May 2017): 151-169.

Abstract: Launched online in 2014, the Women's Travel Writing database provides full and accurate bibliographical records for all the known books of travel published in Britain and Ireland by women between 1780 and 1840. This article critically and statistically reflects on these 204 titles, the authors who wrote them, and the patterns and trends that they suggest when considered together during the period in which women first gained a firm foothold in a genre traditionally considered men's territory. The database reveals patterns of women writing on the generic borders between scribal and print culture, conforming to and manipulating rhetorical conventions in prefaces and advertisements, while str… read more

Communities of Authorship Update: The Marchioness Solari and the Royal Literary Fund

Posted 29 Oct 2016

This post is the second of a series of profiles in which Dr Benjamin Colbert will feature a travel writer and her work from Women’s Travel Writing, 1780-1840, as well as an update on the research underway for the British Academy project, Women's Travel Writing: Communities of Authorship.

No. 2: Catherine Hyde (or Hyams), Marchioness Govion Broglio Solari, c. 1755-1844.

From the 39 items making up the Royal Literary Fund’s record (Loan RLF 1/435) of its dealings with the travel writer and memoirist Catherine Hyde, Marchioness Govion Broglio Solari (c1755-1844), there emerges a portrait of the artist that is consistent with self-representations in her published works, yet also details her day-to-day struggle Solari Portraitfor solvency over the twenty-one-year period covered by the archive (1821-1842). Her first letter to the RLF of 18 May 1821 is dated from the ‘king’s bench prison’ where she had been confined four months un… read more

Women's Travel Writing 2.0 - What's New?

Posted 25 Jul 2016

Users returning to this database after a few weeks away will find a number of new features thanks to our database designer, Chris Veness of Moveable Type Ltd., whose work is part of the current and on-going British Academy funded project, Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship.

First off is a refreshed home page under a familiar but shorter title, Women's Travel Writing, 1780-1840. The most significant new feature here is a drop-down navigation bar (available on every page) which allows users to move between the Home page, Search page, Browse page, News & Events, and About page.

The Search page now has been augmented to allow searches to be limited or combined in different ways. We've added an author-role feature to allow users to search for specific roles, such as editor or translator, or for role combinations. We've also added a place of publication drop down menu (Published in ...), as well as the new categories of 'gender' and 'original language'. I… read more

Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship

Posted 5 May 2016

We are pleased to announce the commencement of a British Academy funded research project, Women Travel Writers, 1780-1840: Communities of Authorship. Led by Dr Benjamin Colbert in collaboration with database designer Chris Veness of Moveable Type Ltd., the project aims to restore visibility to 139 women who published travel books as authors, co-authors, contributors, letterpress writers, editors, and translators during a period in which women’s travel writing became established in Britain and Ireland. Original biographical research on these authors will contribute to our knowledge of the conditions of publishing, networking, and support that helped women become transformative presences in a male-dominated genre.

The research builds upon and augments the Database of Women’s Travel Writing, launched at Chawton House Library in July 2014, which aims to provid… read more

Database of Women’s Travel Writing: Marianne Colston

Posted 16 Feb 2015

This post is the first of a series of profiles in which Dr Benjamin Colbert will feature an author and her work from the Database of Women’s Travel Writing, 1780-1840:

No. 1: Marianne Jenkins Colston (1792-1865)

Marianne Colston

In 1822, the Paris-based English language publisher A. and W. Galignani brought out in two volumes octavo the Journal of a Tour in France, Switzerland, and Italy, during the Years 1819, 20, and 21 [see BTW1040] by Marianne Colston. A further folio volume comprising 50 lithographs by François Le Villain (fl. 1820-1830) after drawings by Colston accompanied it. The following year, 1823, the two volumes and the pictorial atlas were again published in London by G. and W. B. Whittaker. The firm of Galignani was notorious for br… read more