On the Impact of “Unhistoric Acts”

By Deborah Murray, Instructor, Department of English, Kansas State University Henry Alexander Bowler’s painting, “The Doubt: 'Can these Dry Bones Live?'” (originally exhibited in 1855) depicts a woman leaning on the gravestone of “John Faithful.” Along with the painting’s title, the dead man’s name asks viewers to consider the impact of scientific and philosophical debates … Continue reading On the Impact of “Unhistoric Acts”

What on earth is a spill, and why can’t Miss Matty get with the times?

By Madelyn Pospisil (MA '19), Department of English, Kansas State University Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford (1853) is comprised of vignettes from one small Victorian town, unique in that it is almost entirely inhabited—apparently—by women. Some of the women are widowed, but many of them are spinsters; the book shows us their daily lives and eccentricities.  One of these … Continue reading What on earth is a spill, and why can’t Miss Matty get with the times?

Private Economies: Paper and Its Production in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Britain

By Daniel Haws (MA '19), Department of English, Kansas State University It seems like it was just yesterday when I questioned my grandmother’s peculiar practice of washing plastic sandwich bags. To me, Ziploc bags were a single-use product, and my young mind couldn’t fathom why one would need to recycle such an item. My ignorance … Continue reading Private Economies: Paper and Its Production in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Britain

‘Piercing the Obscurity’: How George Eliot and her Middlemarchers Search for Truth

By Alyssa Cook (MA '19), Department of English, Kansas State University Early in Dorothea Brooke’s marriage to the Reverend Edward Casaubon, she asks her dear Edward if he won’t now “make [his] knowledge useful to the world” (Eliot 191).   And though we might expect Casaubon to be flattered by her encouragement to write his great Key … Continue reading ‘Piercing the Obscurity’: How George Eliot and her Middlemarchers Search for Truth

And They Did Not Live Happily Ever After: Dorothea and Casaubon’s Marriage in Middlemarch

By Krista Danielson (MA ’20), Department of English, Kansas State University. It’s 1829 in the town of Middlemarch, England. Dorothea Brooke, the female protagonist in George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1871), is seeking a husband. A 19-year-old woman, Dorothea is beautiful, extremely religious, and hungry for knowledge. Who will Dorothea choose? Bachelor #1—Sir James Chettam, the handsome, … Continue reading And They Did Not Live Happily Ever After: Dorothea and Casaubon’s Marriage in Middlemarch

Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley: A Victorian Diss-Track

By Ryan Ellis (MA '19), Department of English, Kansas State University Who could forget the infamous Nicki Minaj track, “Barbie,” that dissed Drake, DJ Khaled, and Meek Mills? Or the moment Taylor Swift dropped “Look What You Made Me Do” after Kim Kardashian leaked a private phone conversation between Swift and Kanye West detailing his … Continue reading Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley: A Victorian Diss-Track

From safe source to public menace: The transformation of Beer in Victorian England

By Jimmy Gilligan (MA '20), Department of English, Kansas State University A group of English curates sit around a table. Some are drinking flat ale and all are gorging themselves on a variety of foods. The topic of their discussion is equally undivine as their gluttony.  No, it’s not a Monty Python skit; it’s the … Continue reading From safe source to public menace: The transformation of Beer in Victorian England