Please click on the links below to Access information on related projects, institutions and organisations:
An audio documentary based on the letters written by the great salonniere and Bluestockings Society leader and research by the Unity Arts Heritage Teams. Part of the NLHF supported community research project BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT.
A prolific and witty letter writer Elizabeth Montagu is brought to life here by Zara Hadashian Banks with Priscilla Olympio as Hannah More and Sarah J Warren narrating. This piece was produced with the support of Sound Designer Yvonne Gilbert and directed by Lil Warren.
On 22 September 2020, the British Library hosted a virtual salon with Emma Clery, Yuthika Sharma, and EMCO board members Joanna Barker and Elizabeth Eger, as part of their programme Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights.
This roundtable, which focused on women’s relationship with globalism in eighteenth century London, has been uploaded to Youtube by the official British Library Youtube channel.
“I never invite idiots to my house” (Elizabeth Montagu, circa 1770)
“We have lived with the wisest, the best, and the most celebrated men of our Times, and with some of the best, most accomplished, most learned Women of any times” – Elizabeth Montagu, 1781.
Montagu, the Shakespeare critic, hostess and champion of women writers, was known as the “queen of the Bluestockings”. Her lavish homes were the scene of renowned salons bringing together the leading cultural lights of the era, and the writers she nurtured became a powerful network famed for its pursuit of intellectual and sensual pleasure. But who were these women, and how did they wield their influence? This session explores their legacy, placing the Bluestockings at the very heart of their times, and features the newly-launched digital edition of the correspondence of Elizabeth Montagu.
Databases & Online Letter Editions:
The UK Reading Experience Database (UK RED) is an open access database and research project housed in the English Department of the Open University. It is the largest resource recording the experiences of readers of its kind anywhere. UK RED has amassed over 30,000 records of reading experiences of British subjects, both at home and abroad, and of visitors to the British Isles, between 1450 and 1945.
WEMLO is a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project created to support researchers of early modern women letter writers. This site provides a scholarly meeting place for such researchers and offers an array of resources, including bibliographies, links to related resources, an image gallery of female letter writers, calls for papers, news, and a blog where scholars can communicate with each other about their work. The project also holds workshops that encourage scholarship in the area of early modern women’s epistolary culture.
The digital resource we are creating–the WEMLO catalogue–is an open-access union catalogue and editorial interface offering descriptions of women’s letters from c.1400-1700. As a sister resource to EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online) created by the University of Oxford’s Mellon-funded “Cultures of Knowledge” project, WEMLO will be integrated into the permanent digital offerings of the Bodleian Libraries.
With 77,251 letters and documents and 10,178 correspondents as of Autumn 2017, EE is the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century.
Drawn from the best available critical editions, EE is not simply an “electronic bookshelf” of isolated texts but a network of interconnected documents, allowing you to see the complex web of personal relationships in the early modern period and the making of the modern world.
This first version of the Bluestocking Corpus consists of 243 manuscript letters, written by the ‘Queen of the Blues’ Elizabeth Montagu between the 1730s and the 1780s. Elizabeth Montagu (née Robinson, 1718-1800) was one of the key figures of the learning-oriented Bluestocking Circle in eighteenth-century England. She was a literary hostess, coal mine owner and patron of arts who published a popular essay in defense of Shakespeare against Voltaire’s criticism. In its current form the corpus contains 183,000 words, and it will later come to include letters by other Blues and people in Elizabeth Montagu’s family and friendship circles. The letters can be downloaded as txt and xml files, and they can be browsed and read on this site.
The letters of the 1730s and the early 1740s represent the period of Montagu’s youth and the early years of her marriage. They offer a interesting and entertaining perspective into the life of a lively and ambitious young woman. Lady Margaret Harley, the Duchess of Portland, was an important friend and confidant who made it possible for Elizabeth to spend time in the company of women of scholarly pursuits and to enjoy what London had to offer. Elizabeth married the wealthy MP and mathematician Edward Montagu in 1742 and thereafter had the means to set up her own salon.
‘The Bluestocking Corpus: Letters by Elizabeth Montagu, 1730s-1780s‘ on In Her Mind’s Eye
This is a blog post by the historian and data analyst Sharon Howard, providing demographic breakdown and analysis of Anni Sairio’s Bluestocking Corpus (above).
Flee from your relatives with the Ladies of Llangollen! Walk with Hester Piozzi through the splendid but whiffy streets of Edinburgh; slither off your horse into the River Forth with Charlotte Malkin; climb Snowdon with Anne Lister (and her aunt); feel vertiginous with Catherine Hutton, and paint clouds with Cornelius Varley….
We now have 25 previously unpublished tours of Wales and Scotland edited and fully searchable on our website:
You can also explore over 500 letters from the correspondence of the travel writer, naturalist and antiquarian Thomas Pennant, many relating to his pioneering tours of Wales and Scotland. We welcome all feedback, as well as new contributions to our ongoing blog on any aspect of travel in the British Isles in the long eighteenth century.
The Women’s Studies Group: 1558-1837 is a small, informal multi-disciplinary group formed to promote women’s studies in the early modern period and the long eighteenth century. The group was established to enable those interested in women’s studies to keep in touch with each other, to hear about members’ interests and relevant publications, and to organise regular meetings and an annual workshop where members can meet and discuss women’s studies topics. The WSG membership is open to men and women, graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars. The group meets in Stewart House, University of London, on Russell Square, W1.
Voices and Books, 1500-1800 is an AHRC network of early modern scholars (literary scholars, linguists, historians, musicologists) and partners (British Library; City Library, Newcastle; National Early Music Association UK; The Reading Experience Database; Seven Stories) who are committed to recovering the history of reading aloud and listening to books. We want to establish the ubiquity of this practice, but also understand how the voicing of scripted text structured different communities and practices of sociability.
The Association for Documentary Editing was created in 1978 to promote documentary editing through the cooperation and exchange of ideas among the community of editors.
One of the prime motivations behind the formation of the ADE was to create a forum for exchanging ideas and setting standards that reflect the ADE’s commitment to the highest professional standards of accuracy of transcription, editorial method, and conceptual indexing.
Creative Communities, 1750-1830 is an AHRC-funded Research Network based in the School of English at the University of Leeds, in partnership with the University of Southampton and University College London. Dr David Higgins is the Principal Investigator and Professor John Whale is the Co-Investigator.
Focusing on historical case studies, the network examines how connections between members of a community, and between different communities, can enhance creativity. At the same time, it subjects those key terms to rigorous investigation. The network brings together established and early career researchers, as well as non-academic stakeholders, from a range of institutions, to debate key questions about the relationship between creativity and community.
King’s College London Centre for Enlightenment Studies
The Centre for Enlightenment Studies at King’s was created to consolidate and give a higher profile to the existing 18th century research strengths across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, drawing on a range of expertise in the fields of literature, cultural and intellectual history, music, languages and philosophy.
We welcome collaboration with all who share an interest in the concept of ‘Enlightenment’, including those who are critical of it and those who work outside the 18th century.
The Centre aims to build upon existing links with the capital’s major cultural institutions in developing new areas of research and to place a new focus oninter-departmental initiatives and collaborations at research level.
Founded in 1998, n.paradoxa publishes scholarly and critical articles highlighting feminist art and feminist art theory written by women critics, art historians and artists on and in relation to the work of contemporary women artists post-1970 (visual arts only) working anywhere in the world. Each thematic volume in print contains artists and authors from more than 10 countries in the world and explores their work in relation to feminist theory and feminist art practices.
Follow the above link to the KT Press website, the publishers of N.Paradoxa.
Local Historical Interest Groups:
The Mining Institute, a registered charity, promote the important historical achievements of engineering in the mining industry and are situated in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne and housed in Neville Hall, a Grade II* listed building.
The Institute plays a pivotal role in the dissemination of the information relative to problems concerning geotechnical and extractive industries; upholding its international reputation and status as the world centre of mining – long after coals have been carried from Newcastle.
This website offer information on the cultural and literary history of Swansea with maps, pictures and stories of Swansea’s past Historic Swansea is a gateway to learn of a town steeped in history.
This site is intended to promote Dylan’s poetry and prose for both enjoyment and educational purposes. You’ll find a full chronology of Dylan’s life which is illustrated with quotes from his work, plus information on Dylan’s “craft or sullen art”, and literature written about him.
Associated Libraries & Museums:
The Library, on four sites over three campuses, is one of the largest and best equipped in Scotland, offering excellent resources to support your studies. The University Library (arts, science, education and social sciences) including the Special Collections Centre, the Taylor Library and European Documentation Centre (law with official UK and EU publications) are on the Old Aberdeen campus. The Medical Library on the Foresterhill Campus covers the Medicine and Medical Sciences disciplines, while the Reid Library at the Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health focuses mainly on nutrition, both human and animal.
The libraries hold over 1 million volumes, with most easily accessible through the online catalogue. In addition to ancient papyri and archives, the libraries also offer access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles in electronic format on the web. One collection, for example, has over 40,000 recently published e-books in full text from top quality academic publishers. These resources can be accessed both on and off campus so you can study at your convenience anytime, anywhere.
The collections at Longleat include the libraries and archives assembled by the Thynne family since (and even slightly before) Longleat was purchased by Sir John Thynne in the 1540s. The archive includes material from the early Middle Ages to the present day and is still actively used in the management of the House, collections, grounds and estate. Books in the libraries range from early medieval manuscripts to 19th and 20th-century children’s books, from incunables to Sir Winston Churchill first editions.
Many of the best known documents in the collection have been published in microfilm editions and are readily available in public collections: editions of the Carteret Papers, the Coventry Papers, the Devereux Papers, the Dudley Papers (partial edition only), the Portland Papers, the Prior Papers, the Seymour Papers, the Talbot Papers, the first series of the Thynne Papers, the Whitelocke Papers and many of the class of Miscellaneous Manuscripts have so far been published, as well as an edition of the Glastonbury Abbey court and compotus rolls.
The University of Manchester Library is one of only five National Research Libraries. With more than 4 million printed books and manuscripts, over 41,000 electronic journals and 500,000 electronic books, as well as several hundred databases, the library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the country.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest libraries. The collections include more than 150 million items, in over 400 languages, to which three million new items are added every year. The Library house books, magazines, manuscripts, maps, music scores, newspapers, patents, databases, philatelic items, prints and drawings and sound recordings.
The Library’s collection of rare books and manuscripts in the fields of British and American history and literature is nothing short of extraordinary. For qualified scholars, The Huntington is one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the United States in its fields of specialization. For the general public, the Library has on display some of the finest rare books and manuscripts of Anglo-American civilization. Altogether, there are about 6 million items. The Huntington is the home of the vast bulk of Elizabeth Montagu’s extant correspondence.
See here for a recent blog post from Huntington Library Quarterly editor Sarah K Austin, discussing information management in the Elizabeth Montagu collection at the Huntington.
This website offers access to the national gallery that was founded in 1856 to collect portraits of famous British men and women. Explore over 160,000 portraits from the 16th Century to the present day.
This large and interactive website details activities, exhibits and events at the museum, the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa.
Dr Johnson’s House is a charming 300-year-old townhouse, nestled amongst a maze of courts and alleys in the historic City of London. Samuel Johnson, the writer and wit, lived and worked here in the middle of the eighteenth century, compiling his great Dictionary of the English Language in the Garret.
Today, the House is open to the public with a collection relating to Johnson, a research library, restored interiors and a wealth of original features. Often described by visitors as a hidden gem, 17 Gough Square is a tranquil spot in the midst of the bustling City.
Charities and Social Interest Groups:
Despite the significance of Mary Wollstonecraft’s life and work, there has never been a public memorial statue of her anywhere in the world. The location of her home on Newington Green in North London, where her radical ideas about women’s equality, education and politics were first formed, seems a logical place for a permanent memorial to such an important and influential woman. Through public and private funding, a dedicated group of Mary Wollstonecraft enthusiasts and local area supporters are planning to commission a sculpture that will be erected in a prominent area of the green. There will be open competition for sculptors, following which interested members of the public will be invited to comment. It is hoped that the unveiling will take place in the spring of 2013.
The project is being spearheaded by the Newington Green Action Group (NGAG), a registered charity (#1087866) that was formed in 1997 to revitalise the green and the surrounding area. This award-winning group completed the revitalisation of Newington Green in 2005 and now endeavours to maintain the improvements and support further development work of benefit to the community.
There are instructions on the website on how you can show your support and get involved.
The Georgian Group is a national amenity society. They act as a statutory consultee in the planning process in England and Wales, when consideration is being given to proposals to alter or demolish listed buildings dating, in whole or in part, from between 1700 and 1840. They aim to protect historic buildings through providing advice to owners and architects, campaigning, and through our role as statutory consultees in the planning system. Our annual awards promote excellence in design and conservation. In its casework, the Georgian Group advises councils, church bodies, and others on threats to the historic fabric and setting of structures built between 1700 and 1837.The Group organises lectures and other events aimed at improving the understanding of aspects of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century built heritage. They also produce technical advice leaflets, and promote the publication of academic research through our journal. They also have a small grants scheme for historic buildings, the Cleary Fund which is distributed annually in September.