Program

All session times, abstracts and bios in the following draft programme will be confirmed by 1 May 2022.

The Seventh International Literary Juvenilia Conference will be held on zoom at UNSW Sydney from 20–22 July 2022.

Wednesday 20th July — Day One

09:00 AM
Welcome
Speaker(s):
Michael Balfour (Acknowledgement of Country); Christine Alexander (Welcome)
Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country
Speaker(s):
Christine Alexander, Michael Balfour
09:30 AM
Keynote Session
Speaker(s):
David Hanson
"John does not know there is any difference in putting things on paper from saying them": Materiality and Discourse in John Ruskin's Juvenilia and Early Letters

David C. Hanson, Professor and Head, Department of English, Co-editor of Nineteenth Century Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University. He specialises in the study of the creative process and how texts evolve from composition through stages of publication; and is editor of The Early Ruskin Manuscripts, 1826-1842, a digital edition of the early writings of influential art critic John Ruskin.
“John does not know there is any difference in putting things on paper from saying them”: Materiality and Discourse in John Ruskin’s Juvenilia and Early Letters
Chair:
Christine Alexander
Speaker(s):
David Hanson
David Hanson will argue that, contrary to his mother's opinion, John Ruskin's juvenilia does reveal differences between a discursive familiarity, which Ruskin adapted from the "conversation" genre by Letitia Barbauld and Maria Edgeworth, and "things on paper" imitated from a calligraphy manual and the typography of books he owned. In personal letters and fictionalized conversations, he used a spontaneous and playful style, which subverts rules, such as those found in letter manuals. However, his fancy calligraphy and imitation of type set constraints. Furthermore, material aspects of Ruskin's juvenilia appear to originate most deeply in mourning and loss. He made "things on paper" for his father to carry with him on his travels, and these were expressive of his sense of loss and desire for his father's return – returns that, in the case of beloved cousins, never came about. Ruled margins in the juvenilia both define fate and keep something safe.

David C. Hanson, Professor and Head, Department of English, Co-editor of Nineteenth Century Studies, Southeastern Louisiana University. He specialises in the study of the creative process and how texts evolve from composition through stages of publication; and is editor of The Early Ruskin Manuscripts, 1826-1842, a digital edition of the early writings of influential art critic John Ruskin.
10:30 AM
Morning Tea
11:00 AM
Session A
Session A
Chair:
Lesley Peterson
Youth and Looking
Laurie Langbauer
My paper asks: what alters when we recognize how, early on, associations with juvenility permeate the very grain of the concept of exhibition? I focus on the work of draftsman and sculptor John Flaxman, who won a Royal Society medal when he was twelve and joined one of the first classes at the Royal Academy in 1770, when he was fourteen. As his statue in the Royal Academy’s next to Leonardo’s and Raphael’s demonstrated, as an adult Flaxman was eminent in the early nineteenth century; he became professor of sculpture at the Royal Academy School. Renowned in the art world, he was also famous to the mainstream: his “outline illustrations” for Homer took the public by storm. Flaxman was situated to be especially attuned to juvenility and display. He was seen as a “precocious exhibiter” (Nisbet, Insanity of Genius, 1891, p. 176). In addition, because he had a physical disability from birth involving his back and spine, in the harsh language of his time he was also regarded as an object of display, “a prodigy of deformity and genius” (Vassall. Further Memoirs, 1905, p. 371). This paper considers his early art, later writings, and reception, to chart preconceptions within and connections between early genius and visual display.
Printing The Spectator: Hawthorne’s Play with Media Materiality
Patricia Roylance
When Nathaniel Hawthorne was a teenager, with his life as a published writer still in the future, he produced eight issues of a handwritten newspaper called The Spectator, circulated among his family and close friends. In line with other figures such as the Brontës and the Alcotts who also created this kind of mock-published juvenilia, Hawthorne used The Spectator to imagine his way into a print sphere to which he did not yet have access. In The Spectator, Hawthorne created essays, news items, advertisements and poetry that mirrored nineteenth-century printed newspapers and other periodicals in their content, visual design and layout. His concrete experimentation with the materialities of the newspaper form included laying out his text in columns; (with most issues) folding his sheet in half to create four pages, a standard format for newspapers of his day; and employing capital letters and larger letter sizes to generate visual interest for his headlines and advertisements. Furthermore, he executed The Spectator in a script called print hand, whose detached letter forms were meant to mimic the look of typeset letters.
Family Connections: Early Artistic Endeavours of the Strickland Sisters
Mary Jane Edwards
In “The Victorian Novelists: Who were they?” the last chapter of Victorian Fiction: Writers, Publishers, Readers (1995), John Sutherland discusses “the dynastic effect of the great Victorian novelist on those around him/her, particularly close relatives” (157). Among his examples are Charles Dickens, Frederick Marryat, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Frances Milton Trollope. Sutherland concludes his comments by stating that “it is clear that one of the main predisposing factors to writing Victorian novels was to have a close relative, or intimate acquaintance, who wrote Victorian novels” (159). In the nineteenth century, however, it was not just novelists whose family connections were a factor in encouraging them to write such works as autobiographies, histories, memoirs, and travelogues as well as fiction. One particularly interesting example of a family of authors who practised all these genres is that of six of the nine children of Thomas and Elizabeth Homer Strickland: Elizabeth Strickland (1794-1875); Agnes Strickland (1796-1874); Jane Margaret Strickland (1800-88); Catharine Parr Strickland Traill (1802-99); Susanna Strickland Moodie (1803-85); and Samuel Strickland (1804-67). Especially if we include the writings of three of Catharine’s children, Susanna’s husband, and one of their granddaughters, their “literary production” resembles in its “volume” that of “the Brontës, the Edgeworths, and Trollopes” (Dictionary of Canadian Biography). Since its subject matter includes Canada and South Africa as well as Great Britain and Europe in works published between the 1810s and the 1890s in Edinburgh, London, Montreal, New York, and Toronto, a study of this family, in fact, provides a multi-dimensional illustration of authorship, publication, reception, and textual transmission and transformation over three continents and in Imperial/Colonial contexts. This paper, of course, cannot deal with all these topics. Rather, it discusses the Strickland sisters’ youthful artistic endeavours. It demonstrates, first, how these productions were shaped by their upbringing in Suffolk, and by parents who not only believed in education for women, but who also encouraged them to learn about natural history. Then, concentrating on Catharine’s pre-1822 writings, it demonstrates, second, how her juvenile productions foreshadowed her later works, particularly those set in Canada.
12:30 PM
Lunch
01:30 PM
Session B
Session B
Chair:
Chris Danta
Mary Evelyn's Juvenilia: Fashion and Sociability in the Mundus Muliebris (1690)
Deborah Ramkhelawan
The Mundus Muliebris (1690) is a social satire of Restoration females and their taste for foreign articles of fashion, which stands in contrast to a natural model of English femininity. Written collaboratively by John Evelyn and his teenage daughter Mary, (who, as Evelyn notes in his Diary entry for March 8, 1685, “put in her pretty Symbol,”) the speaker of the Mundus Muliebris has a laugh at the follies of the ladies’ toilette, pointing out the economic insupportability of a life of luxury and lavish consumption from a potential suitor’s standpoint. A book of three parts, including a preface, a poem, and a Fop’s Dictionary, the Mundus Muliebris takes the structure of a journey to the world of “Marry Land” through the realm of the “Ladies Dressing-Room.” However, Charles Davies’ claim that the book is “more satirical than persuasive,” and that Evelyn’s “eloquence was wasted” begs further consideration (325, 27). As a staunch critic of King Charles II’s adoption of the French mode and his installation of fashionable life at the English court, it is no surprise that Evelyn published his and his daughter’s sparkling satire in 1685. An outstanding example of Mary Evelyn’s Early Modern juvenilia, the Mundus Muliebris engages with the form of the travelogue, such as the one we see in the early years of John Evelyn’s Diary; and, at the same time, it succeeds in cataloging and classifying a range of artifacts from the fashionable toilette, providing a happy link from the world of the female closet to the world of the Royal Society, of which Evelyn was a founding member. Ultimately, the Mundus Muliebris gives expression to Mary Evelyn’s creative powers, and through an examination of the preface, the poem, and the dictionary, we observe that her literary interests are combined with her father’s interest in words and the world beyond Wotton to produce a successful collaboration. Thus, we see John and his daughter Mary Evelyn’s creative imagination and critical insights on seventeenth-century sociability.
Chatterton’s precious things: tokens of professional self-promotion
Kate Sumner
If he’d been born to Generation Alpha, Chatterton would have been an attention-hungry, razor-sharp, obnoxious social media influencer. Material persuasion through documents, gifts and other tokens was a preferred mode of professional self-promotion. Chatterton was fascinated by the symbolic and manipulative possibilities of the material thingness of his literary works. Tokens, those physical objects that serve symbolically as a visible or tangible representation of something else—a special feeling or quality, an invitation, or a gift—abound in his works. Chatterton’s tokens were sometimes words that represented the physical, sensual and kinetic worlds, and sometimes documentary forms such as letters and manuscripts, maps, wills and testaments. Sometimes they were gifts, both symbolic and real. In the eighteenth-century, cultural codes embodied in physical tokens of love, for example, or a testamentary will, or an apparently medieval manuscript, were both subjectively compelling and systemically authoritative—not only to Chatterton, but to the majority of his readers. These objects had specific attributes, layouts or formats, that were recognized and understood in specific ways that related to cultural beliefs about truth, authenticity and authority. Indeed, Chatterton relied upon the symbolism built into the material forms of his tokens to impel his narratives; he saw the exchange of tokens in symbolic and persuasive terms, embodying the power to influence the relationship between poet and reader, and to build consensus with his readers in the pursuit of his own ambitious purposes. Taken from my doctoral thesis, this paper looks specifically at one of Chatterton’s kaleidoscopic array of self-promoting stylistic experiments. I argue that his fascination with the symbolic thingness of his works resided in the ways he could use them to stage encounters, in person or through letters, with powerful men and taste makers of the period. These tokens were predominantly the handcrafted manifestations of Chatterton’s ill-informed and naïve desire to curry favour with the coterie of literary men in whom he had hopes of social sanctification and patronage. Through them, he hoped to achieve the literary fame that he knew he was unlikely, or unable to achieve on his own.
Stella Benson: the Increasing Sophistication of the “Holiday Magazine” (1903–04)
Jeffrey Bibbee
Stella Benson (6 January 1892 – 7 December 1933), British author of the award-winning Tobit Transplanted (1931) and suffragette novel This Is the End (1917), gained marginal fame as a travel writer, fantasy, and post-impressionist novelist after the first World War. Benson’s fame as an author was limited and she has largely fallen into obscurity. Born into a landed gentry family, Benson’s frail health and sporadic education, coupled with her father’s rampant womanizing and alcoholism, created a chaotic, nomadic, and unhappy childhood. Despite her father’s insistence that her poetry was naïve and his recommendation that she wait to write when she was older, Benson was a prolific juvenile writer. Benson kept a diary, wrote poetry, short stories, and eventually novels throughout her childhood and adolescence. Benson ultimately published eighteen novels, collections of stories, and travel writings inspired by her early life and her travels in North America and Asia.
03:00 PM
Afternoon Tea
03:30 PM
Session C
Session C
Chair:
Donna Couto
"Words are Things": Byron’s Fugitive Pieces
Marc Gotthardt
Conspicuously little critical attention has been devoted to Byron’s earliest publication, less even to his first collection, Fugitive Pieces (1806), a little book of poems— “trifles”, as he calls them—written in his teenage years and meant only to be circulated privately among friends. Even for those critics who do not dismiss Fugitive Pieces as simply puerile, the consensus that “it did not as yet embody his final thoughts” (Cochran) leads to the conclusion that Byron’s first books are unmistakeably personal works (McGann), that is to say, works that express a mental interiority in its infancy. While this is doubtlessly true, the material and linguistic dimensions of Byron’s early poetic experiments are at risk of being lost in an overtly biographical reading. Rather than positing Byron’s juvenilia as expressive of a certain character, a stage in his personal development, I want to trace a certain continuity of ideas, specifically regarding the (still embryonic) relationship between “thing” and “thought”.
Anomie and Cultural Trauma in Anna Maria Porter’s Walsh Colville
David Owen
In this paper, I will suggest that the fundamentally unexceptional character of Porter’s seemingly anodyne work establishes it as an ideal soundbox for the concerns of the society in which it was produced. I argue that the novella reflects the moral dangers facing a society whose communal values of respect for order, stability, and tradition are being assaulted by the toxic hypermasculinity of the officer class in the military, which (by 1797) was forming an increasingly integral part of that society, creating in effect a semi-militarised state. In Walsh Colville, the counter-values of this officer class amount to what can best be termed a macho sense of competitiveness that prizes result over method. Seen in this way, I believe that this novella shows itself to merit far closer and far more sustained critical attention. In this discussion, I will refer to the notion of anomie, deviant social behaviour that arises when a part of society acts against general rules of agreed conduct. I will also refer to the concept of cultural trauma, a form of trauma that affects a group as a whole, as opposed to that which is experienced individually. I recognise that the use of these ideas, more usually considered in the context of terrible suffering, might appear trite or simply inapplicable to a sentimental novel. But I believe that their dismissal on these grounds would fail to recognise that, beneath the surface of a predictable and fairly pedestrian narrative, there lie the structures of an upright society and its respectable expectations. These expectations are being undermined by certain forms of toxic conduct and ideals that, in part, characterise a destructive and divisive officer class gradually imposing itself onto the broader “upright” society. I posit that this society can consequently be understood as undergoing a form of cultural trauma, produced by the anomie from the long-term disjunction between comportment typified by certain attitudes prevalent in the military, on the one hand, and distinct civilian values, on the other. My argument is that the events of the novella subliminally act out this trauma.
Edmund Gosse’s “Tristram Jones” (c. 1872) and the legacy of the maternal portrait
Kathy Rees
Edmund Gosse (1849–1928), Victorian man of letters and biographer, is best known today for his autobiographical work, Father and Son (1907), which describes his Plymouth Brethren childhood, the death of his mother when he was seven, and his adolescent war of attrition with his religious father, leading finally to his deconversion. The focus in this conference paper is on Gosse’s unpublished fiction, “Tristram Jones” (c.1872), a manuscript currently archived amongst Gosse’s juvenilia at Cambridge University Library, and its relationship with a “thing,” namely, a portrait of his mother, Emily Gosse (née Bowes), dated 1831. The haunting nature of this portrait emphasizes the spectral presence of his dead mother in Gosse’s youth. The portrait depicts the twenty-five-year-old Emily as an affluent woman wearing a fashionable gown (known as a Romantic-Era dress) and modish (à la Chinoise) hairstyle. The semantics of the dress contradict Emily’s history, since at the time that the portrait was painted, she was working as a governess to support her impoverished family. Gosse imports this puzzling discrepancy between appearance and reality into his novella, by dressing one of the main characters, Margaret Wilbye, in an anachronistic gown. Gosse depicts Margaret as being poised between a life of fantasy or religion as a re-imagining of his mother’s life, but poignantly leaves Margaret’s story unresolved. This piece of Gosse’s juvenilia casts new light on Father and Son, particularly in terms of our understanding of Gosse’s ambivalent relationship with his mother.
Children, dolls and imagining national history: Cockledon's History of Golland by Kathleen Buchanan Rouse 1887
Ursula Dubosarsky
This paper focusses on the surviving juvenilia of Kathleen Rouse. Born in 1879 in the prosperous farming district of Rouse Hill, now a suburb of western Sydney, Rouse lived at home most of her life until she travelled for love and met a violent death in Harbin, China in 1932. Educated by governesses, Rouse and her older sister Nina played elaborate imaginative games with their estimated 100 dolls, inventing for them a Magical Kingdom of Golland, and in 1887 at the age of eight, Kathleen wrote a history of the kingdom in a small notebook preserved by Sydney Living Museums. With particular reference to DW Winnicott’s work on children, toys and the creation of their own reality from “fragments of external reality” (Winnicott 1976), this paper will explore how Rouse’s relationship with her dolls found expression in imaginative writing which reinterpreted national history and the colonial project into a child-oriented fantasy of kings and countries, wars and conquests. The history of the kingdom of Golland was very probably influenced by Goldsmith’s History of England and makes a fascinating comparison with the Brontë children’s realm of Gondal, also inspired by real objects, in their case toy soldiers rather than dolls. Unlike the Brontës, however, Kathleen Rouse did not grow up to become a writer, and the paper will also discuss the meaning of juvenilia and how passionately dedicated writing in childhood, such as Kathleen Rouse’s, can have temporary intrinsic value in a child’s life and then be abandoned like a doll, rather than serving as an apprenticeship for adult life as a writer.

Thursday 21st July — Day Two

09:00 AM
Keynote Session
Chair:
Christine Alexander
Speaker(s):
Trevor Cairney
D.W. Harding (1937) suggested, "reading, like daydreaming and gossiping, is a means to offer or be offered symbolic representations of life". But this does not reflect a linear relationship to one's world. Early reading and writing are intertwined with children's explorations and actions, as they imagine futures and express meanings that matter. In this talk, I will explore the interrelationship of children's early experiences of literature, writing and life, as they explore their material world to construct and communicate meanings that matter.
10:00 AM
Morning Tea
10:30 AM
Session D
Session D
Chair:
Rob Breton
Things and Theatricality: James Austen’s Quest for Virtuous Drama
Lesley Peterson
The first play the Austen family put on, some time in 1782, was Thomas Francklin’s The Tragedy of Matilda. The next, staged in July 1784, was Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals. Both were produced by James (b. 13 Feb. 1765), who wrote original prologues and epilogues for both plays. The Tragedy of Matilda in fact has a happy ending, but its title announces its affiliation with Restoration tragedy; starting with The Rivals, however, the Austens produced eighteenth-century comedies only, and their productions appear to have grown gradually more elaborate, moving in time from the dining parlour to the barn. My paper will consider James Austen’s prologues and epilogues (written between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three) in terms of his engagement with, on the one hand, ancient tensions between theatrical and antitheatrical traditions and, on the other, contemporary tensions between the theatre of wit and the theatre of spectacle. For Austen, theatre in the abstract was a sign of English virtue, associated with the Restoration when “Charles, & loyalty & wit returned” (“Prologue to The Wonder” 19, l. 40). But the discourse of antitheatricality has long associated theatrical performance—theatre in the concrete, one might say—with such unvirtuous qualities as artifice, dishonesty, and deception. To understand the terms of this debate in the 1780s, we must also consider the ways in which new technologies were transforming the emphasis of the professional stage from wit to spectacle. In The Prologue to Matilda, Austen associates the concrete objects of the stage with all that should be mocked and devalued: pure, ancient theatre has been degraded by such things as the “scene gay painted” and the “canvas Palace” (8, l. 3, 5). In his prologue to The Rivals, by contrast, James constructs the theatrical past as inferior; now the things that signify theatrical artifice—the mask, the painted scene—are only metaphorical and thus innocuous. James’s prologues and epilogues document his ongoing concern with theorizing the ideal theatre: one in which the things of the stage serve their proper role. Although my focus will be on James Austen’s work, my findings contribute to research into the cultural, familial, and artistic context in which James’s sister Jane formed her own artistic values.
Wishing the Juvenilia away: Austen’s advice to Caroline
Gillian Dooley
Caroline Austen wrote in 1867 that her aunt Jane, at the end of her life, had discouraged her from writing until she was 16, and had said that she herself wished that she had waited until she was older. She advised Caroline to spend her teenage years reading, rather than writing (“My Aunt Jane Austen”, Memoir ed. Kathryn Sutherland, 174). It is likely that Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of her teenage writings, are selected from writings dating from between 1787 and 1793, the years when Austen was aged between 11 and 15 (Teenage Writings, ed. Kathryn Sutherland).
Judy Acheson in Russia and Constantinople: The Equanimity of Juvenile Travel Writing
Caroline Lieffers
Juvenile authors often come to public and scholarly attention because of their capacities to turn their quotidian experiences into something extraordinary. For twentieth-century teenage travel writer Julia (Judy) Acheson, however, life was something extraordinary: for several years she accompanied her father, head of the Near East Relief, across Turkey and the Soviet Union, and she wrote about her experiences in two books for Frederick Stokes: Judy in Constantinople (1930), and Young America Looks at Russia (1932). Despite the remarkable historical and material events to which young Judy bore witness, including the aftermath of the Armenian genocide, the rise of the socialist Soviet Union, and the reorganization of the former Ottoman Empire, her books are steady and even pleasant, recommended by reviewers for their educational merit rather than their excitement or literary qualities.
"Needlework, meet for a Maiden”–the sampler as juvenilia
Sylvia Hunt
Needlework has long been viewed as both a genteel feminine occupation and a necessary domestic skill. Girls at all levels of society learned the craft of needlework; for the leisured classes, fancy needlework would fill many of their leisure hours and demonstrate appropriate domestic and artistic skills. For the labouring classes, sewing was an essential skill both in the home and as marketable labour. For centuries, the sampler was the practice piece all girls had to complete on their road to becoming an experienced ‘mistress of the needle’. Aristocrat or labourer, the completion of a sampler which demonstrated mastery of all stitchery techniques was mandatory. Literacy in the eighteenth century was measured by a person’s ability to sign their name – to write. In the eighteenth century, roughly 25% of women were literate, based on a marriage registry study done by Owen Hufton (1998). These registries are official public documents and do not reflect the entire story of women’s literacy. I would like to look at domestic and more ephemeral sources, specifically the sampler; these creative works are often overlooked as documents. If these sorts of unofficial “documents” are used, girls’ creative and literary endeavours are more abundant that previously acknowledged.
12:30 PM
Lunch 
01:30 PM
Session E
Session E
Chair:
Trevor Cairney
H.G. Wells' Miniature War Games
Chris Danta
At a 1936 public celebration of his 70th birthday, H. G. Wells told the London gathering: “I just hate it. … I feel like a youngster at a wonderful party sitting on the floor with all my games spread out before me. When you tell me I am 70, it is as if my nurse were coming to me to say, ‘Bertie, it is getting late—time to put those toys away.’ … I don’t want to put my toys away” (New York Times 14 Oct 1936). In this paper, I ask if the young Wells’ indoor floor games directly inspired his juvenile fiction The Desert Daisy, written when he was between the ages of 12 and 13.
“Promise of great merit”—the Juvenilia of Katherine Mansfield
Susannah Fullerton
In 1898 young Kathleen Beauchamp submitted a little story called “Enna Blake” to her Wellington High School magazine. The sixth form editor was impressed and wrote a little introduction: “This story, written by one of the girls who have lately entered the school, shows promise of great merit.” A perceptive student editor! The author of “Enna Blake” went on to become renowned as Katherine Mansfield, her stories attracting international acclaim. In 1903 Kathleen sailed for England to study at Queen’s College, London for three years. In 1905 she co-edited the college magazine, and during her time there wrote five short stories for the publication, including “Die Einsam” about a distracted virgin longing for a Romantic death. She then had to sail for home, but from that time was obsessed with returning to London – she left New Zealand for good in 1908. While at Queen’s, she tried her hand at a novel – only fragments of “Juliet” survive – and continued writing short stories. “His Ideal”, “My Potplants”, “Misunderstood”, “Les Deux Étrangères” and “What You Please”all date from this time. Throughout her writing life, Mansfield set some of her finest stories in New Zealand. “About Pat”, written when she was seventeen, is set in her family’s Karori home and describes Patrick Sheehan, Irish cowman and gardener who was employed by her father. It is the first of her stories that clearly shows her distinctive style, with its precision of detail, its episodic nature and vivid characterisation achieved in very few words.
Georgette Heyer’s Imagined World
Ruth Williamson
In recent years Heyer’s novels have begun to attract appropriate critical assessment. Long dismissed as slight entertainment, their staying power, despite her death in 1974, has been remarkable: her substantial historical oeuvre has remained in print without interruption. Her work reveals an impressive power of storytelling. What were its origins? This paper will consider her first novel, The Black Moth, published in 1921––when she was only nineteen––as the product, not only of wide reading, but also of ideas absorbed and adapted from friends, events, trends and motifs encountered in her early years. This fully illustrated presentation will trace the novel’s origins in family storytelling, analyse the development of Heyer’s richly detailed imaginative canvas, and describe how it incorporated elements from childhood play, as well as literary, social and cultural sources. Significant material objects are present in The Black Moth and in two contemporary short stories she published soon afterwards. The latter sprang from the real world she lived in while she was maturing, and the former from her imagined re-creation of past eras, fully visualised in her first historical publication. Heyer’s first published short story, “A Proposal for Cicely” appeared in The Happy Mag in 1922. She would include many of this story’s components, including characters, objects and social background, in her rare contemporary fiction. Equally cogent was “The Little Lady”, published in another periodical, The Red Magazine, at the end of the same year. Its earnest tone and sentimental, quasi-mystical tropes and references are uncharacteristic of Heyer’s other work, but such features are closely linked to a favourite book, an object from her childhood reading, as well as to the world she inhabited. That story, read in her early years, has much to say about values and beliefs she retained throughout her life and career. At the same time, her fiction reflects the impact of historical events she had lived through, and the roles and reactions of real people affected by them. The presentation aims to identify connections between Heyer’s life experiences, her cultural focus, and her creative inspiration as a young writer who achieved bestselling status before she turned twenty.
"The Child is Mother of the Woman Writer": Animal Hero(ines) in the Early Juvenilia and Children’s Fiction of Margaret Atwood
Nora Foster Stovel
This paper relates Atwood’s juvenilia to her children’s fiction, focusing on her early creative composition “Annie the Ant,” her children’s books Anna’s Pet (1990), Up in the Tree, (1978), and For the Birds, as well as her adult fiction – specifically her novel Surfacing (1972) and her 2016 graphic novel Angel Catbird which features a superhero who is part cat, part bird.
03:30 PM
Afternoon Tea
04:00 PM
Session F
Session F
Chair:
Chris Danta
A child's "callous but wise" funeral for a dead canary: memory and childhood writing by the poet Elizabeth Jennings (1926–2001)
Gillian Boughton
Elizabeth Jennings (18 July 1926 – 26 October 2001) was born in Boston Lincolnshire into a prosperous, settled country environment. Her family’s move to Oxford when she was six years old was experienced by Jennings as a traumatic dislocation, and for her, a bereavement. She later published twenty seven critically acclaimed collections of poetry, including The Secret Brother and other poems for Children (1966) referencing an imaginary brother from her own childhood play (she had one sister only). The depth and significance of later references in her poetry to her childhood, primarily to the early material and emotional environment of her time in Lincolnshire suggest that in fact that world offered her an Eden like stability and its loss affected her permanently. In ‘A Bird in the House’ Jennings remembers burying yellow feathers in a cardboard egg in the garden from this period, reflecting on the ‘callous but wise’ childhood apprehension of and indifference to death, improvising a material ritual as serious play. This paper will examine some of Jennings’ unpublished childhood writing as well as referencing her allusions to childhood memory of material detail in her later published poetry and unpublished conversations.
The Picture in the Bedroom: Intramural Inspiration and the Transported Child
Peter Merchant
As the current Prestel series of “Children’s Books Inspired by Famous Artworks” continues to expand, this paper ponders the many marks that artworks either famous or unknown, and either original or reproduced, have left not just on what children read but on what they write. It seeks to measure the stimulus given to the imaginative lives of children by the types of pictures with which a child of the nineteenth or early twentieth century was most likely to be familiar—either for the simple reason that they happened to be hung in the home or, more tendentiously, because they were designed as instruments of education. Madame de Genlis had insisted that as well as affording delight pictures should always serve to instruct. The paper therefore has some general principles to propose, mindful though it must be of the difficulty of identifying test cases. Any case in respect of which documentary evidence can be recovered will ipso facto tend to be exceptional, such as the case of the Brontë children fastening in John Martin upon an artist whose imagination—in the words of Christine Alexander— “was as bizarre and uninhibited as their own.” For a response rather more local and limited, to a stimulus less strong, the paper turns to a pair of poems by Hilda Conkling (born October 1910): “Holland Song,” written “for a Dutch picture,” and “Japanese Picture.” Added to Conkling’s already considerable published output while she was still only nine, however, these too are exhilarating examples of what a very young writer can achieve. Possibly because her mother oversaw that achievement, provoking the kind of concerns—“about the extent of adult mediation in the production of youth-authored texts”—that Rachel Conrad has urged us to shelve, scholarship has still not quite given Conkling her due; but what I shall offer pleads for a deeper and more discriminating attention to be paid to her writing. The pieces that my paper examines will demonstrate, I hope, how imaginatively Conkling approaches both the poetic representation of landscape and the trope of the picture come to life.
"The entrance like a black hole cut out of the rock": Daphne du Maurier’s Material Dismantling of Social Restrictions in “East Wind,” an Early Scillonian Short Story
Beth Howell
When the young Daphne du Maurier began preparing to write her first “serious” novel, The Loving Spirit, it seems clear that she was inspired by gazing out onto the shipyard that bordered Ferryside, her family’s holiday home in Cornwall. From her window, she would have seen the ship “Jane Slade,” and its accompanying female figurehead, representing an unusually industrious businesswoman of the 1800s. Du Maurier’s impassioned research about Jane, and the resulting creation of her first challenging protagonist, Janet Coombe, has been ably examined by Helen Doe in her 2002 book Jane Slade of Polruan: The Inspiration for Daphne du Maurier’s First Novel, and her 2009 discussion of “Daphne du Maurier’s Passion for the Sea.” However, a forgotten short story by du Maurier, “East Wind,” also features a heroine named Jane, and conveys a similar sense of an adventurous itch in an environment of enforced stagnation. Set on a fictional vision of the Isles of Scilly, St Hilda’s, and written in pencil in a small notebook, this short piece has received little critical attention compared to the more extended vision of The Loving Spirit. Yet the very existence of this early snippet suggests the nub of this popular narrative had much earlier beginnings. Consequently, this paper will seek to revisit du Maurier’s use of a struggling shipyard as reflection of a doomed environment, reconstructing her lexis of material dissolution to examine the ways that “East Wind” provides an important moment of experimentation in the evolution of her writing, and her own imagined vision of Cornwall.

Friday 22nd July — Day Three

09:00 AM
Keynote Session
Chair:
Christine Alexander
Speaker(s):
Beverly Taylor
10:30 AM
Session G
Session G
Chair:
Donna Couto
The “lovers’ reunion” as an evolving motif in three Anne Brontë texts
Roslyn Jolly
I will discuss the motif of ‘the lovers’ reunion’ across three Anne Brontë texts, comparing her handling of the motif in ‘Alexander and Zenobia’ with her handling of it in Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I will invoke Bakhtin’s idea of the chronotope to discuss the way characters’ movement within time and place determines both the plotting and the emotional atmosphere of the reunion in each case. I expect to find continuities between the juvenilia and the more mature writing, as well as an evolution across the three texts.
"I wonder . . . what we shall be": Anchors to Identity in the Juvenilia and Fiction of Anne Brontë
Mandy Swann
This paper explores Anne Brontë’s representation of being. The paper focuses on her diary papers (1834–1845); the one poem specifically mentioned in them – Anne’s “fair was the evening and brightly the sun”, known now as “Alexander and Zenobia” (July 1, 1837); and her first novel Agnes Grey (1847). The poem, with its Gondal origins, dramatises the grief of young lovers parting, the loss and anxiety swathed around their journey back to each, and the bliss of their eventual reunion.
Children's Writings in Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey
Annette Harman
Children in early Victorian England were the first to experience childhood in an industrialised global power which envisaged children, not as incomplete adults but as in a state of innocence and sanctity requiring family guidance and instruction before entering adulthood. In Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey published in 1847, children are educated in the family home by parents, servants, curates and governesses for moral development, social advancement, and employment. This paper will examine what children write about in private, in notes and letters, and in lessons in these two novels.
12:00 PM
Lunch
01:00 PM
Session H
Teaching Juvenilia
Chair:
Trevor Cairney
Towards a Course of Action: Integrating Juvenilia into a Program of Study
Rob Breton
Rob Breton will explore the pedagogies of juvenilia, and different ways of teaching the literature and visual art of young people. Whether emphasizing genre, periodization, geography, continuities between a young and mature artist, editorial work, or something else, an instructor needs to make difficult decisions if teaching a course on juvenilia. Recognizing the material difficulties many scholars have in determining what they are allowed to teach, he will discuss his experiences teaching a course on juvenilia, the choices he made, what “worked” best, and what he will do differently in the future. His paper, however, will also focus on the need to develop intermittent spaces of juvenilia study as a way to bring juvenilia into an interdisciplinary curriculum, and promote it as a uniquely versatile instructional resource. In other words, the paper proposes a way to build towards a course on juvenilia in the context of integrative and synthesizing undergraduate programmes of study.
Teaching Juvenilia Journals
Juliet McMaster
Juliet McMaster, pondering the different genres among juvenilia, proposes a course devoted to the juvenile journal, including such texts as those by Marjory Fleming, Richard Doyle, Iris Vaughan, Opal Whiteley, and Anne Frank. One focus of the discussion will be the material concerns facing the diarist, who, writing to the moment, must necessarily find paper to write on (or a book to write in), materials to write with, light to write by, and a (probably secret) place to keep what's written.
Juveniles and Juvenilia: teaching gifted secondary students
Christine Alexander and Pamela Nutt
Christine Alexander and Pamela Nutt have worked for several years with small groups of gifted secondary students, introducing them to the value of literary juvenilia, providing them with experience in textual transmission, and producing volumes for the Juvenilia Press. Understanding how these students, themselves juveniles, engage with the writing of other young writers and how they develop critical insight clearly demonstrates the value of such a program. In the varying stages of research, editing and production, students engage not only with new knowledge and skills, but also with the interests of a tertiary institution accessible to them. By reflecting on how these talented juveniles respond to a particular writer, to a study of context, and to choices about representation of text, the paper will argue for the value of engaging such young people with the early writings of significant authors, while still maintaining the academic standards of the Juvenilia Press project. Our latest edition, Selected Early Poems of Felicia Hemans, will be used as an example, and the work of some of these students will be examined to evaluate the benefits of their particular involvement.
02:30 PM
Afternoon Tea
03:00 PM
Session I
Session I
Chair:
Roslyn Jolly
Creative energy and the Brontë juvenilia as vibrant artefacts
Louise Willis
Scholarship on the Brontës’ juvenilia has focused on their writing practices and influences, and its significance as an apprenticeship for mature writing. This presentation will explore the juvenilia books as biographical objects that function as a portal, revealing insights on the siblings and their Parsonage childhood. These miniature manuscripts have been described in tangible terms as “books sticky with the writer’s presence” [1]. But what signifies that human presence? How does it speak beyond the story's content? As I will explain, the aura of these three-dimensional books is not just engendered by imaginative writing, but by the testimony and vibrancy of childhood activity and material agency. The books feature both material and immaterial elements that reveal the dynamic nexus of their individual, domestic, and social worlds. Along with the acknowledged elements of reimagined global history, geography, publishing culture, and Victorian fiction, we observe other human markers: craftmanship, kinship, immaturity, imitation, imprinting, and mistakes. Together they demonstrate Bachelard’s idea of the dynamic hand that labours and symbolises the imaginative force; the hand that makes the imagination material. The Brontë juvenilia are a composite of repurposed stories, card, and paper, made with ephemeral scraps of household commodities including sugar and salt bags, wallpaper, newspaper, and music sheets [3]. They reveal a sifting ecology of ideas, innovation, and household materials, carefully crafted into the now-iconic books, complete with micrographia. Their production indicates the channelling of childhood energy away from customary disciplined domestic practices, like plain sewing, into surreptitious, creatively cut, stitched, and inscribed bricolage objects. Drawing on Bill Brown’s discussion of assemblage and re-assemblage [2], they will be considered as products of both intellectual and material craft work, that speak to us through their ironic alliance and imperfect production, as much as their writing apprenticeship properties. It is the relationship and contrast of, “the actual and the fictional between the permanent and the ephemeral” that helps convey the creator’s “sticky” presence.
“my love of geographical and tophographical knowledge continues so strong”: what Branwell Brontë’s Glass Town Federation map and saga tell us of his distrust and trust of James MacQueen’s map of the Niger
Yuri Furuno
In this paper, I would like to analyze MacQueen’s map and compare it to Branwell’s map, focusing on the flow of the Niger. The conflict between MacQueen and John Barrow, principal organizer of geographical exploration and Second Secretary to the Admiralty between 1804 and 1845, surely had an impact on the early nineteenth-century public, including Branwell. I would also like to analyze the parts of the map which most divulge Branwell’s interests in the grand Niger, “rolling to the Glass town the collected waters of Africa” [1] and show how geography was important for him to build a fictitious country in Africa and weave a story from there.
Branwell Brontë: A Place to Produce, Process and Play – The Presence of Atheism and Percy Bysshe Shelley in the Brontë Juvenilia
Julie Young
“(H)e was to me a paradox.” A study of the lesser known Brontë sibling, the literary sisters’ brother Branwell (1817–1848), reveals, this paper proposes, how his juvenilia writing was utilised to contemplate the atheism of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822). As the son of a clergyman, Branwell’s incongruous admiration of the Romantic poets is evident through a close reading of his early writing, suggesting that mediations on Shelley may intersect the Brontë brother’s multifarious, principal hero figure. When constructing his juvenilia worlds, Branwell’s access to contemporary publications likely facilitated aspects of their content. Scholars widely label Branwell – a prolific painter and aspiring poet - himself as an atheist, a pejorative credential apparently sourced from the textual characters he created, thereby evaluating Branwell’s work biographically, without consideration of peripheral, textual source. His cogitations are rather, I propose, the result of his engagement with a published Shelleyean narrative, not principally his own subjective, idiosyncratic beliefs. His writing on atheism should be contextualised as a contemplation on the published Shelley; Branwell’s fictional model offering a textual parallel to what he read, analogous with Romanticised nature yet ultimately flawed and self-destructive. Declaring his central hero a “paradox” echoes the incongruent, posthumous narratives of Shelley within publications synonymous with Branwell’s reading. Some publications praised Shelley’s talents whilst others disparaged him, all of which built a perplexing picture for readers: a man admirable for his poetic talents, yet exonerated for his impious beliefs. A textual engagement with Shelley may therefore proceed the subsequent sense of conflict within Branwell’s juvenilia: was Percy Shelley a man he could admire, or one too full of flaws? Proposing a divergent stance from autobiographical readings of Branwell’s juvenilia, a close reading indicates a textual engagement with Shelley, admiring his poetry but nonetheless struggling to counterbalance his being “totally destitute of religious constraint”. Hence the juvenilia functioned in this instance as a means of articulating the variegated appraisals – both in the press and for Branwell as an individual reader – of the published narrative of the poet Shelley.

Saturday 23rd July — ISLJ AGM

08:00 AM
ISLJ AGM