Postgrad Bursary Winner Profiles: Kristina Decker

Kristina Decker is a PhD student at University College Cork. Her research looks at Mary Delany and the female experience in eighteenth-century Ireland and she will be speaking about her work at the ECIS Annual Conference on 8-9 June 2017. You can find out more about Kristina by following her on twitter.

Favourite archive:
My favourite archive would have to be the British Library. I spent a lot of time there while I was completing a MA in Eighteenth Century Studies at King’s College London. It is a fantastic place to work and the sheer expanse of their collection is amazing. Whenever I’m in London I always plan a visit.

Favourite museum, gallery or heritage site:
It’s so hard to choose! I’ve spent so many hours wandering through the British Museum. I love the Enlightenment Gallery – they even have some of Mary Delany’s original ‘paper mosaiks’ on display there! But another favourite would be the John Soane museum. I first visited it when I was a young teenager and his rather eccentric house and collection really captivated my imagination!

Most exciting place or time in the eighteenth-century:
These questions are so hard! Even though my current research focuses on Ireland, I would have to say London throughout the eighteenth-century – it was buzzing! I’d give anything to walk down the Strand during the eighteenth century.

Best online resource:
It would have to be ECCO. It’s an incredible resource. I can spend hours on there – I have to be careful not to get lost in it!

Best book of 18th century interest:
It’s a tie. I first encountered Amanda Vickery’s The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England and Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England during my master’s degree and they massively influenced the direction of my own research.

What eighteenth century figure would you most like to have a drink with?
I have to say Mary Delany! Is it possible to have a drink with her at different times of her life? I want to meet the young vivacious widow Mary Pendarves, the Mary Delany of Delville, and Mrs Delany the widowed artist. After reading her letters, I feel like I know her already. I hope that I’d measure up to her ideas of decorum and propriety and wouldn’t feature as a negative postscript in one of her letters!

What’s so great about the eighteenth century?
I don’t know where to begin! The eighteenth century was so vibrant! There’s the amazing architecture and literature. There’s the enlightenment, the birth of the novel as a literary genre, the industrial revolution, the American and French Revolutions… there was so much going on! What’s not great!? Ok… apart from poverty and disease.

What will you be talking about at the ECIS Annual Conference?
I am currently in the first year of my PhD at University College Cork. My research focuses on Mary Delany’s letters from the period that she spent in Ireland. I am particularly interested in elements relating to decorum, propriety, the home (especially gendered space), and sociability.

The paper that I will be presenting at the 2017 ECIS focuses on Mary Delany’s first trip to Ireland in 1731. Mary Delany (then Mary Pendarves) liked Ireland so much that she extended her visit from six months to eighteen months. In her letters, Mary Pendarves describes Ireland with a fresh and very detailed eye. Using these letters as a window into her experience, my paper investigates Mary’s first encounters with Ireland. Her first impressions of the country, which, apart from the odd bad dancer, were generally very positive! My paper will discuss her experience of Ireland as a female member of the elite and how she perceived Ascendancy Ireland – as a place she could easily negotiate.

 

Postgrad Bursary Winner Profiles: Yuhki Takebayashi

Yuhki Takebayashi is a PhD student at Trinity College Dublin. His research looks at historical compilations of Oliver Goldsmith and he will be speaking about his work at the ECIS Annual Conference on 8-9 June 2017

Favourite archive:
It is always a pleasure to visit and study materials in the British Library.

Favourite museum, gallery or heritage site:
I recently visited the Georgian House Museum in Bristol, which was a wonderful place to exercise one’s imagination and consider what life may have been like in the eighteenth century for an affluent merchant.

Most exciting place or time in the eighteenth-century:
I would love to have joined the company of hack writers dining with Tobias Smollett.

Best online resource:
ECCO: The range of English language materials available, and the usability of the interface is outstanding.

Best book of 18th century interest:
James Prior’s study on the life of Oliver Goldsmith has been an important source in deepening my interest in Goldsmith.

What eighteenth century figure would you most like to have a drink with?
Without a doubt, Oliver Goldsmith. Easy going, good natured, and ready to entertain, it is difficult to imagine how one could be displeased with his company.

What will you be talking about at the ECIS Annual Conference?

My research is concerned with the re-assessment and utilisation of the historical compilations of Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774). In contrast to his canonical texts, these works have fallen into a state of neglect. By fitting them into the context of eighteenth-century history writing, I am re-examining them as valuable sources that may provide an additional layer to the conceptualisation of the author and his literary endeavours.

My paper for the 2017 ECIS conference will engage with the issue of Goldsmith’s Irishness, which has been the subject of continuing scholarly interest. Specifically, I will be doing so by examining his English histories. To this extent, contemporary Irish historians and antiquarians, including Charles O’Conor, Sylvester O’Halloran, and John Curry, will be surveyed to provide a point of reference. It will be shown that Goldsmith’s histories reveal disparate thoughts and attitudes toward Ireland and the Irish that were left in interpretive abeyance. I will propose that occupying such an ambivalent position was necessary to Goldsmith’s particular situation as an Irish writer in London.

Lord Charlemont’s Mysterious Tunnels at Marino

1280px-Casino_marino

Heritage Week, now in progress, opens various little-known attractions to the public. These include a series of mysterious tunnels built by Francis Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont (1728-1799) underneath the lands in the vicinity of the Casino at Marino in Dublin. The Marino tunnels, used by the IRA for firing practice during the War of Independence, may be visited at set times (http://casinomarino.ie).

Marino House is gone and most of the parklands built over, but the exquisite neoclassical Casino and the secret tunnels remain. The Irish Times of 19 August 2016 posited a suggestion as to why Lord Charlemont had the tunnels constructed: ‘His personal physician, Dr Charles Lucas, had also written a treatise on the health-giving benefits of water, so he was probably following instructions when he built the tunnels’.

It is true that Lucas was a great believer in the medical benefits of water and bathing and wrote a three-part treatise entitled An Essay on Waters (London 1756). However, an emphasis on subterranean bathing is not evident in Lucas’s voluminous publications. Perhaps the classically-influenced Charlemont, who had visited Rome in his youth, was endeavouring to replicate the famous underground of that city, where baths, temples and other built-over constructs have survived.

Charlemont was also a prominent member of the Society of Dilettanti, whose founder, Sir Francis Dashwood, of Hellfire Club notoriety, had a series of underground caves excavated between 1748 and 1752 near High Wycombe in England (http://goo.gl/szE1AV). It is not suggested that the more sober Charlemont indulged in the subterranean devil worship and orgies with which Dashwood’s name is associated. Yet the two men clearly shared a penchant for expensive tunnel construction, the reasons for which which are not entirely clear.

This post was written by Sean Murphy who would be delighted to hear from anyone who may have ideas about the possible reasons that Charlemont had the tunnels constructed. His email address is sjbmurphy (at) eircom.net or just add a comment below.

Postgrad Bursary Winner Profiles: Alvin Chen

 

IMAG2482 (2)

Alvin Chen is a D.Phil candidate in History at Christ Church, University of Oxford. He is interested in Eighteenth-Century European intellectual history, Enlightenment intellectual history and historiography. He will be speaking about his research in this area at the ECIS Annual Conference on 10-11 June 2016

Favourite archive:
Bodleian Library, British Library, and the National Library of Scotland

Favourite museum, gallery or heritage site:
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and National Palace Museum in Taipei

Most exciting place or time in the eighteenth-century:
I would say Strand, London, in the 1760s.

Best online resource:
ECCO and EEBO

Best book of 18th century interest:
Blair Worden’s Roundhead Reputation and J.G.A. Pocock’s Barbarism and Religion, especially volumes III, IV, and V

What eighteenth century figure would you most like to have a drink with?
I haven’t really thought about this. William Strahan might be a good drinking partner. It would be interesting to learn more details about eighteenth-century publishing industry.

What will you be talking about at the ECIS Annual Conference 2016?
My D.Phil thesis is on George Berkeley’s criticism of free-thinkers’ idea of an ‘enlightened age’. At the moment I am looking at Berkeley’s responses to free-thinkers’ mathematisation of natural philosophy, and their visions of human progress in terms of moral philosophy and political economy. My paper at the Annual Conference will be about Berkeley’s reflection on the problem of social stability, and the way in which this may enrich the present discussion of the theme by historians of Enlightenment political thought.

Postgrad Bursary Winner Profiles: Ciaran McDonough

ciaranmcdonagh

Ciaran McDonough is a doctoral research scholar at NUI Galway. Her research looks at nineteenth-century Irish antiquarianism and she will be speaking about her work at the ECIS Annual Conference on 10-11 June 2016. You can find out more about Ciaran’s research by visiting her academia.edu page or by following her on twitter.

Favourite archive:
The Royal Irish Academy

Favourite museum, gallery or heritage site:
National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology

Most exciting place or time in the eighteenth-century:
Dublin in the 1780s and 1790s – such a hub of activity!

Best online resource:
Archive.org

Best book of 18th century interest:
Clare O’Halloran, Golden Ages and Barbarous Nations – a brilliant guide to eighteenth-century antiquarianism.

What eighteenth century figure would you most like to have a drink with?
Charles Vallancey. Having spent the past few years researching this fascinating character (and laughing at his ideas), I would like to see the man behind the mad ideas!

What will you be talking about at the ECIS Annual Conference 2016?
I work on nineteenth-century antiquarianism and will be discussing some of the problems I have faced in working on a definition of an ‘antiquarian’. My paper at the conference will focus on what the term meant in the eighteenth-century and what antiquarian research consisted of in this time period. I will also make reference to the discrepancies in usage between the terms ‘antiquarian’ and ‘scholar’. Did the use of these terms reflect the type of work carried out? When Charles O’Conor referred to Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh as an ‘antiquary’, did he mean that Mac Fhirbhisigh carried out different work than himself? O’Conor has subsequently been referred to as a ‘scholar’ – is this another difference? My paper will attempt to answer these questions.

Lost Shelley Poem Made Public

ECIS members may be interested in a recent article from The Guardian about a lost poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley which was made public for the first time in more than 200 years last week.

The 172-line poem, accompanied by an essay and Shelley’s notes, was written in support of the Irish journalist Peter Finnerty, who had been jailed for libelling the Anglo-Irish politician Viscount Castlereagh.

Follow this link to read the full article, ‘Lost Shelley poem execrating “rank corruption” of ruling class made public’, on The Guardian website

CFP: Dutch-Belgian Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Conference

The Dutch-Belgian Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (DBSECS) annual conference will take place in Brussels on 10-11 March 2016.

The theme of the conference will be ‘Flavours of the Eighteenth Century’. The organisers have been in touch to encourage ECIS members with an interest in the subject to consider participation.

Click on this link to download the Call for Papers, which is open until 23 November.

Limerick Early Modern Studies Forum Conference, 20-21 November 2015

The Limerick Early Modern Studies Forum will host a two-day conference on 20-21 November on the theme ‘Moments of Becoming: Transitions and Transformations in Early Modern Europe’.

The conference takes place at the University of Limerick.

Further information is available on the Forum’s website at https://emslimerick.wordpress.com/moments-of-becoming-conference/

Literary Landscape of Ireland Storymap

Literary landscape

Michelle from Ard na Sidhe Country House, in Co. Kerry has put together an interactive StoryMap called ‘A Literary Landscape of Ireland’ to celebrate all of Ireland’s most prolific writers and poets.

This StoryMap highlights many of the places that inspired the writers and poets involved, as well as the locations where the writers grew up and attended school.

The entry on Jonathan Swift might be of particular interest to ECIS blog readers.

Follow this link to view the Literary Landscape of Ireland StoryMap in a new window.

Resources: Journal•Lists

journal lists

Journal•Lists is a free subscription service that emails you historical novels, periodicals and diaries in short e-installments.

It has been designed to recapture the process of reading in installments that was a key part of the reading experience in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also offers a new way of reading diaries and letters that encourages a closer connection with their authors’ daily lives.

The first Journal•Lists goes live on 14 August with James Boswell’s Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides. If you sign up, you will receive each entry of Boswell’s diary on the anniversary of the day it was written.

Upcoming Journal•Lists will include The Spectator and Lord Byron’s Ravenna.

Go to www.journallists.wordpress.com to find out more.

Member Profiles: Philip Walsh

Philip Walsh

Philip Walsh is currently a doctoral student at UCD finishing his PhD thesis on ‘The Blakes of Ballyglunin: Catholic merchants and landowners of Galway Town and County in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’. He will be speaking at the 2015 Annual Conference in Cork.

What is your favourite museum, gallery or heritage site?
The Battle of the Boyne site does a great job of bringing history to life for all ages.

What is your favourite online resource?
Eighteenth-Century Collections Online is indispensable for anyone studying the eighteenth century.

Your favourite book/poem/painting/object of 18th century interest?
Gulliver’s Travels is a great read and has hardly dated.

What 18th century figure would you most like to have a drink with?
Meeting up with Turlough O’Carolan on some back road pub, with his tunes and undoubtedly stories, would be a fascinating experience.

What will you be talking about at the ECIS Annual Conference 2015?
Younger sons posed a challenge for the remaining Catholic landowners of Ireland in the eighteenth century, whether from a feeling of familial obligation or the cold hard reality of estate management. For the Blakes of Ballyglunin, County Galway the second son from the first two generations of the eighteenth century were given a substantial child’s portion and sent to the West Indies to make their fortune. Both did this to great effect. When these younger sons had made their fortune, they did not return to Ireland but to England, where subsequent generations were knighted and became part of the English gentry. I will be exploring the effect of this on the wider family, the financial implications and the continued links between the families in Galway, the West Indies and England.

Member Profiles: Maeve O’Dwyer

Maeve O'Dwyer

Maeve O’Dwyer is a third year Art History PhD from the University of Edinburgh interested in all things C18- especially classicism, portraiture, sculpture, the Grand Tour and ideas of identity, especially Irishness. She will be speaking at the 2015 Annual Conference in Cork. Feel free to contact her ahead of the conference on Twitter @ODwyerMaeve.

What is your favourite museum, gallery or heritage site?
That’s a tough question. I’d have to say the Vatican Museum. They have one of my favourite sculptures, the Sleeping Ariadne, and there’s always a feeling that there’s more to see around the corner.

What is your favourite online resource?
The Internet Archive, for easy access to resources digitized and uploaded by other institutions.

What is your favourite book/poem/painting/object of 18th century interest?
I’d have to say the fabulous 1774 portrait of Thomas William Coke, by Pompeo Batoni. I’d love to get to Holkham Hall to see it in person.

What 18th century figure would you most like to have a drink with?
James Caulfield, Lord Charlemont. I’d ask him about his sense of identity, his portraits, and whether he was really mugged twice on his own land because he insisted it remain open to the public.

What will you be talking about at the ECIS Annual Conference 2015?
I’ll be discussing 1750s Rome, with a focus on the visual evidence of Irishmen abroad at a time when the Grand Tour itinerary was only just beginning to be set. I’ll consider how influential the Irish were in setting the standard for imagery of Grand Tourists for decades to come, and the possibility of reading a tension between Irishness and Britishness into their portraiture.

ASECS Prize Winners 2015

Many congratulations to the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society members who have been awarded prizes by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies this year!

  • The ASECS 2014-15 Editing and Translation Fellowship award of $1,000 went to Aileen Douglas, Associate Professor of Irish literature and Director of Research at Trinity College in Dublin. She will use the prize money for travel to the Newbery Library in Chicago to work on a scholarly edition of Elizabeth Sheridan’s novel The Fairy Ring, or Emeline, A Moral Tale, first published in Dublin in 1780 and then in London in 1783. Novelist and diarist Elizabeth Sheridan was the youngest of four siblings, all of whom would, as adults, achieve varying degrees of success as writers, particularly her older brother, the dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
  • The A. C. Elias, Jr. Irish-American Research Travel Fellowship was awarded to Michael J. Griffin, University of Limerick and David O’Shaughnessy, Trinity College.
  • Finally, the Hans Turley Prize in Queer Eighteenth-Century Studies was awarded to Declan Kavanagh for his project ‘”A Motel Figure, of the Fribble Tribe”: Charles Churchill’s Poetry and the Racialization of Effeminate Discourses’.

 

 

A compact biography of Charles Lucas (1713-1771)

Print from portrait of Charles Lucas by Sir Joshua Reynolds (courtesy of Teylers Museum)
Print from portrait of Charles Lucas by Sir Joshua Reynolds (courtesy of Teylers Museum)

I have just uploaded to Academia.edu an amended version of my compact biography of Charles Lucas, the eighteenth-century Irish patriot, author and medical doctor. In contrast to figures such as Swift and Grattan, Lucas Continue reading A compact biography of Charles Lucas (1713-1771)

Pickering & Chatto Sale Opens Today

sale

Pickering and Chatto have kindly informed us that they are having a sale! 40 of their major works are now available at a discount of 40%. The sale just opened and ends on Monday, 23 February 2015.

The following titles are available while stocks last:

Website Launch: Mapping State and Society in Eighteenth-Century Ireland

Collins barracks

‘Mapping State and Society in Eighteenth-Century Ireland’ is a new free online resource currently under development at UCD. The project aims to provide a free electronic platform for research projects that are using spatial and other data in order to create online maps and further data relating to state and society Continue reading Website Launch: Mapping State and Society in Eighteenth-Century Ireland

ECIS Christmas gifts

We have been busy putting together our Christmas gifts and thought we would share out wish list of eighteenth-century-themed gifts with you. If you have any more suggestions please add them in the comments box.

ecis gift2

Want to brush up one your eighteenth century geography? Try this eighteenth-century globe.

ECISgift 6You can get Napoelon Bonaparte Continue reading ECIS Christmas gifts

The Georgian Pop Up Museum in Limerick

What was the Georgian Pop Up Museum? It was a locally produced, volunteer led and run project showcasing Limericks rich Georgian history and built heritage in one of Limericks oldest buildings (c. 1770). The project was designed, conceived and run by Dr Ursula Callaghan, Historian and Cáit Ní Cheallacháin, Conservation Architect, Continue reading The Georgian Pop Up Museum in Limerick

Eighteenth-century women at work: the Dairymaid

dairymaidI have been thinking lately about eighteenth century female jobs. While it was not unusual for women to assist their husbands in their professions, such as printing, what jobs were considered exclusively female? A large number of women would have been hired as domestic servants but men too had a place Continue reading Eighteenth-century women at work: the Dairymaid

Best of the Net: Monday 1 December 2014

bpecis

The Irish Aesthete is fast becoming my favourite built heritage blog. They posted this week on New Park estate in Co. Kilkenny and the Newport family in ‘Don’t bank on it’. You can find it here.

Coming up to Christmas we are looking forward to catching up on some reading. Just in case Continue reading Best of the Net: Monday 1 December 2014

Francis Higgins ‘The Sham Squire’

The National Library of Ireland is working to make many of its resources available online. There is an impressive range of material already available through their online catalogue. I was browsing through some images recently and came across this print of Francis Higgins (1745?-1802).

Francis Higgins Belphegor or the Devil Continue reading Francis Higgins ‘The Sham Squire’

History on twitter

imageHere at ECIS blog we are big twitter fans. The social media network is increasingly being used to promote projects, expand engagement and create impact. I wanted to share some of the historians (or twitterstorian) and projects, and institutions that I feel are good tweeters. If you have any accounts you Continue reading History on twitter