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Melodrama, Mystery, and the Nightmare of History in Jessie Fauset‘s Plum Bun
Charles Scruggs

This essay discusses how African-American novelist Jessie Fauset used the Gothic motif of a hidden history to critique the melodramatic happy ending of her best novel, one set in New York city in the 1920s. What undermines the ‘moral legibility’ of melodrama is the Gothic implications of an unsolved crime in the past, one that, ironically, continues to haunts the ‘New Negro’ of the Harlem Renaissance who claims to have reinvented him or herself in the modern city.

Gothic Studies
Pamela Gerrish Nunn

children – nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folkloric sources, early-learning material (the alphabet, simple numbers) – being widely assumed to enjoy a fundamental place in the female worker's repertoire. But, while Brickdale's apprentice work seems to accept this, notably absent from it were those other gendered staples, flowers and everything floral, and dress/fashion. This corpus of work reflects equally the influence of Studio magazine; William Morris, Burne-Jones, and Walter Crane; and the design styles most in fashion, Arts and Crafts, Pre-Raphaelitism, and Art

in Nineteenth-century women illustrators and cartoonists
New views on her manuscript ‘An Illustrated Comic Alphabet’ 1
Margo L. Beggs

John Locke and his 1693 treatise, Some Thoughts Concerning Education . Locke believed children should have access to books and toys that entertained and delighted them in order to enhance their capability to learn. A Little Book for Little Children by T. W. ( c. 1702) was a very early move in that direction. 19 English nursery rhymes arose in the oral tradition and T. W.'s book, which featured ‘A was an Archer’, was the first to put some of these rhymes into print. 20

in Nineteenth-century women illustrators and cartoonists
Queens & Kings and Other Things
Roger Sabin

’, even if they were taking the 1860s template in a new direction.) Most had some kind of didactic dimension, ranging from ABC books for younger readers, to topics involving history, geography, science and maths for school-age children. Nursery rhymes and fairy tales had their own educational function, as did adventure stories. Such publications attracted a supplementary audience of adult fans – which is to say, not just adults who bought the books for children (or read aloud to them), but adults who loved the books per se. This served to nuance

in Marie Duval
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Peter Barry

. 48–9), and that it is found in ‘nursery rhymes, weather saws and so on’ (p. 49). The essential difference between sprung rhythm and the more traditional metrical patterns we have been discussing is that whereas metrical verse has a fixed number of stresses and a fixed number of syllables, in sprung rhythm the number of syllables can vary but the number of stresses is fixed. Hopkins himself, in his Notebooks, sees sprung rhythm as the basis of nursery rhyme, as in these well known opening lines: Ding / Dong / Bell /  Pussy’s / in the / well /  Who / put him / in

in Reading poetry
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as her alter ego. The theme is reminiscent of a popular nursery rhyme of eighteenth-century England, which the Opies tell us means to straddle a toy horse: Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, To see a fine lady upon a white horse; With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, She shall have music wherever she goes. 42

in The medium of Leonora Carrington
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This is the first book-length study of one of the most significant of all British television writers, Jimmy McGovern. The book provides comprehensive coverage of all his work for television including early writing on Brookside, major documentary dramas such as Hillsborough and Sunday and more recent series such as The Street and Accused.

Whilst the book is firmly focused on McGovern’s own work, the range of his output over the period in which he has been working also provides something of an overview of the radical changes in television drama commissioning that have taken place during this time. Without compromising his deeply-held convictions McGovern has managed to adapt to an ever changing environment, often using his position as a sought-after writer to defy industry trends.

The book also challenges the notion of McGovern as an uncomplicated social realist in stylistic terms. Looking particularly at his later work, a case is made for McGovern employing a greater range of narrative approaches, albeit subtly and within boundaries that allow him to continue to write for large popular audiences.

Finally it is worth pointing to the book’s examination of McGovern’s role in recent years as a mentor to new voices, frequently acting as a creative producer on series that he part-writes and part brings through different less-experienced names.

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Essays on cinema, anthropology and documentary filmmaking

The looking machine calls for the redemption of documentary cinema, exploring the potential and promise of the genre at a time when it appears under increasing threat from reality television, historical re-enactments, designer packaging and corporate authorship. The book consists of a set of essays, each focused on a particular theme derived from the author’s own experience as a filmmaker. It provides a practice-based, critical perspective on the history of documentary, how films evoke space, time and physical sensations, questions of aesthetics, and the intellectual and emotional relationships between filmmakers and their subjects. It is especially concerned with the potential of film to broaden the base of human knowledge, distinct from its expression in written texts. Among its underlying concerns are the political and ethical implications of how films are actually made, and the constraints that may prevent filmmakers from honestly showing what they have seen. While defending the importance of the documentary idea, MacDougall urges us to consider how the form can become a ‘cinema of consciousness’ that more accurately represents the sensory and everyday aspects of human life. Building on his experience bridging anthropology and cinema, he argues that this means resisting the inherent ethnocentrism of both our own society and the societies we film.

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The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.

Der Blaue Reiter and its legacies
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This book presents new research on the histories and legacies of the German Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter, the founding force behind modernist abstraction. For the first time Der Blaue Reiter is subjected to a variety of novel inter-disciplinary perspectives, ranging from a philosophical enquiry into its language and visual perception, to analyses of its gender dynamics, its reception at different historical junctures throughout the twentieth century, and its legacies for post-colonial aesthetic practices. The volume offers a new perspective on familiar aspects of Expressionism and abstraction, taking seriously the inheritance of modernism for the twenty-first century in ways that will help to recalibrate the field of Expressionist studies for future scholarship. Der Blaue Reiter still matters, the contributors argue, because the legacies of abstraction are still being debated by artists, writers, philosophers and cultural theorists today.