Jasmine Jagger,co-editor with Matthew Bevis of the Knowing Edward Lear Project, and curator of the Learical Tennyson online exhibition, informs me that there will be a special issue of Victorian Poetry devoted to Edward Lear in 2020. Here is the CFP:
CFP: Special issue of ‘Victorian Poetry’: ‘New Work on Edward Lear’
The guest editors, Jasmine Jagger and Benjamin Westwood, are seeking submissions for a special issue of ‘Victorian Poetry’ devoted to new work on Edward Lear, which will appear in summer 2020.
Lear studies is in the middle of a lively and substantive revival, following a steady sequence of publications on diverse aspects of his work – even in the last two years. The first collection of essays dedicated to Lear’s poetry (‘Edward Lear and the Play of Poetry’, co-edited by James Williams and Matthew Bevis) appeared with OUP in 2016. A major study of his natural history (Robert McCracken Peck, ‘The Natural History of Edward Lear’) was published in the same year. And, in 2017, Jenny Uglow’s major new biography appeared with Faber (‘Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense’). There is, at the moment, considerable and renewed critical interest in Lear as a poet and artist in his own right. This is also evident in a number of recent articles and doctoral dissertations, as well as forthcoming monographs and essay collections.
The editors are particularly keen to solicit submissions regarding:
Lear and affect
Lear’s visual art
Lear’s travel writing
Lear and other writers
Essays should be 5,000 words in length, and should follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. Please send abstracts only, of around 250 words, by 16 September 2018. The final deadline for essays will be September 2019. All submissions and enquiries should be directed to benjamin.westwood (at) ell (dot) ox (dot) ac (dot) uk and jasmine.jagger (at) ell (dot) ox (dot) ac (dot) uk.
In other news: The New York Review of Books for 7 June has a long review by Kathryn Hughes of Jenny Uglow’s Mr Lear; unfortunately, you will need to be subscribed to read it.
One can only rejoice at the “lively and substantive revival” of Lear studies. What I’ve taken in of these is solid and serious. I refuse to ask myself the crude question whether they might be too serious for the subject. But it would be interesting to speculate on why in the Third Millennium we are so interested in Edward Lear? It can’t simply be because politically correct research subjects in the humanities are becoming more difficult to find?