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Dear friends,

A list for me to check off: 18th century and Austen work:


Gainsborough's Mrs Siddons: keeping up her face, making his career as he helps gives her respectability

A review of Nussbaum's Rival Queens
A review of The Cambridge Ed of the Later Manuscripts of JA, edd Todd and Bree
"Bad Tuesdays in Jane Austen"

Then the order of the following depends on whether I have a job, whether any get accepted as papers at conferences:

Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me:  Shame & Persecution in Sophie Cottin's Amelie Mansfield
The Outsider and the Disabled in the Later Poldark Novels
Post-feminism in Radcliffe and Austen
Charlotte Smith: The French Connection


Elizabeth (Elizabeth Garvery) and Mrs Gardiner (Barbara Shelley) talking, 1979 P&P by Fay Weldon

Book project:  A Place of Refuge: The Austen Films

& yes I agreed to another review, for next year:

A review of Susan Staves's A Literary History of Women's Writing in Britain, 1660-1789

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Website: gather in one place 1) all foremother poet postings & blogs; 2) all Winston Graham blogs; 3) fix broken links in Austen pages

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Trollope and Victorian work:


The Duchess of Omnium (Susan Hampshire) and Mrs Finn (Barbara Murray), the two friends, 10:20 (Pallisers)

About two years ago I wrote a fine paper on film adaptations of Trollope; I was asked to do it in six weeks by Abigail Burnham Bloom and took my whole winter holiday for it (instead of working on my book at the time, A Place of Refuge).  When I first finished it, she praised it strongly, but then a week or so later, she turned around and said it would not do. I had not only savagely to cut it down, but change its whole thrust: it was not to be about Trollope but film theories  and the kinds of changes demanded seemed to me to require not only that I spend weeks more but write in a way that is anathema to me and I just cannot do.  Her tone too changed: she became rude, abrupt, and belligerent.  This was her technique I suppose for forcing me. 

(I've seen this tone in phone calls from people asking me for money from PBS; from people in the Nation when I've renewed my subscription and they are attempting to get me to donate more. I don't understand this bullying: who responds to it? Not I.) 

At first I refused, and then I just turned away. She and her sidekick proceeded to ruin my paper; they wrote cant for the opening paragraphs, rearranged the paper and cant for the conclusion. I've just sent away to interlibrary loan for a copy of this super-expensive book (since I was not sent any courtesy copy), Victoran Literature and Film Adaptation, and when it arrives, I have a hunch I will find it's so changed, that I can send my original paper to Literature/Film Quarterly.


G. H. Thomas, "Lily wishes that they might swear to be sister and brother" Last Chronicle of Barset

Of course I have now made no friend at the National or Local Victorian associations, and it was no surprise to me, my paper proposal for some original work on Trollope was refused. What to do about this paper I don't know. I could still try to go to a  Sharp conference and deliver it. But it is such work and so outside my 18th century interests. Each time I've tried to do something at one of the Victorian sites or with Victorian associations, I have been treated as an outsider, excluded (from for example, The Politics of Gender in Anthony Trollope's Novels where I did all humanly possible to join in in the ways wanted, went at great expense to Exeter for a Trollope conference and was treated as a "guest" who had deigned to come, told I looked like someone ready for a garden party. Bitch woman, well I certainly didn't give her paper any slack when I wrote a review I did get published in a respectable Victorian journal) 

I have more or less decided the reactionary snobbish politics of these associations will make it impossible for me ever to add to my book in the conventional publishing or paper deliver at a conference way.


An Illustration for Gaskell's Ruth

I had a very good idea for a paper on disabled characters in Gaskell and discovered that on Victoria the attitudes towards disabled people were as retrograde as anything in the Victorian period, and given the amount of work it'd take and what I have found to be true about these organizations as a whole, it's on a very bad burner. Really for this sort of thing my blogs exist. Not quite a year of reading Gaskell But it does hurt.

Not that I have the time.

Sylvia

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