Wednesday 17th January, 2018
Dr Williams's Library Lecture Series
The Lecture Hall, Dr Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0AR
“A struggle on behalf of freedom”: William Gaskell, The Unitarian Herald and the Victorian Politics of Print'.
Abstract: The Unitarian Herald is a masterful example of nineteenth-century periodical journalism, of which a rare, complete physical copy forms a centerpiece of the Dr. Williams’s Library. Largely overlooked by literary historians, the newspaper was the brainchild of William Gaskell, husband of famed novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, and other dissenting ministers of the era. This seminar locates the newspaper in three key contexts to examine its wider significance to Victorian art, culture and politics. It situates the Unitarian Herald alongside the popular genres of periodical writing, and especially newspapers, that saturated the print marketplace in nineteenth-century Britain. It explores the newspaper’s efforts to reconceive principles of social justice, civil rights and civic responsibility in relation to the ongoing development of the British nation-state and the dissenting traditions that shaped it. Finally, the seminar will examine William Gaskell’s contributions to the newspaper as a writer and editor in the context of his and Elizabeth Gaskell’s larger, if distinctive, bodies of writing.
Dr Maeve Adams
Dr Maeve Adams
Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York