Knitting Victorian Studies

The winter I settled in to write my dissertation a couple of years ago was also the winter I took up knitting in a big way. Maybe it was the Ithaca winter, maybe knitting was an outlet for dissertation stress, or maybe it was just the pleasure of doing something tactile and tangible after sitting at a computer all day. At any rate, I kept chugging away at both the writing and my first sweater all winter long. By the time spring came, I had a scarlet sweater with a few holes in it and one arm longer than the other, and a couple of dissertation chapters that I hope cohered a little better. Continue reading “Knitting Victorian Studies”


The Work of Handwriting in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

EdisonCropWhile doing research at the British Library last fall, I came across a thoroughly fascinating pamphlet advertising Edison’s Electric Pen, known more properly as “The Edison Electric Pen and Duplicating Press, for the Rapid, Accurate, and Economical Production of all kinds of Writings, Drawings &c.” Continue reading “The Work of Handwriting in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”

The Child is the Father of the Man

Merciful heavens- I haven’t posted in ages. Like Bob Cratchit, “I am behind my time,” like Ebenezer Scrooge, I’ve reformed and promise to be as good a friend as this good old blog has ever known.

Of late I’ve been thinking about how to treat willful lies in an autobiography. As the Toronto contingent of the Floating Academy has likely heard far too often, I’m working with the promotional materials of Eugen Sandow, the Prussian body builder. Continue reading “The Child is the Father of the Man”