Evening lecture: Novel reading as a subversion from its inception to today

18.30-19.00, Tuesday 2nd July

Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

Arriving for Conference on 2nd July? Come along and join us for short lecture on the novel and a warm welcome to Conference and Manchester!

The novel first arose in prominence in the 18th century, in a society which was growing increasingly sentimental; companionship with children and between spouses gained significance. Novel reading grew in this society in Britain.

Much could be said about the early novel, which undoubtedly intended to instruct and teach and to offer a lengthier version of the long-held human tradition of telling stories.

What is incredibly interesting about the novel is its connection to subversion – it was a ‘dangerous’ occupation for women in the early 19th Century, a chance for escape in the fin de siècle, and offers ample opportunity for us to consider subversion today.

Novel reading has, and still does, give us a channel to subvert our realities – to find comfort in characters who share our seemingly isolated troubles, to challenge our incumbent world views. These stories which encourage us to challenge current structures we disagree with and consider how to expand those within which we identify.

This short presentation will give a brief history of the early novel, noting how individuals have practiced ‘subversion’ (challenged their own and others’ understanding of the world). It will end with a few tips for keeping track of the latest literature to help accomplish just this.

An informal welcome, drinks and nibbles follow, 7-7.30pm.

Angela Platt, Librarian and Archivist, PhD student

Angela Platt is a librarian and archivist at Ibstock Place School in South West London – a position she has happily held for the past six years. In her spare time, she works part-time on her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London which covers cultural and social history in the 18th and 19th centuries. She is particularly interested in the history of reading, emotions, religion and gender/family.