John Martin and the Theatre of Subversion
Max Adams was born in London in 1961 and after more than twenty years as an archaeologist turned to writing. His first major biography, published in 2005, aimed to rescue the reputation of a neglected naval hero, Admiral Collingwood (Weidenfeld 2004). His group biography of artist John Martin’s circle, The Prometheans was published in 2009 and was a Guardian Book of the Week. Max’s third neglected-Geordie biography, just completed, is a life of the first Englishman of whom one could write a biography: Oswald, the Dark Age Northumbrian king and saint. Max is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Newcastle. His website: www.theambulist.co.uk/Noga Arikha
As a Lute out of Tune: Robert Burton’s Melancholy
Noga Arikha is a historian of ideas who endeavours to bridge the divide between sciences and the arts & humanities, especially with regard to our minds and bodies. She was raised an anglophone in Paris, and lived in London and New York before returning in 2011 to her native city, where she is Chair of Critical Studies at Paris College of Art. She told the story of how humoural theory sustained medicine and psychology for 2500 years in her Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2007), a Washington Post best book of 2007. She has also co-authored with her husband Marcello Simonetta Napoleon and the Rebel: A Story of Brotherhood, Passion, and Power (Palgrave, 2011). She received a PhD from the Warburg Institute in 2001, was a Fellow at the Italian Academy of Advanced Studies at Columbia University, and has taught at Bard College and at the Bard Graduate Center, NY. Her website: www.nogaarikha.com.Julian Barnes
An Unlikely Lunch: When Maupassant met Swinburne
Julian Barnes is the author of three books of stories, books of essays, a translation of Alphonse Daudet’s In the Land of Pain, and numerous novels, including Metroland published in 1980. His recent publications include Pulse, a collection of short stories, and The Sense of an Ending, winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize. In France, he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis and the Prix Fémina, and in 2004 he became a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In England his honors include the Somerset Maugham Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. He has also received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the San Clemente literary prize. In 2011 he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature. Awarded biennially, the prize honours a lifetime’s achievement in literature for a writer in the English language who is a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland.Philipp Blom
A Dangerous Man in the Pantheon
Philipp Blom was born in Hamburg and trained as a historian in Vienna and Oxford. His historical works include To Have and To Hold, a history of collectors and collecting, Encyclopédie, a history of the Encyclopaedia by Diderot and d’Alembert that sparked the Enlightenment in France, and The Vertigo Years, a cultural history of the era 1900 to 1914 in Europe and the United States. He frequently contributes articles to the Financial Times, the Independent, and the Guardian among others. A host of cultural programming on Austrian National Radio, he lives in Vienna.Leon Botstein
What Makes Franz List Still Important?
Leon Botstein is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He is founder and coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival, which celebrates its 22nd season this year at Bard College, the institution he has served as president since 1975. He is the editor of The Musical Quarterly and the author of many articles and books. For his contributions to music he has received the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art. He is a recipient of the Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award and a member of the American Philosophical Society.Benjamin Breen
Painting the New World
Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia
Benjamin Breen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. He is executive editor of The Appendix, a journal of experimental and narrative history, and is writing a book about the history of drugs in the 17th and 18th centuries.Raphael Calel
The Founding Fathers v. The Climate Change Skeptics
Dr. Raphael Calel is a Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. His research has looked at the history of climate change politics, the effects of current policies, and how climate forecasts can be used to inform future action. More information and links to his other writings are available from his personal website.William C. Carter
Lost in Translation: Proust and Scott Moncrieff
William C. Carter is distinguished Professor Emeritus of French at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His biography Marcel Proust: A Life was selected as a “Notable Book of 2000″ by The New York Times. His new annotated edition of Scott Moncrieff’s translation of Swann’s Way is now available from Yale University Press and in bookstores. Carter’s website is Proust-ink.com.Robert C. Davis
Slavery in North Africa – the Famous Story of Captain James Riley.
Robert C. Davis is a professor of Italian Renaissance and pre-modern Mediterranean history at Ohio State University. He has appeared in a number of television documentaries, on shipbuilding, Carnival, and the Mediterranean slave trade, in addition to authoring numerous books including Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800 in 2004Ray Davis
Tales from Tahiti.
Ray Davis is an occasional essayist who publishes his own work at
Time and Place: Eric Ravilious (1903-1942)
The Tale of Beatrix Potter
Frank Delaney, writer and broadcaster, lives in the United States, where he deconstructs Ulysses in brief weekly podcasts on his website: www.frankdelaney.com.Colin Dickey
The Redemption of Saint Anthony.
Colin Dickey is the author of Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius, and Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith. He is the co-editor (with Nicole Antebi & Robby Herbst) of Failure! Experiments in Social and Aesthetic Practices. More information can be found at: www.colindickey.com.Dr Mario A. Di Gregorio
Ernst Haeckel and the Unity of Culture.
Dr Mario A. Di Gregorio is Professor of the History of Science at the University of L’Aquila, Italy, and Visiting Academic at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His main publications include: T.H.Huxley’s Place in Natural History, New Haven-London: Yale University Press 1984; Charles Darwin’s Marginalia (with N.W. Gill), vol.1, New York: Garland 1990; and From Here to Eternity. Ernst Haeckel and Scientific Faith, Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht 2005.Scott Donaldson
A Few Words about F. Scott Fitzgerald.
One of America’s leading literary biographers, Scott Donaldson has written eight books about 20th century American authors. These include Poet in America: Winfield Townley Scott (1972), By Force of Will: The Life and Art of Ernest Hemingway (1977), Fool for Love, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1983), John Cheever: A Biography (1988), Archibald MacLeish: An American Life (1992), winner of the 1993 Ambassador Book Award for biography, Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald: The Rise and Fall of a Literary Friendship (1999), Edwin Arlington Robinson: A Poet’s Life (2007), named the best biography of the year by Contemporary Poetry Forum, and Fitzgerald and Hemingway: Works and Days (2009). The present article is excerpted from the preface to a new paperback edition of his Fool for Love: F. Scott Fitzgerald from the University of Minnesota Press.Nadja Durbach
Re-examining the ‘Elephant Man’.
Nadja Durbach was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Canada. She completed her BA (Hons.) in 1993 at the University of British Columbia and her PhD at Johns Hopkins University in 2000. She is currently Professor of History at the University of Utah. She is the author of two books: Bodily Matters: The Anti-Vaccination Movement in England, 1853–1907 and Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture. She is currently working on a book about the politics of food in Modern Britain.Edward Duyker
Labillardière and his Relation.
Edward Duyker is the author of Citizen Labillardière: A Naturalist’s Life in Revolution and Exploration (1755-1834), Miegunyah/Melbourne University Publishing, Melbourne, 2003. This biography won the New South Wales Premier’s General History Prize in 2004. He is Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Australian Catholic University, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of French Studies, University of Sydney. In 2007 he was elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.Stassa Edwards
The Naturalist and the Neurologist: On Charles Darwin and James Crichton-Browne.
Stassa Edwards is a writer in the Deep South. She can be reached on TwitterMichael Erard
The Polyglot of Bologna.
Author and linguist Michael Erard is the author of Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners. Website: http://www.babelnomore.com.Patricia Fara
Joseph Banks: Portraits of a Placid Elephant.
Patricia Fara lectures in the History and Philosophy of Science department at Cambridge University, where she is the Senior Tutor of Clare College. Her major research specialities are science in eighteenth-century England and scientific imagery, but she also writes and lectures on topics related to women in science. A regular contributor to popular journals as well as radio and TV, she has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science, including Newton: The Making of Genius (2002), Sex, Botany and Empire (2003) and Pandora’s Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004). Her Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009) is being translated into nine languages and was awarded the Dingle Prize by the British Society for the History of Science. Her most recent book is The Ingenious Doctor Darwin: Sex, Science and Serendipity (2012).Kathy E. Ferguson
Emma Goldman’s “Anarchism Without Adjectives”.
Kathy E. Ferguson is Professor in Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Hawai`i and author of a forthcoming book on Goldman titled Emma Goldman: Political Thinking in the Streets (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2011).Peter Fitting
Stories of a Hollow Earth.
Peter Fitting is professor emeritus of French and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. His work has focused primarily on utopian fiction and on 20th century science fiction. In 2004 he published Subterranean Worlds: A Critical Anthology (Wesleyan UP). For more information on these topics and samples of his work see: The Society for Utopian Studies and Science Fiction Studies.Michael A. Flannery
Alfred Russel Wallace: a Heretic’s Heretic .
Michael A. Flannery is Professor and Associate Director for Historical Collections at the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He holds an MLS from the University of Kentucky and an MA in history from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He served as consultant for the website http://www.alfredwallace.org/. His research on Wallace continues.Julie Gardham
The Mysteries of Nature and Art.
Julie Gardham is Senior Assistant Librarian at Special Collections in the University of Glasgow Library. She regularly blogs on her work with rare books and manuscripts: see the Special Collections website.Brian Garret
The Life and Work of Nehemiah Grew.
Brian Jonathan Garrett is professor of philosophy at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. Selected publications include: “What the history of vitalism teaches us about the Hard problem of consciousness” Philosophy and phenomenological research 2006, “Teleology and Vitalism in the Natural Philosophy of Nehemiah Grew” British Journal for the History of Science 2003 and “Santayana’s Treatment of teleology” Bulletin of the Santayana Society 2010. His research combines history of biology and contemporary metaphysics. In particular, he researches how the history of evolution, vitalism and teleology bears on puzzles concerning mental causation, determinism and free will.Terry Gifford
John Muir’s Literary Science.
Terry Gifford is Professor of English at Bath Spa University and University of Alicante. The article is an adapted extract from Chapter 3 of his book Reconnecting with John Muir: Essays in Post-Pastoral Practice (2006). It also features material in his John Muir: The Life and Letters and Other Writings (1996).John Glassie
John Glassie is a former contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine, and has written for The Believer, The New York Times, Salon, and Wired, among other publications. This essay was adapted from his biography of Athanasius Kircher, A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change , which is being published by Riverhead Books on Nov. 8th.Andrew Glazzard
Inside the Empty House: Sherlock Holmes, For King and Country.
Andrew Glazzard recently completed a doctorate in English literature at the University of London. He has written on Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and is currently writing a book on Conrad and popular fiction.Matthew Goodman
Elizabeth Bisland’s Race Around the World.
Matthew Goodman is the author of the narrative histories Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World (2013) and The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York (2008). He can be contacted at his website.Dr Matthew Green
The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse.
Dr Matthew Green graduated from Oxford University in 2011 with a PhD in the impact of the mass media in 18th-century London. He works as a writer, broadcaster, freelance journalist, and lecturer. He is the co-founder of Unreal City Audio, which produces immersive, critically-acclaimed tours of London as live events and audio downloads. His limited edition hand-sewn pamphlet, The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse, published by Idler Books, is on sale now: http://unrealcityaudio.co.uk/shop/Michiel van Groesen
1592: Coining Columbus.
Michiel van Groesen is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Amsterdam, where he specializes in early modern Atlantic history and the history of news. He is the author of The Representations of the Overseas World in the De Bry Collection of Voyages, 1590-1634 (Brill 2008; pbk 2012), and editor of the forthcoming volume The Legacy of Dutch Brazil (Cambridge UP). In 2013, he was the Queen Wilhelmina Visiting Professor at Columbia University in New York.Richard Hamblyn
The Krakatoa Sunsets.
Richard Hamblyn’s books include The Invention of Clouds , which won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; Terra: Tales of the Earth (2009), a study of natural disasters; and The Art of Science (2011), an anthology of readable science writing from the Babylonians to the Higgs Boson. He is a lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London.David C. Hanrahan
The Assassination of the Prime Minister, Spencer Perceval.
David C. Hanrahan is the author of The Assassination of the Prime Minister: John Bellingham and the Murder of Spencer Perceval (The History Press, 2008). His other books include: Colonel Blood: The Man Who Stole the Crown Jewels (The History Press 2003); Charles II and the Duke of Buckingham (The History Press 2006); The First Great Train Robbery (Robert Hale, 2011).Keith C. Heidorn
The Snowflake Man of Vermont.
Keith C. Heidorn, PhD has nearly forty years of experience in meteorology, climatology, air quality assessment, and education. Currently, enjoying semi-retirement in the Canadian Rockies, he continues to write The Weather Doctor internet site. The site, now beginning its fourteenth year, celebrates the beauty of weather through science and art. Dr Heidorn is author of three books: The BC Weather Book: From the Sunshine Coast to Storm Mountain, published in 2004, And Now…The Weather, released in July 2005, and The Field Guide to Natural Phenomena, coauthored with Ian Whitelaw, released in 2010. When not writing about the weather, Keith can be found painting weather and other landscapes using oil, acrylics and watercolors.Eugenia Herbert
Julia Margaret Cameron in Ceylon: Idylls of Freshwater vs. Idylls of Rathoongodde.
Eugenia Herbert is Professor Emeritus of History at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of books on American, European and African History, including Twilight on the Zambezi: Late Colonialism in Central Africa. She is the author of Flora’s Empire: British Gardens in India.Steven Howe
The Tragedy of Fate and the Tragedy of Culture: Heinrich von Kleist’s The Schroffenstein Family.
Steven Howe is Associate Research Fellow in the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter. He is currently working, together with Ricarda Schmidt (Exeter) and Sean Allan (Warwick), on a large-scale, AHRC-funded project – timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the author’s death – exploring discourses of education and violence in the works of Heinrich von Kleist (Kleist, Education and Violence: The Transformation of Ethics and Aesthetics). He has previously written a full-length study on Kleist’s engagement with the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and published further articles regarding the representation of violence in Kleist’s texts, and on aspects of their popular and critical reception.Richard Howells
The Unsinkable Myth.
Richard Howells is a cultural sociologist at King’s College, London. He combines a background in the humanities (Visual Studies at Harvard) and the social sciences (Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge). In 2004 he was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University in the USA. He specialises in visual and popular culture, combining theory and practice to explore case studies as seemingly diverse as the Titanic and the humour of Ali G. He has additionally published on subjects including party election broadcasts, the ontology of the celebrity photographic image, and the life and work of Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince. His books The Myth of the Titanic and Visual Culture are now in their second editions, and a volume on controversies in the arts will be out later this year in collaboration with his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon.Nicholas Humphrey
Bugs and Beasts Before the Law.
Nicholas Humphrey is a theoretical psychologist, based in Cambridge, who is known for his work on the evolution of human intelligence and consciousness. His interests are wide ranging. He studied mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey in Rwanda, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of “blindsight” after brain damage in monkeys, he proposed the celebrated theory of the “social function of intellect, and he is the only scientist ever to edit the literary journal Granta. His many books include Consciousness Regained, A History of the Mind, Leaps of Faith, The Mind Made Flesh and most recently Soul Dust. He has been the recipient of several honours, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the Pufendorf medal and the British Psychological Society’s book award.Robin Jarvis
Still Booking on De Quincey’s Mail-Coach.
Robin Jarvis is Professor of English Literature at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His many books and articles on Romantic literature include Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel (Macmillan, 1997), The Romantic Period: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature, 1789-1830 (Pearson, 2004), and Romantic Readers and Transatlantic Travel (Ashgate, 2012).Mike Jay
Darkness Over All: John Robison and the Birth of the Illuminati Conspiracy.
“O, Excellent Air Bag”: Humphry Davy and Nitrous Oxide.
Illustrations of Madness: James Tilly Matthews and the Air Loom
Mike Jay has written extensively on scientific and medical history and is a specialist in the study of drugs. His books include A Visionary Madness: The Case of James Tilly Matthews and the Influencing Machine and High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in History and Culture.Nicholas Jeeves
The Serious and the Smirk: The Smile in Portraiture.
Nicholas Jeeves is an artist, writer and lecturer at Cambridge School of Art.Rebecca Jenkins
The First Olympic Protest.
Rebecca Jenkins is a cultural historian, lecturer, novelist and biographer. She is a member of the International Society of Olympic Historians, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Historical Writers’ Association. See contemporary pictures and more about the 1st London Olympics of 1908 at her websiteChristine Jones
Mother Goose’s French Birth (1697) and British Afterlife (1729)
When Chocolate was Medicine: Colmenero, Wadsworth and Dufour
Christine A. Jones is associate professor of French and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Utah. A specialist of early-modern genres and trades, she is the author of Shapely Bodies: The Image of Porcelain in Eighteenth-Century France (University of Delaware, 2013) and currently researching the early European print reception of chocolate, coffee, and tea.Max Jones
Dr Max Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Manchester. He is the author of The Last Great Quest: Captain Scott’s Antarctic Sacrifice (Oxford UP, 2003) and the editor of Journals: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition (Oxford World’s Classics) (Oxford UP, 2005). Max has been invited to lecture on Scott to audiences in Los Angeles, Milan and Tasmania. He is currently working on a new book on the rise and fall of national heroes over the last 250 years.Mark David Kaufman
Robert Baden-Powell’s Entomological Intrigues
Ignorant Armies: Private Snafu Goes to War
Mark David Kaufman received his Ph.D. in English literature from Tufts University. He has published critical essays in Hypermedia Joyce Studies and Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly. Currently, he is at work on a book project, tentatively titled Secret States: Modernism, Espionage, and the Official Secrets Act. For more information, please visit his website: www.markdavidkaufman.com.Frank Key
Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno
Dog Stories from The Spectator.
Frank Key is a writer and broadcaster best known for his self-published short-story collections and his long-running radio series Hooting Yard on the Air, which has been broadcast weekly on Resonance FM since April 2004.Luuc Kooijmans
Frederik Ruysch: The Artist of Death.
Luuc Kooijmans is a Dutch historian and author of Death Defied: The Anatomy Lessons of Frederik Ruysch (Brill, 2011). In 2004 he was awarded the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Humanities Prize for his oeuvre, and in 2008 he received the Great History Prize for Dangerous Knowledge: Insight and Fear in the Days of Jan Swammerdam (Bert Bakker, 2007).Monique Kornell
Accuracy and Elegance in Cheselden’s Osteographia (1733).
Monique Kornell (Ph.D. Warburg Institute) is an independent scholar of anatomical illustration and of the study of anatomy by artists. She has written on works from the 16th to the 19th centuries and has previously published on Cheselden’s Osteographia in the catalogue to the exhibition she co-curated, The Ingenious Machine of Nature: Four Centuries of Art and Anatomy, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1996, pp. 190-193.Christopher Klein
John L. Sullivan Fights America.
Christopher Klein is the author of Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero (2013, Lyons Press). A frequent contributor to History.com and the Boston Globe, he is also the author of Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands (2008) and The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston (2009). For links to more of his works, please visit his website: www.christopherklein.com.Jonathan Lamb
The Implacability of Things.
Jonathan Lamb is the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of the Humanities at Vanderbilt University, currently on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Britain where he is writing a book titled Scurvy: The Disease of Discovery. His most recent books are The Things Things Say, published last year by Princeton University Press, and The Evolution of Sympathy, (Pickering and Chatto, 2009).Elliot Lewis
Translation of Maupassant’s “L’Anglais d’Etretat”.
Elliot Lewis is a graduate of the University of Cambridge where he studied Architecture and History of Art, specialising in Surrealism, particularly the writings of Georges Bataille. Previous to that he pursued studies in French at the University of London. He currently lives in Paris, making a living as a translator.Richard Lines
The Erotic Dreams of Emanuel Swedenborg.
Richard Lines is the Secretary of the Swedenborg Society. He is the author of A History of the Swedenborg Society 1810-2010 (2012) and of numerous articles on Swedenborg, his influence on 19th century literature and on early Swedenborgians, including articles published on the Bloomsbury Project website. He has given papers at academic conferences at the universities of Oxford and York, University College London and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. He lives in London.Richard Lines
The Erotic Dreams of Emanuel Swedenborg.
Richard Lines is the Secretary of the Swedenborg Society. He is the author of A History of the Swedenborg Society 1810-2010 (2012) and of numerous articles on Swedenborg, his influence on 19th century literature and on early Swedenborgians, including articles published on the Bloomsbury Project website. He has given papers at academic conferences at the universities of Oxford and York, University College London and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. He lives in London.Bess Lovejoy
Julia Pastrana: A “Monster to the Whole World”
Bess Lovejoy is the author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses, which Amazon named one of the best books of 2013. She writes frequently about the darker corners of history, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Smithsonian, Lapham’s Quarterly, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.Peter Lovesey
Conan Doyle’s Olympic Crusade.
Peter Lovesey is a novelist, best known as creator of the Victorian cop, ‘Cribb’, and one of Britain’s leading athletics historians, author of The Official Centenary History Of The Amateur Athletic Association (1979). His website: peterlovesey.com.Andrew McConnell Stott
The Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi.
The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire.
Andrew McConnell Stott is the author of Comedy (Routledge, 2005; 2nd edn, 2014) and The Pantomime Life of Joseph Grimaldi (Canongate, 2009), which won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize for Non-Fiction and was named as one of the Guardian’s “Books of the Year” for 2010. In 2013 he published The Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature’s Greatest Monsters (Canongate/Pegasus 2013), which was a best book pick of 2013 for both The Big Issue and The Sunday Times.Charles McNamara
In the Image of God: John Comenius and the First Children’s Picture Book.
Charles McNamara is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics at Columbia University. His main research traces the history of certainty, both in its ancient origins and in its early modern applications to legal thought. In addition to his work at Columbia, he also teaches in Rome with the Paideia Institute, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the study and appreciation of the classical humanities. More information can be found at his website: http://charlesmcnamara.com.Marion Meade
In Hollywood with Nathanael West.
Marion Meade is the author of Lonelyhearts; The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). She has also written biographies of Dorothy Parker, Woody Allen, Buster Keaton, and Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as two novels about medieval France.Ben Merriman
Piracy at the Old Bailey.
Ben Merriman is a doctoral candidate in Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago and fiction editor at Chicago Review. Ben’s essays have appeared in n+1, Threepenny Review, Democracy, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other magazines.Carl Miller
The Strangely Troubled Life of Digby Mackworth Dolben.
Carl Miller is a harmless North American collector of second-rate books. He is currently at work on The Sweetest Taboo, an anthology of purple prose.Richard Millington
Wild Heart Turning White: Georg Trakl and Cocaine.
Richard Millington teaches German language and literature at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. His research interests include literary Expressionism, the association between literature and psychoactive substances, and the literature of late-Habsburg and interwar Austria, all three of which converge in the figure of Georg Trakl. The present article draws on material from his 2012 book Snow from Broken Eyes: Cocaine in the Lives and Works of Three Expressionist Poets. He is currently working on a critical commentary of Trakl’s poetry.Brian Murray
Henry Morton Stanley and the Pygmies of “Darkest Africa” .
Brian H. Murray is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge. He was previously Teaching Fellow in Victorian Literature at King’s College London and facilitator of the international research network Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World, 1851-1914. He is currently co-editing a new edition of H.M. Stanley’s In Darkest Africa.Joseph Nigg
Olaus Magnus’s Sea Serpent.
Since publication of The Book of Gryphons in 1982, Joseph (Joe) Nigg has explored the rich cultural lives of mythical creatures in a variety of styles and formats for readers of all ages. Sea Monsters: The Lore and Legacy of Olaus Magnus’s Marine Map was published in 2013 by Ivy Press in the United Kingdom and as Sea Monsters: A Voyage Around the World’s Most Beguiling Map by the University of Chicago Press in the United States.Arika Okrent
Trüth, Beaüty, and Volapük.
Arika Okrent is a linguist and the author of In the Land of Invented Languages , named one of the best books of 2009 by the San Francisco Chronicle. In the name of research, she eavesdropped on Esperanto, kibitzed in Klingon, and translated a line of Borges into the 17th Century philosophical language of John Wilkins.Aaron Parrett
Lucian’s Trips to the Moon.
Dr. Aaron Parrett is a writer and professor at the University Of Great Falls in Montana. He has published widely in various fields, including History, Science Fiction, Philosophy, and Literature. He is the author of The Translunar Narrative in the Western Tradition (Ashgate 2004).Robert Poole
The Lancashire Witches 1612-2012.
Robert Poole is the author of The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster (Carnegie, £7.95), and the editor of The Lancashire witches: Histories and Stories (Manchester UP, £14.99).John Potter
Almost as Good as Presley: Caruso the Pop Idol.
John Potter is the author of Tenor: History of a Voice (Yale University Press 2009 & 2010). His latest book, A History of Singing, jointly written with ethnomusicologist Neil Sorrell, is published this month by Cambridge University Press. A former member of the Hilliard Ensemble, he records for ECM (the Dowland Project) and Hyperion (Red Byrd and the Conductus Project), with new releases on both labels later this year.George Prochnik
American Kaleidoscope: Morton Prince and the Boston Revolution in Psychotherapy.
George Prochnik is a New York-based writer. His most recent book is In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise (Doubleday, 2010). Prior to that, he wrote Putnam Camp: James Jackson Putnam & the Purpose of American Psychology (Other Press, 2006), a New York Times “Editor’s Pick.” A regular contributor to Cabinet magazine, he is currently at work on a book about early 20th Century case histories involving madness, murder, freaks and elephants.Alicia Puglionesi
Proving it: The American Provers’ Union documents certain ill effects.
Alicia Puglionesi holds a B.A. in English and Cognitive Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked on the history of popular knowledge, subscription publishing, and contraceptive douching in nineteenth-century America. Her current research centers on the modern sciences of mind and brain, including the role of knowledge production, popularization, image, and memory. She is interested in the questions of belief and doubt, orthodoxy and marginality that constitute the field of late-nineteenth-century psychical research.Anca Pusca
Neanderthals in 3D: L’Homme de La Chapelle.
Anca Pusca is Senior Lecturer in International Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Walter Benjamin: The Aesthetics of Change and other articles on Benjamin which have appeared in Alternatives, International Political Sociology, Perspectives and the Journal of International Research and Development.Lydia Pyne
On Benjamin’s Public (Oeuvre).
Lydia Pyne is a writer and historian of science, interested in the history of paleoanthropology, archaeology, museums, collections, and material culture. Her fieldwork, archival research, and writing projects have ranged from South Africa, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, and Iran, as well as the American Southwest. She is the co-author of The Last Lost World: Ice Ages, Human Origins, and the Invention of the Pleistocene and is currently writing Famous Fossils, Hidden Histories and Bookshelf. @LydiaPyne / http://pynecone.orgEdward Rielly
Geronimo: The Warrior.
Edward Rielly is a professor of English at Saint Joseph¹s College of Maine. He has published about two dozen books, including several volumes of his own poetry. His nonfiction works include Sitting Bull: A Biography (Greenwood, 2007) and Legends of American Indian Resistance (ABC-CLIO, 2011). The latter includes a chapter on Geronimo.Bert van de Roemer
Redressing the Balance: Levinus Vincent’s Wonder Theatre of Nature.
Bert (G.M.) van de Roemer is assistant professor Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He specializes in early modern collections, museology, art theory and the history of Amsterdam. He has published on the collections Frederik Ruysch and Simon Schijnvoet and is preparing a book about Dutch collections of curiosities from the early eighteenth century. See here for more info.Niki Russell
Mary Toft and Her Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbits.
Niki Russell is Chief Library Assistant at Special Collections in the University of Glasgow Library. She blogs on her work with rare books and manuscripts: see the Special Collections website.Ed Simon
Ghostwriter and Ghost: The Strange Case of Pearl Curran & Patience Worth.
Ed Simon is a PhD candidate in the English department at Lehigh University. He specializes in transatlantic seventeenth and early eighteenth-century literature with a focus on religion and colonization. His writings have appeared in various publications, including The Revealer and the Journal of the Northern Renaissance. He is also the assistant editor for the Journal of Heresy Studies. He can be followed on Twitter @WithEdSimon.W.A. Speck
Robert Southey’s Dreams Revisited.
W. A. Speck is author of Robert Southey: Entire Man of Letters (Yale University Press, 2006) and ‘His nights amont the dead were passed: Robert Southey’s dreams’ in Robert Southey and the Contexts of English Romanticism edited by Lynda Pratt (Ashgate, 2006).Martin Spevack
The Curious World of Isaac D’Israeli.
Marvin Spevack held a chair of English Philology at the University of Muenster. After producing essential works on Shakespeare – concordances, editions, and a thesaurus – he turned to literary figures of the nineteenth century with books on James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, Isaac D’israeli, Sidney Lee, and most recently Francis Turner Palgrave.Ian Stewart
Aspiring to a Higher Plane.
Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick and the author of numerous popular mathematics books, including Flatterland and The Annotated Flatland. His most recent book is Mathematics of Life.Daniel Stolzenberg
Athanasius Kircher and the Hieroglyphic Sphinx.
Daniel Stolzenberg is the author of Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity (Chicago, 2013), on which this article is based. He teaches history at the University of California, Davis.Emma Sutton
Simple Songs: Virginia Woolf and Music.
Emma Sutton is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews. She has published and broadcast widely on music, fine art and literature and her books include Aubrey Beardsley and British Wagnerism in the 1890s (2002), Opera and the Novel (with Michael Downes, 2012) and Virginia Woolf and Classical Music (2013). She is editing Woolf’s first novel, The Voyage Out, for Cambridge University Press and writing a book on Leonard Woolf.Urszula Szulakowska
Robert Fludd and His Images of The Divine.
Urszula Szulakowska has been a lecturer in the History of Art at Sydney University, Queensland University, Bretton Hall College and the University of Leeds (1977-2011). Currently she is Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. She has published extensively on the history of art and alchemy including monographs: The Alchemy of Light (Brill: 2000), The Sacrificial Body and the Day of Doom (Brill: 2005) and Alchemy in Contemporary Art (Ashgate: 2010), as well as many learned articles and papers in scholarly sources.Eugene Thacker
Black on Black.
Eugene Thacker is the author of several books, including In The Dust Of This Planet (Zero Books, 2011). He teaches at The New School in New York.Nicholas Tromans
Richard Dadd’s Master-Stroke.
Nicholas Tromans teaches at Kingston University, London. He curated the Tate Britain exhibition “The Lure of the East: British Orientalist Painting” in 2008 and his book on Richard Dadd, The Artist and the Asylum, was published last year. He recommends to PDR readers this blog about the history of psychiatry – maintained by Bethlem Hospital.Heather Tweed
Mrs Giacometti Prodgers, the Cabman’s Nemesis.
Heather Tweed is a multimedia artist and educator based in the UK. She has exhibited pieces widely throughout the UK as well as in New York, Tokyo and the Library Of Congress in Washington. She has worked with organizations including The British Council Cairo, Bristol City Council and Arts & Business. The ever expanding installation ‘Anubis Other World Tour’ has been visiting art galleries, caves and other interesting venues scaring, delighting and perplexing in equal measure since 1997. Her website: www.heathertweed.co.ukJohn van Wyhe
Was Charles Darwin an Atheist?.
John van Wyhe is Senior Lecturer at the National University of Singapore. He has published four books on Darwin, including the illustrated biography: Darwin (Andre Deutsch 2008). He is also founder and director of Darwin Online.Edward Wakeling
Lewis Carroll and The Hunting of the Snark.
Edward Wakeling is a long-standing member of the Lewis Carroll Society. He has written widely on Carroll over the last three decades, and among his publications is the first unabridged edition of Lewis Carroll’s Diaries in 10 volumes. He has written on Carroll’s photography, letters, mathematics, puzzles and games, and logic. As a recognised Carrollian scholar and collector, he is frequently called upon to contribute to conferences, exhibitions, and television programmes around the world. His website is www.lewiscarroll-site.comAbigail Walthausen
Moonblight and Six Feet of Romance: Dan Carter Beard’s Foray into Fiction.
Abigail Walthausen is a writer and high school English teacher. She writes about technology and teaching the humanities at Edtech Pentameter.Jenny Watson
Selma Lagerlöf: Surface and Depth.
Jenny Watson is the associate dean of the Humanities and an associate professor of German and Scandinavian Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her Masters and PhD at the Univeristy of Illinois/ Champaign-Urbana, with a double concentration in German and Scandinavian literature. She is author of the book, Selma Lagerlöf och Tyskland (Selma Lagerlof and Germany), published by the Lagerlöf society, as well as numerous articles and presentations about Lagerlöf. Her present research project is an English-language biography of Selma Lagerlöf.Simon Werrett
Simon Werrett teaches the history of science in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Before joining UCL he was an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Washington. He is the author of Fireworks: Pyrotechnic Arts and Sciences in European History (University of Chicago Press, 2010).Brook Wilensky-Lanford
The Last Great Explorer: William F. Warren and the Search for Eden .
Brook Wilensky-Lanford is the author of Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden (Grove Press), just out in paperback. She writes about religion and culture for the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Lapham’s Quarterly, and Killing the Buddha, where she is an editor.John Williams
Beatus of Liébana.
John Williams (B.A. Yale, PH.D University of Michigan) taught twelve years at Swarthmore College, retired as Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh. He is Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and author of The Illustrated Beatus, 5 vols, London, (1994-2003).Lucy Worsley
Peter The Wild Boy.
Lucy Worsley is Chief Curator at the charity Historic Royal Palaces, which opens the unoccupied royal palaces of London including The Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace to 3.2 million visitors a year. Her book Courtiers: The Secret History of the Georgian Court was published by Faber and Faber in 2011. She has also presented a BBC television series on the topic of her new book If Walls Could Talk, An Intimate History of the Home (Walker Books, 2012). Please visit her website.Rangsook Yoon
Navigating Dürer’s Woodcuts for The Ship of Fools.
Rangsook Yoon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Central College in Pella, Iowa, specialising in Dürer’s early career as a print-maker and self-publisher. She is currently working on several articles dealing with Dürer’s woodcuts during his apprenticeship and journeyman years, as well as a book about the Apocalypse.Michael W. Young
Writing his Life through the Other: The Anthropology of Malinowski.
Michael Young, an anthropologist trained by students of Malinowski at the Universities of London and Cambridge, has done fieldwork in eastern Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. As well as his works on Malinowski, he is the author of several anthropological monographs. He is currently a Research Associate in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.Jack Zipes
The Forgotten Tales of the Brothers Grimm.
Jack Zipes is Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota and a pioneer of scholarship on fairy tales. He has published prolifically in this area. His many works include: Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (1983); The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World (1988); and most recently The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The Cultural and Social History of a Genre (2012). He is also translator of The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm .