Year in Sonnets

Precocity or Industry? Constructing Narratives of Attainment in Victorian Life Writing

My blog post for The Victorianist about how Constance Naden’s friends constructed her legacy in response to contemporary conversations about precocity.

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Clare Stainthorp is a third-year AHRC-funded PhD student at the University of Birmingham. Her thesis is on the writer Constance Naden (1858-1889), focusing on the unifying project through which Naden sought to draw together poetry, philosophy, and science. Clare is also Editorial Assistant for Modernist Cultures, and postgraduate committee member for the Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Seminar. She tweets about her research via @ClareGS87 and blogs at https://nadensyearinsonnets.wordpress.com/.

Precocity or Industry? Constructing Narratives of Attainment in Victorian Life Writing

At a fascinating panel at the BAVS conference in September 2015 Rebecca Mitchell, Roisín McClosky, and Hannah Field spoke on the topics of precocity and backwardness. Their research illuminated the Victorian construction of childhood intelligence and, in various ways, the tension between industry and idleness in relation to attainment and giftedness.[1] Mitchell concluded that when precocity is viewed as a consequence of a sensuous faculty (for example a…

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