Richard Marsh is best-known for his 1897 novel The Beetle, a gothic bestseller at the time more popular than Dracula. Indeed Marsh was a prolific and extremely successful writer in the 1890s and the early 20th century. Strikingly, however, his writing has until recently been mostly forgotten. With several of his novels and shorter fictions now being republished, this situation is set to change. The symposium aims to harness renewed academic interest in Marsh towards a reappraisal of his significance for a fin de siècle culture that is often considered to offer a kind of mirror onto our own culture at the start of the 21st century. It will bring together literary and historical specialists of the period to examine Marsh's oeuvre as a whole, considering his fictional output across a range of genres including gothic, crime and detective fiction, romance and comedy. A central concern is to examine how Marsh's ambivalent fiction often works against the grain of more canonical texts and therefore has the potential productively to unsettle what it is thought is known about fin de siècle culture. Understanding late-Victorian / Edwardian questions about gender and sexuality, imperialism, science, urban spaces, and the nature of history, surely remain incomplete without negotiating the complex terrain of Richard Marsh's writing.
Professor Julian Wolfreys, Loughborough University.
Dr Minna Vuohelainen, Edge Hill University.
Symposium fee (includes lunch and refreshments):
£16 standard rate; £12 concessions
University of Brighton
Room M57, Centre for Research and Development (CRD)
Grand Parade Building
68-72 Grand Parade
The Grand Parade building is located in the centre of Brighton, almost opposite the Royal Pavilion, and about 10 minutes’ walk from Brighton station. Directions to room M57 will be clearly signposted from the main entrance / reception.