Romantic Realignments is one of the longest-running research seminars in Oxford.

Past speakers have included Marilyn Butler, Gerard Carruthers, David Chandler, Heather Glen, Paul Muldoon, Philip Shaw, Fiona Stafford and Peter Swaab, to name but a few.

All are very welcome to submit an abstract — we aim to provide a friendly 'workshop' setting in which speakers can try out new papers as well as more finished pieces, and in which lively discussion can flourish.

Held on Thursdays at 5.15pm, Seminar Room A, St Cross (English Faculty) Building.

If you would like to send us an abstract or suggest a speaker, please contact the current convenors Katherine Fender, Sarah Goode and Honor Rieley at:


Angus Whitehead

Week Eight – Thursday 14th June

‘Rehabilitating the ‘Bad’ Ancient: The Life and Times of Frederick Tatham, 1805-78’

Angus Whitehead, University of York

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has this mention of Tatham:

"Through Linnell, a group of young artists met Blake and came to admire him greatly, both for his character and his art. They looked upon him as a seer or Old Testament prophet come to life; in turn, Blake's peace of mind was enhanced by finding a worshipful audience. [...] This loose brotherhood of Blake followers, one that also included Francis Oliver Finch, Frederick Tatham, and Welby Sherman, called themselves ‘The Ancients’ and often sought their own intense responses to nature in the environs of Shoreham, Kent, which Blake visited in late summer 1825."

Tatham wrote a biography of Blake, and is also known for burning some of his manuscripts when he inherited them.

Room 10, Oxford English Faculty 5-6.30.


June 7th-Emma's Secret Subplot

"So you think you know all the right answers to all the right questions about Jane Austen's Emma?" (OR Emma's Secret Subplot -Ed)
Arnie Perlstein

Why was Rex Stout rereading Emma as he died?
Why does Miss Marple
remind us of Miss Bates?
Why did James Joyce, the King of Literary Subtext, call his children Sense and Sensibility?"Emma is, famously, the detective story without a murder...or is there one?
Its aura of mystery has never been adequately explained. This presentation will first summarize, and put in context, numerous discoveries, past and present, regarding the puzzles of Emma, particularly those in Chapter 9.
Then it will demonstrate a method for applying those puzzle answers to their primary, but concealed, purpose: as a Rosetta Stone to demystify the novel's obvious riddle--the vexed relationship of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill--but also the novel's second, but concealed, riddle---the seemingly straightforward, but actually quite mysterious, Mr. Knightley, acting behind the scenes to orchestrate the actions of others in the novel."

Mr. Perlstein is an independent scholar from South Florida.

Join us at 5p.m. Room 10 Oxford University English Faculty, Thursday June 7th.
All welcome.