Below you will find brief descriptions with links to successful student projects that have used WordPress in Romantic-era studies. This list will be expanding as new projects are completed and added to the site.
Alanna Banta, Deconstructing Frankenstein: This digital project is the culmination of my work with Mary Shelley’s manuscripts of Frankenstein during a course in the summer of 2015. More specifically, this project centers on analyzing each of Percy Shelley’s interventions in the 1816-1817 draft manuscript, as I found that many of these changes influence the way readers view not only Percy’s role in the creation of this published text, but also the culpability of Victor Frankenstein’s character. The site also foregrounds critical perspectives surrounding the authorship of Frankenstein and provides a detailed transcription of Percy’s changes to the original manuscript, as found on the Shelley-Godwin Archive. Both of these resources, and the digital project as a whole, work to encourage others to participate in continuing scholarship on this novel.
Ted Everton, Romantic Poetry: Nature, the Imagination, and Human Life: This digital project provides a brief comparative analysis of three poems from the Romantic Era which represent nature to express humanistic qualities and emotions. By examining Dorothy Wordsworth’s “Floating Island” (late 1820s), Lord Byron’s “Thunderstorm in the Alps” from Child Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto the Third (1816), and John Keats’ “To Autumn” (1819), I was able to explore two main themes: how each author viewed nature in relation to human life; and how each author reflected upon the idea of imagination within the context of his or her physical environment.
Reese Irwin, Compiling Sanditon: I created this digital project in the summer of 2015 for an undergraduate English course at Simon Fraser University. Within it, I examine Jane Austen’s last, unfinished work, Sanditon, through her manuscript (1817), her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh’s summary and excerpts from his work, A Memoir of Jane Austen (1871), and the first print edition, edited and with a Preface by R.W. Chapman (1925). I present these iterations of the work to explore why it took so long for Sanditon to emerge into the public eye, what state the manuscript was in when it was abandoned by Austen three months before her death, and how the treatment of the text through these various iterations factors into interpretations of the work. My hope is that the public accessibility of digital platform allows Sanditon to become fully integrated into the Austen canon.
Audrey Ling, Cold Coffee & Caricatures is a digital WordPress project that offers an annotated critical edition of “Catharine, or the Bower,” (August 1792) based on Jane Austen’s fair copy manuscript, facsimiles of which can be found in Volume the Third of her juvenilia at Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition. For the Summer 2014 session of English 427, a close reading and analysis of “Catharine, or the Bower,” was conducted. It presents the argument that Mary Wollstonecraft influenced Austen in her youth, as A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was published in the same year that “Catharine” was drafted. Several parallels of thought between the two women writers are evident, in regards to the conduct or education of a woman in eighteenth century England. Appendices featuring excerpts by Wollstonecraft and other female advocates of the same era guides this feminist reading of Austen.
Ashley Morford, Frankenstein’s Creature: Troubling Understandings of the Other: My first introduction to the field of digital humanities was in the summer 2014 offering of English 427. My final project for the course was a digital project in the form of a WordPress website. The project used Indigenous studies and postcolonial theory to trace the conception and development of the image of Frankenstein’s Creature. I particularly focused on the various editions of Mary Shelley’s text (the Draft manuscripts, the 1818 edition, and the 1831 edition) and paid close attention to the ways that Percy Shelley’s edits affected the Creature’s image.
Lindsey Seatter, Digitizing Literature: lesser-known works by female writers in Britain’s Romantic age: The digital project I assembled for English 427 was an exploration of selected entries from Dorothy Wordworth’s Grasmere Journal. My argument-based edition focused on examining the journal’s editorial history by critically comparing four different forms of the text: the manuscript, William Knight’s 1897 edition, Ernest de Selincourt’s 1941 edition, and Susan Levin’s 2009 edition. This particular project on D. Wordsworth was actually the third installment of what is, now, a four-part digital anthology. My work on this digital platform began in the final year of my undergraduate degree when I was enrolled in a graduate level English course, transformed into my Master’s culminating project, and has continued to grow over my first year of doctoral studies.