Richard Marsh: Re-Reading the Fin de Siècle
A one-day symposium at the University of Brighton, Friday 20th July 2012
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 seeks 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. A central concern will be 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 and the nature of history, surely remain incomplete without negotiating the complex terrain of Richard Marsh’s writing.
Further information, including the provisional programme and details of how to register, is now available here: