Thames School of Mines and Otago University
Tom Barker with John Isdale
Despite being located in Thames- more than 1,000km north of the University of Otago- the links between the institutions were surprisingly common.
The Otago School of Mines was established in 1878, and by 1885 the Minister of Mines, William Larnach, decided to extend a network of schools throughout New Zealand. The school had a dual purpose: to improve mining techniques of the colony's mining districts and to develop the education of those working in such industries. The schools functioned in the space between a high school and a university, training students 14 years old and above- both male and, in the case of Thames, female students. The Thames school had laboratory facilities, classrooms, a crushing plant (housed in a purpose built battery room) and a nationally significant mineralogical museum. The Thames School of Mines (TSM) employed Otago graduates as well as providing higher qualifications for Thames students wishing to further their mining and geological careers.
The biggest contributor to both Otago and Thames was James Park who was responsible for writing the book The Cyanide Process of Gold Extraction, was the director at both schools, and was responsible for a number of scientific advancements.
This paper will seek to illustrate the characters and events that tied the school in Thames to the University of Otago. These range from the initial speaking tour of Otago's Professor Black, through to the last director of the Thames School of Mines and Otago School of Mines alumnus Hugh Crawford. Other notable figures connecting Thames with Otago include Alexander Montgomery, William Henry Baker and William Goodlet.
The Thames school became at one time the largest of the Professor Black schools and one of the last surviving, until 1954. Reefton only finally closed in the 1970s. The school buildings survive and are owned by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga who run the site as a historic site.
Tom Barker is employed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and is an archaeologist with a keen interest in New Zealand's industrial past.John Isdale was at one time the Curator of the Thames School of Mines Mineralogical Museum, a former Territorial Officer and he has been associated with the TSM site since the age of seven.
The Devil in 1869: An examination of Victorian diabolic literature
The diabolic made regular appearances in the literature of Victorian England. By focusing on the year 1869, it is possible to examine, in microcosm, the overarching themes of Victorian diabolic literature. The Faust legend provided the primary source of inspiration, partially due to the popularity of Goethe's Faust. The Faust legend centres on the learned sixteenth-century magus Dr Johannes Faustus who sold his soul to the Devil for knowledge and power. This basic structure could be adapted to nearly any context, with Faust, the Devil, and the diabolic bargain able to take any form convenient for the author. English writers produced numerous versions of the Faust story, including novels, poems, and ghost stories. Hugh Arthur Clough' s unfinished Faustian epic poem "Dipsychus" was first published in 1869. Clough transferred the story to Venice, replacing the learned magus with a rather over-emotional student.
Faust did not determine the form of every Victorian diabolic work. Other 1869 milestones in diabolic literature include the Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu's ghost story "Green Tea", in which an Anglican clergyman was driven to suicide by an evil spirit, and Dante Gabrielle Rossetti's poem "Eden Bower", centring on the Jewish folkloric night-demon Lilith. Both Le Fanu and Rossetti used the diabolic as a lens to examine contemporary anxieties, with Le Fanu highlighting the difficulty of distinguishing a supernatural encounter from madness and Rossetti dramatizing gender roles via his focus on a wicked supernatural woman. These works demonstrate the significance of the diabolic in the Victorian imagination, as well as the versatility of supernatural tropes.
Sarah Bartels completed a PhD in history at the University of Queensland. Her thesis was a work of cultural and religious history entitled "The Devil and the Victorians: Supernatural Evil in Nineteenth-Century English Culture". It examined the Devil's role in nineteenth century theology, folklore, occultism, popular culture and literature.
"The Place and Power of Natural History in Colonization": William Lauder Lindsay and the scientific development of Otago's human and natural resources, 1860-1880
James Beattie and Warwick Brunton
My principal aim [is] ... to show how, and to what extent, practical use may be made of such sciences as Geology, Mineralogy, and Botany; how far ... they may be rendered ... subservient to the daily necessities or luxuries of the settler; how they may minister to the material riches, the substantial progress, of the State [of Otago]. W L Lindsay, Place and Power of Natural History in Colonization, 1861
Edinburgh-trained physician William Lauder Lindsay (1829-1880) landed in Dunedin in 1861 at the height of Otago's gold rush. However, instead of gold, Lindsay, carne seeking scientific riches. Although spending just three months in Dunedin, he subsequently published 55 papers on New Zealand subjects, ranging from regional botany, geology, acclimatization and forest conservation, to mental health, education and natural history. He also played a part in the formative years of the University of Otago. Centring on the idea of improvement, this paper examines Lindsay's intellectual and professional background, through examination of his advocacy in 1861 of a comprehensive agenda for the development of the science of natural history in Otago, including the establishment of a university, a museum of natural history and a botanical garden, as well as the need to develop Otago's resources wisely and scientifically.
A graduate and former staff member of the Department of History, James Beattie specializes in histories of empire, environment and landscape, as well as Chinese art collecting. His latest co-edited book is China in Australasia: Cultural Diplomacy and Chinese Arts since the Cold War. James is founding editor of International Review of Environmental History, and works in the Centre for Science in Society, Victoria University of Wellington.
Warwick Brunton is an Honorary Senior Lecturer, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago. Prior to his retirement, Warwick was also Associate Dean (International) in the Division of Health Sciences. His PhD in History examined the development of national mental health policy in New Zealand, 1840-1947. He is also a former manager and senior policy analyst in the Ministry of Health. Warwick's publications reflect the significance of historical insights to the development of mental health, public health and health services organization in New Zealand.
Untying the knot: New Zealand's first separation and divorce cases
January 1869 marked the dawning of the divorce era with New Zealand's first petition for divorce being heard at Dunedin's Supreme Court. The petition was made by James Patrick who wished to end his marriage to Julia Clare on the grounds of her adultery. Two further petitions for divorce were heard in New Zealand in 1869, those of Charles Jessop of Millers Flat in Otago and Emily Croucher of Wanganui. In the same year the first two petitions for judicial separations were made by Jessie Aickman, also ofWanganui, and Eliza France of Napier.
Prior to the passing of the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act in 1867, divorce had been impossible in New Zealand. The Act made judicial separations and the dissolution of marriages possible for those who could prove the facts of their petition, could afford the costs involved and were willing to risk some notoriety. Following the release of the relevant forms, fees and instructions to judges at the end of 1868, a small but steady stream of petitions for judicial separations and divorces began.
While the same criteria applied for both women and men seeking a judicial separation, divorces were significantly easier for husbands to obtain and most petitions for divorces were made by men. Petitions from women were usually for adultery and cruelty, but Emily Croucher's petition also included her husband's bigamy.
This paper explores the process involved for those seeking to end their marriage, and shares details about the petitions made in 1869. The personal stories behind these cases provide rare insights into the domestic lives of those involved and can tell us much about the pitfalls of married life and attitudes to adultery and domestic violence during the late 1800s.
The author of five social history books, Julia Bradshaw has been working in museums since 1993 and was previously Director of Hokitika Museum. She is now Senior Curator Human History at Canterbury Museum and is currently researching Chinese-European marriages and women on the New Zealand goldfields.
"The stagnation into which the Colony has at present fallen": 1869 and the Great Public Works Policy
When New Zealand attained representative government in 1853, its citizens anticipated that the new authorities would push on public works rapidly. Rivers needed bridging and towns needed to be linked with ports and hinterlands by railways and all-weather roads. Come 1869, little of this had eventuated. Most rivers were still not bridged and only 74km of railways were open, mainly in Canterbury. Responsibility for public works had been given to the provinces, a quasi-federal system of government beneath the national parliament, but they had proven singularly incapable of delivering the works expected of them. Provincial councils were stripped of their ability to raise loans in 1867 and, without access to credit or a revenue base to fund works, construction stalled.
New Zealanders in 1869 possessed scarcely any more mobility on land as they had two decades previously. And, worse, failed projects left the colony burdened with debt: Southland Province was so insolvent as a result of ill-fated railway construction projects that it chose to rejoin Otago Province. But if 1869 represents the nadir of public works policy delivery inNew Zealand, it was also a year of great visions and sweeping proposals for New Zealand's future. These were given form inJulius Vogel's Great Public Works Policy of 1870, a transformative programme of expenditure on railways, roads, telegraphs and other works. This paper will show how New Zealand ended up in such a stagnant position, and how bold visions of railway construction provided a pathway out.
Andre Brett is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wollongong. He is the author of three books, including Acknowledge No Frontier: The Creation and Demise of New Zealand's Provinces (Otago University Press, 2016). He is currently researching the enviro-economic history of railways in Australasia, and passenger rail provision in New Zealand.
1869 – the Australian journal reinvents Itself
Publishing a periodical in the colonies of Australia was usually a quick road to bankruptcy, and in 1869 the Melbourne-based Australian journal, a miscellany styled on the London Journal, was on the brink. Not only did it have to contend with a readership disrupted by the goldrushes, but it also had to cope with the government's policy of punishing colonially produced publications with high postage imposts.
This paper explores the radical action taken by the publishers to overcome these problems by not only changing the cycle of production from weekly to monthly but also innovatively changing the content. On a mission to broaden their audience appeal, they added more full page illustrations including a number displaying cultural and natural wonders of New Zealand. They also started a dedicated "Ladies' page". While it began as a series of articles focussed on fashion, by June 1869 the Ladies' Page was taken over by Sylphid (a pen name for Mary Fortune, who also wrote fiction, crime fiction and poetry for the journal under the pen names of Waif Wander, W.W., and M.H.F). Sylphid soon tired of writing about fashion and turned her page into a bird's-eye view of cultural and political events. She feminised the genre of panoramic journalism popularised by Dickens, Sala and Marcus Clarke and wrote from the point of view of a lone woman walking the streets. Inadvertently, the publishers had created a new space for colonial women and although Sylphid's roving reportage was short-lived, the feminine version of the peripatetic reporter was now established.
The publishers' overall experiment was successful. The Australian Journal went from strength to strength and publication continued for a further one hundred years until 1969.
Megan Brown is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wollongong. Her publications on Mary Fortune include "Wander down Bourke Street" (Westerly 2016), "The Fortunate Flaneuse" (with Lucy Sussex, Australian Literary Studies 2016), an essay on sensational aspects of Fortune's writing (ALS 2007) a chapter on Fortune's life writing in The Unsociable Sociability of Women's Life Writing (Palgrave, 2010), a chapter on Fortune's goldfield journalism in Changing the Victorian Subject (Adelaide UP, 2014), and an essay which identified a new pseudonym, "Mary Fortune as Sylphid: ' blond, and silk and tulle"' (ALS 2012). She is currently working with Lucy Sussex on a biography of Mary Fortune.
From Jules Verne to David Bowie – "From the Earth to the Moon: A Space Oddity"
In 1869, two years after its initial release, Jules Verne's futuristic novel From the Earth to the Moon was translated into English, capping a decade in which the author had established himself as one the finest and most popular science fiction writers of all time. In Verne's futuristic vision, three moon-bound astronuats are launched into space inside a projectile fired from the gigantic Columbiad space gun. Exactly one hundred years later, in 1969, a then unknown young English musician with the invented name David Bowie released a song that would act as a companion piece to the tumultuous moment when Verne's fanciful science fiction became science-fact: Apollo 11 astronauts successfully landing and walking on the moon. Reaching the upper echelons of the UK pop charts and establishing the name David Bowie within public consciousness for the very first time, "Space Oddity" was not a triumphal testament to humankind's mastery over technology and the natural world, however. Rather, it acted as a warning of the dangers of an over-reliance on technology. And just as Verne's three astronauts appeared highly likely to suffer the fate of a lonely death in space in the calculatedly inconclusive ending to his ground-breaking novel, so too Bowie's Major Tom appeared destined for the same fate. Yet all was not quite as it seemed, and ultimately both Verne's and Bowie's characters would resurface in their later work ... but in very different guises.
This paper examines the differences and similarities between the adventures, attitudes and fates of these fictional characters represented in works of literature and music one hundred years apart. Taking the form of a lecture-recital, the presentation will also feature live performances of two of David Bowie's closely related works.
Dr Ian Chapman is an author, musician, and motivational speaker who specialises in the work of David Bowie and the wider field of empowerment and personal growth through the performing arts. Currently co-convener of the University of Otago's Contemporary Music degree, he has written two books on David Bowie and eight others on related pop cultural and performing arts topics.
Josephine Butler's Women's Work and Women's Culture (1869): The paradoxes of individualism in Britain and New Zealand
Best known for campaigning against state regulation of prostitution, Josephine Butler was also an important political theorist. This paper will first examine the paradoxes of her individualist philosophy, and then explore her influence in New Zealand. In her edited collection Women's Work and Women's Culture (1869), Butler echoed Herbert Spencer by denigrating the urban poor as "worthless, unwholesome human weeds, low-browed apes," and by opposing government intervention to protect workers. Like Carlyle in 1869, she repudiated contemporary society as a machine that crushed the individuality of their subjects. However, she also went far beyond Carlyle and Spencer to assert the personal right to bodily integrity
for everyone, "however poor, mean, and worthless to the community." She asserted that philanthropists must foster the autonomy of poor women instead of disciplining them. In her Vigilance Association, she insisted on defending the rights of the poor against an intrusive police force, extending her concern beyond prostitutes to anarchists speaking on street corners and children selling matches in lanes.
In New Zealand. William Steadman Aldis and Mary Steadman Aldis took up Butler's call to protest the Contagious Diseases Acts and other examples of government intrusion. But by the 1890s, radical New Zealanders rejected Spencerian individualism to favor government intervention. When some feminists called for the reimposition of the Contagious Diseases Acts, Butler and the Aldises warned that this would endanger women's autonomy. However, the Aldises and Butler did not recognize that workers needed government intervention to protect them from industrial accidents and other misfortunes. However radical in its time, Butler's notion of personal bodily integrity had its limitations, mired in the liberal individualism of 1869.
Anna Clark, Professor of History, University of Minnesota, held a Fulbright Fellowship at Victoria University of Wellington (2017), and has published The Struggle for the Breeches: Gender and the Making of the British Working Class (1995), Desire: A History of European Sexuality (2008, 2019) and Alternative Histories of the Self (2017).
Sketchy histories: What were the 1860s Pakeha views of Maori migration to New Zealand?
The inaugural volume of the Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute was released in 1869.1t covered the Institute's first year of 1868 and contained two articles giving conflicting Pakeha views of Maori history. Both were by accomplished Pakeha speakers of te reo, who had spent many years engaging with Maori. Edward Shortland, interpreter, explorer, ethnographer and former Sub-Protector of Aborigines, wrote that Maori were recent inhabitants of New Zealand. He believed they had arrived to a land devoid of human inhabitants and held that Maori tradition provided a reliable guide to their own migration history. William Colenso, naturalist, explorer, ethnographer and former missionary, argued Maori had been in New Zealand for far longer - 500 years - and had most likely displaced an even earlier people. Colenso argued that Maori tradition was of little value in tracing Maori history.
This paper uses the contradictions between Shortland and Colenso's papers to examine the views Pakeha scholars held in the 1860s on Maori migration to Aotearoa/New Zealand. It will also examine the ideas that Pakeha scholars of the 1860s had on the relationship between the Maori of Aotearoa and the Moriori of Rekohu/Chatham Islands. The paper will contrast the uncertainty of these mid-nineteenth century views with the myth of an earlier New Zealand "Moriori," wiped out by Maori invaders: an idea that dominated the public imagination after being adopted as an orthodoxy in the 191Os.
Peter Clayworth is an historian with the Treaty Settlements Ropu of Te Arawhiti. Lacking his Stoke family's mechanical skills, Peter became a professional historian. He has worked for the Waitangi Tribunal, DoC, and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. He is still trying to finish writing a biography of militant unionist Pat Hickey.
Reflections on the letters of Geraldine Ensor Jewsbury (1812-1880) to Walter Baldock Durrant Mantell (1820-1895) with a focus on 1869
This paper reflects on the observations and anecdotes from the letters of Geraldine Ensor Jewsbury (1812-1880) to Walter Baldock Durrant Mantell (1820-1895) with a focus on 1869. Walter Baldock Durrant Mantell can be described as a "philo-Maori" (lover of Maori) and a "disruptive" New Zealand colonial politician. Geraldine Jewsbury was an English novelist, book reviewer and literary figure. She reviewed for the literary periodical the Athenaeum. The paper will provide further insights into the Victorian lens on colonial Aotearoa/New Zealand from the perspective of a female Pakeha ally.
Geraldine Jewsbury's interest and sympathy for Maori was kindled on meeting Sir George Grey and later, Walter Mantell, at the home of Thomas and Jane Carlyle in London in the 1850s. After Mantell returned to New Zealand (in 1859) he and Geraldine corresponded for over twenty years. Their phenomenal literary exchange in the form of over 500 letters written between 1859 and 1880, express a deeply-shared concern about the predicament of Maori. The letters, systematically read, recapture the complex nuances, meanings and events in our colonial past, demonstrating an extraordinary cultural intelligence about tangata whenua and can be viewed as historical, trans-cultural, gendered taonga of social significance and importance.
Helene Connor (PhD, MEd 1st class hans, PGDipWomen's Studies; Dip Tchg, BA, RPN) is of Maori, English and Irish descent. She has whakapapa (genealogy) links to Te Atiawa and Ngati Ruanui iwi (tribes) and Ngati Rahiri and Ngati Te Whiti hapu (sub-tribes). Her research is located within an interdisciplinary platform, which includes gender studies and cultural representation. She is also interested in New Zealand colonial history. Her interest in the Victorian era is concentrated on Victorian literature and the lives of 191h century women novelists, particularly Geraldine Ensor Jewsbury, Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters, who wrote about the industrial North of England and the "woman question". Helene is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, the University of Auckland.
Beyond albums and paintbrushes: Women and the Otago Museum 1869-1936
In March 1869, some six months after the Otago University Museum had opened its doors to the public, Miss Solomon gave a collection of thirty Australian seaweeds, a bird skull, a fish skull and a lizard. Did this gift, the first from a woman, presage a pattern of engagement with the museum? Collecting ferns to arrange in albums or painting flowers were pastimes for young ladies with leisure time. The Museum holds its share of fern albums but such craft activities did not proscribe the only contributions that women made. Beyond albums and paintbrushes lay serious creative intent largely undervalued by contemporary patriarchy.
Uncovering women's participation in the early days of the Museum is not easy. A newly re discovered register at least lists the names of the few women donors over the first twenty-five years. Little is known about most of these women.
Women were welcome at meetings of the Otago Institute and the Dunedin Naturalists' Field Club, but the offer of such intellectual stimulation was not often taken up and numbers of members remained small. Only one, Josephine Rich, published the results of her zoological research in 1893, albeit jointly with her male mentor. Wives, daughters and sisters of men of science worked, often anonymously, alongside them collecting, organising, drawing and cataloguing, but in the registers a few are given agency in their own right - they engaged with the collections on their own terms. Some wives donated material under their own aegis, such as Elizabeth Hocken who donated significant collections additional to her husband's bequest.
Worldwide disciplinary growth during the early-twentieth century in anthropology and archaeology happened at the same time as women were beginning to access higher education in greater numbers. In Otago, as elsewhere, while new roles were created women found themselves supporting male curators in part-time, honorary or clerical capacities.
Rosi Crane is Honorary Curator Science History, Otago Museum, works on nineteenth century New Zealand science, and its various styles of expression and exposition. Her largely biographical research extends to the specimens acquired for the museum as well as the people involved. More broadly Rosi is interested in the nexus of colonial science, culture and art particularly as it played out in the worldwide phenomena of museum building.
The murder of John Whiteley
The year 1869 saw the last time a British missionary was considered "martyred" by members of his Maori congregation. Hone Wetere Te Rerenga was accused of murdering the Methodist minister the Reverend John Whiteley in the aftermath of an attack on Pukearuhe Redoubt in North Taranaki. Whiteley was the man who had baptised Te Rerenga into the Christian faith and had named him Hone Wetere (John Wesley) in tribute to the founder of Methodism. While Te Rerenga admitted leading the party that attacked Pukearuhe, he always denied responsibility for the death of Whiteley, with others claiming that a Pakeha was the person responsible for Whiteley's death.
This paper will look at the events of Whiteley's death and how the settlers, government and Methodist church found it more useful to have Whiteley portrayed as a Christian martyr than as a victim of a murder or a casualty of the Waikato war.
As a descendant of Te Rerenga, I will also discuss how the family narrative has changed a number of times over the years, often reflecting the dominant discourse of the times.
Anaru Eketone (Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato) is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Otago. While his research interests are in Maori economic and social development, he also has an interest on the impact of religious movements in his tribal area.
"This may sting": Consenting to pain in the Victorian era
The history of medical consent has proved frustratingly vaporous, largely because of the difficulty of amassing evidence. Consent does not find a firm purchase as a moral and legal concept until well into the 201h century - the phrase "informed consent" making its first print appearance as late as 1957. The nineteenth century pre-history, such as it is, is sometimes traced through surgeon and practitioner journals, particularly where they recount battlefield amputation. Consent historians note that American Civil War surgeons, for example, begin to "advise" their wounded patients that limb removal is in their best interests. In such an exchange, the surgeon is seen to surrender a portion of their authority, effectively gifting autonomy to the grievously wounded soldier who now might choose to accept or reject such advice. Because such encounters rested on the promise of therapeutic advantage, rather than a body of enforceable rights, they privileged medical outcomes above all, which is to say that they barely converge with the concept of consent as we now understand it. Further, such tentative gestures towards consent must be seen within a much larger institutional medical context utterly indifferent to the promotion of the informed patient.
My paper proposes to enrich this tentative pre-history of consent by turning to the rooms where patients were examined and small procedures were performed. I don't find the explicit language of consent, or its cognates, here, but rather traces of routine, and sometimes extraordinary medical encounters described in the diaries of practitioners, and patients alike, as well as in medical textbooks, and also in fiction. From at least the 1840s onwards these medical encounters unfolded under new conditions of anaesthetic possibility. Whether or not doctors chose to administer numbing agents, analgesics, or opiates, they remain a prospective recourse. In their absence or deferral, patients were implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) asked to re-categorise certain forms of painful experience as a tolerable aspect of the routine invasiveness of medical examination and treatment. The success of this endeavour might be measured in our own routine willingness to endure injections, palpations, biopsies and so on without anaesthetic relief. It is no coincidence that the introduction of the category of routine and voluntarily assented pain into later nineteenth century clinical practice was shadowed by the emergence of new accounts that began to question the necessary relationship between wound and pain - notably James Walton's The Science and Art of Surgery (1869). The clinical patient's acceptance of a modicum of pain gives bodily form to consent (distinguishable from an earlier state of somewhat abject passivity). Interestingly, such pain is not simply to be endured, but undergoes its own social transformations. This is seen most starkly in the changing status of the female patient. Middle class women presented a challenge to medical practitioners in terms of modesty protocols, but also because pain was understood to coarsen the character. Indeed, many early anaesthetic interventions were valued not only for their capacity to remove pain from medical procedures, but because they protected women from unseemly outburst. With the introduction of the category of consensual, tolerable pain, the female patient was placed in a different, and far more engaged relation to the medical practitioner.
David Ellison is Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies and Cultural History at the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane. He has research interests in domesticity, architecture and noise in Victorian culture.
"To my child now expecting to be born": Women's wills as acts of remembrance in Victorian Canterbury
Christchurch milliner Sarah Ann Hicks was single, pregnant and living in Melbourne when she wrote two wills in 1869, one of which featured the words in the title of this paper. She gave her sister, Eliza, an annual sum of £24 to bring up her unborn child; divided her jewellery between her others sisters, Mary and Charlotte; and left a watch to an aunt, Mary Ann Hart, in London. The court documents produced after her death that year reveal that Sarah was the sole signatory of the testaments, a situation that made them invalid and led her father to bring an intestacy case to get access to her estate. It was not the only Supreme Court hearing that year in which a woman's will was deemed a legal nullity. Leontine (Countess Lily) de la Pasture had prepared a lovely handwritten document as a precaution, even though she hoped her demise would be "far away". It was witnessed and signed by two women, Jane Wadsworth and Catherine "Finla[y]sson", but perhaps they had not anticipated the prospect of "civil death". When Lily died in childbirth, her husband was forced to seek letters of administration to the estate that she left to him as the sole beneficiary.
Both of these 1869 cases raise questions about the nature of Victorian will-making as a mode of cultural production that I have touched upon in recent publications but never fully developed. How can we best understand and frame the actions of women like Sarah and Lily? What are we to make of their bequests? To what extent did the practice of 'gifting' differ between, say, women and men, or between denominations? At a deeper anthropological level, what does will-making tell us about the ways that these people viewed their world and the one to come? This paper attempts to flesh out some tentative answers to these questions. I draw here on several hundred probate files for the Canterbury region held at Archives New Zealand in Christchurch. In what follows, I explore two main conceptual options for the project, neither of which are mutually exclusive: the notions of will-making as "materialized memory" and as "an act of remembrance".
Historian Lyndon Fraser is currently the Head of Department (Sociology and Anthropology) at the University of Canterbury and Research Fellow in Human History at the Canterbury Museum. He is Co-editor (with Linda Bryder) of the New Zealand Journal of History.
"A Strange Likeness of the Chinaman": Physiognomy and Dickens's "visualization" of opium addiction in The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Charles Dickens began to write The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 1869. To borrow the character Jasper's one-word comment on his opium-smoking companions' murmur, the novel (including its unfinished status) is about the "unintelligible" - the development of the story, especially the revelation of what in fact happens to Edwin, is permanently interrupted by Dickens's death in 1870 and forever left for the readers to interpret and debate.
Placing Dickens's last and incomplete novel alongside Victorian physiognomy (the study of appearance, often as the indicator of character and temperament), Orientalism, and the making of the addict, this chapter focuses in particular on how Edwin Drood transforms addiction conceptually from habitual behaviour into an un-English, pathological identity soon to be clearly called the "addict," post the 1870s. If describing the visual can better represent the Orient or confirm an Orientalized identity, it is not simply visual details, but categorizable and categorized visual details, that contribute to this exoticizing process. As the physiognomic discourse of sickness intertwined with that of race in Britain's visual representations of Chinese opium-smokers in the 1850s and 1860s, the novel adopts fixed physiognomic categories to suggest that racial features are variable. I argue that Dickens's emphasis on appearance in the novel simultaneously includes physiognomy's two nearly contradictory approaches towards an individual: a meticulous reading of the details and particularities of one's face or body, and the categorization and generalization of them. My reading of Edwin Drood examines how Dickens uses and responds to this internal tension between visualization and categorization, and how the novel's dialogue with the physiognomic method marks, measures and articulates the physical and even psychological changes of individuals induced by a continuous action - namely, the habitual use of substance.
Menglu Gao is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literary Studies and English at Northwestern University. Her dissertation, "The Lacquered Chinese Box: Opium, Addiction, and the Fantasy of Empire in Nineteenth-century British Literature," looks at the intersection of literary representations of opium-use, medical theories and Sino-British relations in the nineteenth century.
Frances Hodgkins and the class of '69
Pamela Gerrish Nunn
Frances Hodgkins, born in Dunedin in 1869, is arguably its most famous cultural export. She was at once typical of her generation and an extraordinary case of self -determination. How this is so can be demonstrated by comparing her with other artists in her generational cohort, both women and men, both New Zealanders and foreigners. To consider her alongside such artists as Australians Arthur Streeton (b. 1867) and Dora Meeson (b. 1869), Briton Beatrice How (b. 1867), Dunediner Grace Joel (b. 1865), Frenchman Henri Matisse (b. 1869) and Canadian Emily Carr (b. 1871) is to confront the effect of sex and gender, geography, circumstance and temperament on the development and eventual achievement of this painter trying to succeed in the European art centres between the end of the nineteenth and the middle of the twentieth centuries.
Hodgkins began her career in the Dunedin art community as the daughter of one of its founders (William Matthew Hodgkins) and the sister of one of its young stars (Isabel Hodgkins, later Field). By the age of thirty she had established herself as a New Zealand artist: she was a watercolourist who specialised not in landscape nor in still life, but in figures and especially in the tangata whenua, already a recognised niche in New Zealand subject-matter. But she also became the latest artist to leave this country to try their luck "at Home", following both Meeson and Joel. There, Hodgkins reinvented herself as a painter in response to this new world of possibilities. Looking to either side of her, she stood between the Francophile How with her poignant mothers and children, and the decorative expressionism of Matisse, but did not become identified with any school or artistic body until very late in her career.
Dr Pamela Gerrish Nunn, previously Professor of Art History and Theory at the University of Canterbury, is an independent scholar living near Wellington. She has specialised throughout her career in the histories of women artists; her latest work includes Frances Hodgkins People, an exhibition at the NZ Portrait Gallery, Wellington (2017-18) and From Dunedin to Waikanae, an exhibition at the Mahara Gallery,Waikanae (2019).
"500 Pieces of New Music This Week": Music selling in New Zealand c.1869
Before she married in 1874, Mary Rich of Palmerston, Otago had her collection of popular sheet music for the piano bound into two red leather volumes. The volumes contained Mary's selection of individual music sheets which she had purchased in Dunedin in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Consideration of the contents of the volumes provides a snapshot of what was being played and enjoyed in the home at that time, and enables analysis of how the popular musical culture of New Zealand reflected that enjoyed in other countries. A crucial link in the cycle of domestic music making was the music seller. The Dunedin music sellers represented in Mary Rich's volumes were part of a network of sellers providing up-to-the-minute music for the amateur musician and enabling New Zealand's participation in a worldwide popular musical culture. Beginning with the evidence found in Mary Rich's bound volumes, this paper will examine the network of music sellers operating in New Zealand at the time Mary Rich was buying her music and discuss their contribution to New Zealand's musical life and New Zealand's role in the global popular musical culture of the late 1860s and early 1870s.
Clare Gleeson is a research librarian at RNZ. Her recently completed doctoral thesis looked at domestic music making inNew Zealand from 1840 to 1940. Her history of music seller Charles Begg & Co Ltd, Meet Me at Begg's, was published in 2012. She is currently co authoring a biographical website of musical personalities active in New Zealand between 1840 and 1920.
Botanical Heresies circa 1869
1869: the world had been coping with Darwin's Origin of Species for nine years and his devotees had done an excellent job in the scientific world advocating the Darwinian struggle and the survival of the fittest. Then along came Simon Schwendener who published his monograph Die Algentypen der Flechtengonidien in 1869, showing that lichens were not plants but the union of two or three unrelated organisms: cooperating.
The same year Thomas Burrill began working on fire blight disease, which was devastating the pome fruit industry in Illinois. In many areas it was impossible to grow pears, and apples did little better. Burrill's painstaking work established that fire blight was caused by a bacterium and not by a fungus as many had believed. Most of the scientific world ridiculed his findings and many of the luminaries of microbiology in Europe launched personal attacks.
In 1869, Ceylon was the world's largest coffee producer, but that was about to change as the coffee rust fungus made its way out of Ethiopia to new homes in Old World coffee plantations. Production fell by 95 per cent; the British Government sent Marshall Ward, but ultimately the English would drink tea. The revolutionary ideas of these three men will be discussed.
Paul Guy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Botany, University of Otago, New Zealand's only Botany Department. He has research interests in plant pathology, symbiotic endophytes and food security.
Crossing the pond: The Tasman Sea in late-nineteenth century colonial life
The 2,000km stretch of ocean between New Zealand's west and Australia's south east, named for the Dutch mariner AbelJanszoon Tasman, has figured large for people on its shores. Historians in both countries, though, have submerged the joint past of this regional sea beneath distinct accounts of their respective paths to nationhood. This is especially true of the late nineteenth century, when national histories tend to "dry out" after tales of exploration, the movements of missionaries, and the rise and fall of extractive industries.
The 1860s and 1870s saw the embedding of steam technology into New Zealand's maritime networks and the development of regular steamship routes to the Australian colonies and beyond. This paper looks at the changing place of the Tasman Sea in the imagination of those living on both sides of its waters, and of those who travelled and worked upon them. It charts the gradual shift from sail to steam, alongside other key developments, including the rise of maritime unions, growing scientific interest and Australian federation.
David Haines works as a principal advisor forTe Arawhiti, the Office for Maori Crown Relations. He is most recently the author of (withJonathan West) "Crew Cultures in the Tasman World" in Frances Steel (ed), New Zealand and the Sea: Historical Perspectives, published by Bridget Williams Books in 2018.
The piggyback princess: Popularity, power and the photographic portrait in the 1860s
While pregnant with her third child in February 1867, Princess Alexandra fell seriously ill, sending her into premature labour and giving her a close brush with death. The Times reported "acute rheumatism" as the culprit, although Alexandra's doctors admitted that some of her symptoms baffled them. Rumours began to circulate that the Prince of Wales had given his wife "disease". Alexandra slowly regained her health but was left lame in her right leg. A portrait taken in September 1868 shows a recovered princess playfully piggybacking her daughter Louise. It was a surprising commercial success. With 300,000 copies sold, it became one of the highest-selling photographs of nineteenth-century Britain.
This paper explores the popularity and power of the "piggyback" portrait. The celebrity photograph emerged in the 1860s, and the young and glamorous Alexandra became one of the biggest photographic celebrities in Britain. Images of her that were registered for copyright outnumbered any other person during the nineteenth century. Her photographs were generally in demand, but why, of the hundreds taken of her during the 1860s, was the one of her with Louise such a commercial hit? There were a number of reasons for its popularity. Of the photographs taken after her illness, this one offered clear visible proof of the Princess's recovery. It also celebrated Alexandra as a loving mother and captured a pleasing portrait of ideal Victorian womanhood. However, an examination of the events of the late 1860s suggests other reasons for its popularity. High among them were her husband's involvement in a series of scandals with women, most notably the Mourdant divorce case filed in 1869, which roused sympathy for Alexandra as the devoted wife and mother. If her sickness had been related to venereal disease passed on by her playboy husband as some had speculated, Alexandra's photograph further served as a powerful symbol of an innocent woman's triumph over illness and infidelity.
Jill Haley is Curator Human History at Canterbury Museum. She earned her PhD in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago. Her thesis examined photography and albums in nineteenth-century Otago and their role in fostering community and creating identity in the new settlement.
Correspondence, Colenso, and cultural shifts: Visualising New Zealand in 1869
Beginning with a dataset of the digitised letters of 19th century printer, missionary, explorer, and naturalist William Colenso (1811-1899), we explore and attempt to visualise aspects of 19th century New Zealand society revealed by the application of networks as research methods in historiography. The contexts of these networks are introduced, both through additional data sources such as the correspondence of key people Colenso corresponded with, and Colenso's journals and autobiography, as well as via historical interpretation utilising "reading against the grain". These contexts - people, places, things included or left out - provide opportunities to examine the usefulness of networks in historical research, where we must ask the question "what would we expect extant sources to record, and represent, and what are they most likely to omit or distort?" (Allen, 1986).
The rich, diverse dataset built from Colenso's writings, and those of his contemporaries, provides a snapshot of the cultural and scientific shifts at play in 1869. Ripe for interrogation, William Colenso, a Fellow of the Linnean Society, and in regular correspondence with other scientists, particularly in Great Britain, acts as a node through which Hawkes Bay is connected with London, but also with Matauranga Maori, land confiscations, and an escalating civil war in New Zealand. Fixing our gaze on 1869, first through Colenso's eyes, and then re-focusing on those whom records are likely to omit or distort, allows us to attempt to visualise how these shifts and tensions played out in communities and discourses here (New Zealand) - and there (the world- or at least, Great Britain).
Allen, Judith. 1986. "Evidence and Silence: Feminism and the Limits of History." In Feminist Challenges: Social and Political Theory, edited by Carole Pateman and Elizabeth Gross, 173-189. Sydney: Allen & Unwin
Kate Hannah is a Te Pūmaha Matatini-funded PhD candidate in the Science and Society Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, investigating novel hybrid methodologies for the historiography of science. She is also Research Fellow, Department of Physics, University of Auckland; Executive Manager, Te Pūmaha Matatini; Associate Investigator, Te Pfmaha Matatini. Her principal research area is the historiography of the history of science, with a focus on the cultures and subcultures of science, gender in science history, and narrative and complexity.
Joseph Mellor: the man who described the periodic table in 16 million words
Joseph Mellor, a lowly boot strapper at Sargood's and McKinlay's boot factory, was to become one of Otago's most famous graduates. Graduating with a BSc and MSc, he completed a PhD at Owens College, Manchester. He became director of the North Staffordshire Technical College where he worked with the likes of potters such as Frank Wedgewood and Bernard Moore, developing glazes. His work on refractory materials was essential to the British war effort of World War I. He was offered a peerage in recognition of the significance of this work but declined it. In his spare time he set about writing his 16 volume treatise on the elements of the periodic table in 16 million words. With what seems an appropriate coincidence, the periodic table was first published in the year of Joseph Mellor's birth, 1869. The periodic table has expanded from the original 63 elements to today's 118 named elements. Stories of the elements abound; naming conveys immortality and has been used for geopolitical purposes. 150 years on, the periodic table is chemistry's great icon.
Lyall Hanton grew up in Mataura. He has an honours degree from the University of Otago and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He is the Mellor Professor of Chemistry at the University of Otago. His research into the structure and function of extended chemical systems by making new advanced materials combines his passion for scientific understanding and application.
1869 in stages
When you went to the theatre in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1869, how were you entertained? What kinds of performances were offered? In this paper I will offer a fresh approach to this question, partly building on the affordances of two key databases, the Otago-based Theatre Aotearoa Database and the National Library's Papers Past. Good general accounts of nineteenth century theatre have been devised by Peter Downes, among others. Teara offers a concise summary and chronology of Downes' findings; and Lisa Warrington has analysed in depth the first seasons of playmaking activities in Dunedin in the early 1860s ("We are amused: Theatre comes to Dunedin, December 1861 - April 1862", Australasian Drama Studies, No. 62, June 2013.
These accounts tend to be whiggish in their interpretation, looking to the past to discern where professional theatre and playwriting has come from, as if the mission of nineteenth century theatre was to become the template for theatre production and script development as it unfolded in New Zealand after World War II.
As a counter - and enhancement - to these approaches, I propose a horizontal use of the surviving records. Theatre Aotearoa shows 57 performances of 41 plays in Dunedin and Auckland. What can we say of these, collectively? What genres were in favour? How did audiences respond to these shows? By thin-slicing across a calendar year, and focusing on repertory, theatre personnel and reception, I hope to devise a thicker description of how theatrical entertainments functioned 150 years ago.
Mark Houlahan is Associate Professor in the English Programme at the University of Waikato. He has published numerous essays and chapters exploring nineteenth century Shakespeare productions in New Zealand and Australia. For this new project he is seeking to expand the uses of both physical and digital traces of theatre in colonial New Zealand.
Developing confidence: William Meluish and 1860s Dunedin
On arrival in Dunedin with his wife, Emma, in early 1860, William Meluish immediately set about photographing what was then, the year before the discovery of gold in the province, a "quiet dingy little town". Through the 1860s, Meluish took subsequent views and panoramas from the same or similar vantage points and consciously recorded the town's remarkable transformation into a city. Whilst his photographic subject matter was not exclusively architecture or the urban setting of Dunedin, these form the basis of Meluish's particular contribution to our understanding of Dunedin's early development. This contribution was also recognised by his contemporaries, one observing in 1862, "we had but to glance at Mr Meluish' s interesting series of photographs .... to see how much this city, especially during the last two years, has progressed in every way." The role that William Meluish and his photography played in shaping contemporary impressions of Dunedin is explored in this paper.
Jonathan Howard is a project advisor for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. He uses historical photographs extensively in his work, researching the architectural history of buildings and structures and charting the development and mechanisms for change in New Zealand urban centres.
Women's writing on sex: Rhetoric and gender in the social purity movement
The amendment of the Contagious Diseases Acts in 1869 awakened feminist women's political desires for autonomy over their own bodies. Social purity campaigners, such as Josephine Butler, Elizabeth Blackwell and Jane Ellice Hopkins, criticised chaotic sexual politics in the late nineteenth century; the period witnessed a commercial dynamic binding masculine sexual fantasy to consumer culture, in which women's bodies were regarded as commodities. This paper examines the way in which female social purity campaigners' narratives of moral restraints on behaviours reveal their desires to defy male sexual excess, along with their motivation to play leading roles in the reconstruction of British national identity, focusing on moral and sexual dilemmas that men and women confronted after the 1869 Act.
The campaigns for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts offered the women a political platform to protest against male tyranny over women's bodies. In their critiques of the male oriented sexual desires and pleasures, Butler, Blackwell and Hopkins in their works handled delicate issues of sex audaciously through their strategic employment of religious language. Butler argued impurity of a private bedroom by protesting differentiated standards of sexual morality in matrimonial life in both her public speech in Edinburgh (1871) and her pamphlet titled Social Purity (1879). Blackwell, with her professional authority, admitted female sexual instincts to overturn dominated assumption in her books on sex education. Hopkins, in her pamphlets and literary works including poems and a novel, implicitly and explicitly represented the awakening of a woman's sexual pleasure and the function of reproduction, as some of her works were rejected from the circulating libraries. Under the banner of social purity, the reformers found the language to stake their own claims to speak about sex, female desires and ideal partners, seeking to transform the double-standard and the evils of the system of sexual ignorance.
Chieko Ichikawa is Professor of English Literature at lbaraki University, Japan. Her publications include "Jane Eyre's Daughters: The Feminist Mission of Mary Carpenter and Josephine Butler in India" in Women's History Review (2014), and "A Body Politic of Women's Own: Josephine Butler, Social Purity, and National Identity" in Victorian Review (2015). Her current project is to examine the formation of networks for working-class women's lives and sexuality.
Blowing up boundaries
Susan Irvine and Sarah Gallagher
In March 1869, the Otago Daily Times ran an article entitled "City and General Improvements", that highlighted the Bell Hill excavation and its "vast importance" to the city. The excavation would go on to open up access to the commercial, political and education centre of Dunedin, based around the site of the current Exchange - what was the historic landing place of Tauraka Waka,1 and later, the John Wickcliffe and Philip Laing, which saw the official beginnings of the Otago settlement by the Scots in 1848.
The blowing up of Bell Hill united the city divided by this monstrous geological formation, an "abrupt barrier in the direct line of the principle thoroughfare." A constant employer, and "where crime was punished and infamy expiated with honest sweat" for over 20 years, the completion of the Bell Hill excavation was considered the most considerable public work project in the colony. We intend to investigate how the removal of physical and geographical boundaries echoes the aspirational removal of religious and educational boundaries, thereby shaping the environment to create the world they wanted to live in.
Bell Hill will be described as it originally stood, the stages of work as it progressed, and how Dunedinites of 1869 experienced the traverse between these two halves of the city - known as Mudedin.
Susan Irvine is a Heritage Assessment Advisor for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. She has a masters in History from the University of Otago and a masters in Information Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. Working at the Hocken Collections, she eventually became the Arrangement and Description Archivist. Since 2008 she has been working in the area of Crown Land Disposal and List entry.
Sarah Gallagher is a Heritage Assessment Advisor for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. She has a masters in Classics from the University of Otago and a masters in Information Studies f rom Victoria University of Wellington. Sarah has worked as an information professional in the private, public and tertiary sectors.
Un-sexed and de-feminised: Victorian mining women in England and Wales, 1869
This paper will analyse the relationship between costume and femininity in rural mining communities in the nineteenth century. It will examine the clothing worn by female surface workers in the United Kingdom through an exploration into regional differences in dress using contemporaneous art, official mining records and commissioned carte-de-visite produced specifically in 1869.
The Mines and Collieries Act of 1842 banned women and children under the age of ten from working underground in mines. However, many women were able to retain employment working on the pit surface sorting and shovelling coal. These women were known locally as pit brow lasses, patch girls or bal maidens.
It was argued that mining women challenged separate spheres ideology not only by working outside of the home but by wearing what was considered to be "masculine" attire - a practical costume of breeches and rough clothes. They were accused of "aping men" and being "de feminised" or "un-sexed" by their coal besmirched working garb. However, my research reveals that mining women identified strongly with their femininity and thus adorned their working uniform in overtly feminine ways. They dressed in flamboyant colours; decorated their bonnets with flowers, feathers and ribbons; wore jewellery; and explicitly identified as women: mothers, wives and daughters.
Arthur Munby, a British civil servant and middle-class observer of working women, amassed a unique collection of images depicting mining women, the majority of which were commissioned in 1869. These, together with his personal diaries and journals, were donated to Trinity College, Cambridge. This fascinating collection comprises an exceptional social history of women who worked in heavy industry and forms the basis for this paper centred around the lives of mining women in 1869.
Tracey Jones is an AHRC Heritage Consortium, PhD Candidate and Associate Lecturer at Teesside University, UK. Her thesis investigates female identity in Victorian mining women, looking specifically at the relationship between dress, occupation and displays of femininity. Tracey holds degrees in English and History, English Local History, and Cultural Heritage.
He Knew He Was Right Trollope's Mixed Characters
Anthony Trollope's 1869 novel He Knew He Was Right appears plain and uncomplicated: contemporary reviewers commented, as they would do so often when it came to Trollope, on the author's focus on people's banal conversations over breakfast, his simple, repetitive plots but pleasant language that made his novels an overall sensual rather than intellectual reading experience. Agreeable but not clever, perhaps Trollope had internalized this view when he wrote in his 1883 Autobiography that a novel should "give a picture of common life enlivened with humour and sweetened by pathos" (Chapter 7).
However, this talk will show that there is significantly more to He Knew He Was Right than its humble surface suggests or than contemporaries assumed or were conditioned to see. As scholars before me have suggested, He Knew He Was Right is Trollope's commentary on the Custody of Infants Bill of 1839, as much as it is his reaction to the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865: the novel is both a "feminist tragedy" (Jane Nardin, He Knew She Was Right, 1989) and a colonial allegory, with Emily Rowley being "enslaved" to Louis Trevelyan (Deborah Denenholz Morse, Reforming Trollope, 2013).
I want to elaborate on such "deep" reading ofTrollope's novel by focussing on the portrayal of characters and the relations they enter with spouses, relatives, money and the law. This paper shows how shifting dynamics of intimacy and power result in characters' conflicting propensities and propinquities. My overall argument - by way of discussing the couples Louis and Emily, Nora Rowley and Hugh Stanbury, and Jemima Stanbury and Brooke Burgess- is that Trollope's "mixed characters" are the sign of a sophisticated writing project because they show the author's engagement with moral casuistry (in front of a backdrop of gendered, class and ethnic difference/mobility) and how these subtleties flow into the characters' realist representations.
Julia Kuehn is Professor of English at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests are Victorian literature and culture, travel writing and critical theory. She has published in international journals including Victorian Literature and Culture, Victorian Review, Studies in Travel Writing, and Frontiers: A journal of Women Writing. Julia's current project is a comparative study of nineteenth-century German and British realist novels.
The waste of winter: A Wellington draper, 1869
Through close reading of the contents of a "waste" book belonging to a prominent nineteenth century Wellington draper, much can be gleaned about the clothing and textile needs and desires of a broad section of Wellington society in the winter of 1869.
The extant business records of Wellington draper and clothier William Clark (1830-1902) were recently rediscovered by the author in the Alexander Turnbull Library, to which they were donated in 1953. They comprise extraordinarily detailed books of prime entry including "day" books, "waste" books and "stock" books. While the day books provide a full record of all daily transactions, waste books were used by clerks to make the preliminary notes upon which this fair copy was based.
Although the Turnbull holds extremely thorough records of Clark's business, they are not complete, and the day books for 1869 are missing. However, the waste book for part of that year, covering the period April through October - autumn through spring - survives, and this record forms the basis of my paper.
Analysis of the purchases of Clark's broad range of customers - Māori and Pākehā, land owners and labourers, sailors and rival shopkeepers, the military and the government - between April and October 1869 provides a fascinating snapshot of the material culture of life in the capital and its immediate environs in that year.
William Clark opened his drapery and clothing store in Lambton Quay on 3 January 1854 where it remained for 34 years until Clark filed for bankruptcy on 19 December 1888.
Angela Lassig is an Auckland-based independent historian, specialising in dress and textiles. She is currently researching and writing a book on nineteenth century New Zealand dress and textiles towards which she was awarded major grants by The Friends of the Turnbull Library and the New Zealand History Association in 2018.
Maritime mobility and texts in transit
During his voyage from London to Port Chalmers on board the City of Dunedin in late 1869, emigrant John Richard Morris kept a diary, recording in brief entries his and his family's experiences and activities on board, events taking place, observations about fellow passengers, about the weather, encounters with sea animals, wind direction, sailing speed and distance covered. Somewhat unusually, his wife Marina added her own entries to the same diary, sharing the experience of travelling across the sea though writing about it with her husband in the same text. The Morris' diary is one of many such personal documents kept during voyages of migration, suggesting the significance of the practice of writing for recording, and also for mediating and living through oceanic and biographical transits. Seaborne writing often gave structure and rhythm to time spent at sea, and rendered unfamiliar oceanic spaces and experiences familiar by describing and inscribing them in time and place. Reading, too, offered ways of passing time and making sense of sea voyages that could last several weeks if not months, and passengers frequently noted their reading activities in diaries.
Taking this 1869 shipboard diary as a starting point, this paper explores literary practices at sea in the second half of the nineteenth century, the age of "steam and print". In particular, the paper focusses on the interrelationship of oceanic environments with literary practices. How did being at sea and the space of the ship shape reading and writing?
Susann Liebich is a print culture scholar at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies, Heidelberg University, Germany. She has published widely on reading cultures in New Zealand and the British empire, and on Australian and New Zealand popular magazines of the
1920s and 30s. Her current project investigates reading and writing at sea.
Mary Elizabeth Braddon and the idea of Hereditary Genius
Francis Galton's work Hereditary Genius, published in 1869, expands upon his earlier essay "Hereditary Talent and Character" (1865) and is one of the important early works of the eugenics movement. In One Thing Needful (1886), Mary Elizabeth Braddon, a prolific Victorian novelist, depicts the literary rise of a young lady named Stella Boldwood. Despite originating in slum-like working-class conditions, Stella shows remarkable facility with languages, rising to the position of famous novelist while very young, on the basis of her innovative novels. After a childhood tragedy, Stella leaves her working-class sphere and is adopted into an upper-class household. But after the death of her adoptive father, she is treated as a servant and deprived of book learning. The matriarch of the household asserts that the influence of Stella's low birth and her birth father's socialism will become apparent and contaminate their household.
Braddon's novel responds to the pervasive influence eugenics had acquired by the 1880s, investigating those eugenic concerns that touch on the degeneration of the upper classes and weighing up the possible dangers and benefits of inter-class breeding. Stella's initial denigration, followed by her triumphant career arc, engage with some of Galton's conclusions in 1869's Hereditary Genius that individuals may inherit "genius" from either or both parents
-Stella's birth father is revealed to have been a highly talented student as well as a magnificent political speaker- and that genius reveals itself regardless of an individual's environmental challenges. Braddon's novel introduces a female genius - a figure largely absent from Galton's theorizing- and engages with the nature/nurture puzzle faced by Galton, with Braddon's narrative making it difficult to tell whether Stella's "genius" is inherited from her biological father or whether its fruition is largely due to the social and literary stimuli provided by her adoptive father.
Dr Heidi Logan's research interests include Victorian fiction's responses to new scientific knowledge and changes to gender roles, especially in sensation fiction. Her first book, Sensational Deviance: Disability in Nineteenth-Century Sensation Fiction was published in 2018 by Routledge. She is currently working on projects relating to sensation fiction, disability and eugenics.
A year of appeal: to the men of New Zealand, to the imperial government
In the year in which "Femina" (Mary Ann Muller) appealed to the men of New Zealand for a political voice, the men of New Zealand appealed to the imperial government for money and for the retention of soldiers. Neither appeal succeeded, in the short term. In 1869, the newly established Maori seats in the New Zealand parliament were just two years old. What do these pleas and new ventures tell us about the practice of politics in a society in which education and print was highly valued? What do they tell us about the critical 1860s debate as to where political power originates and how it should be distributed? Is this the sharpening moment for New Zealand that occurs not only in the shadow of the colony's recent violence but also of the 1867 Reform Act?
Charlotte Macdonald is Professor of History at Victoria University of Wellington Te Whare Wananga o Te Dpoko o te Ika a Maui. Her research interests started in, and have returned to, the 1860s, most recently with work on garrison and empire. Recent articles have appeared in Itinerario, Rethinking History (with Rebecca Lenihan) and the New Zealand Journal of History.
A pivotal year: Land alienation and entitlement in Taieri and Hokianga
In Buying the Land, Selling the Land, Richard Boast pinpoints 1869 as marking the beginning of a second wave of state purchasing of Maori land - one that persisted for 60 years and saw four million hectares of North Island land acquired by the Crown. The following year, the Torrens system of land titles was adopted via the 1870 Land Transfer Act.
In this paper I trace the relationship between these two state initiatives, which worked together to concretise the state's faith in British farming families as the ideal owners of rural land. Land was not just bought and sold: a long chain was broken as iwi were disinherited, and a system suited to a new heirship was enforced - enabling (and entitling) British families to smoothly (at least in legal terms) pass land onto the next generation. I will consider the impact of these policies through family stories and community histories of two districts that were affected in distinct ways: Hokianga in the far north and Taieri in the south. The complex and divergent fortunes of these two rural districts illuminate the powerful impact of land tenure on community formation and their characterisation in national narratives.
Jane McCabe is a Lecturer in History at the University of Otago. Her monograph Race, Tea and Colonial Resettlement (Bloomsbury, 2017) examined a Presbyterian scheme that resettled 130 mixed-race children from Indian tea plantations to New Zealand. Jane's current research project, funded by a Marsden Fast-start Grant, is a cross-cultural history of land and inheritance in Taieri and Hokianga.
"She wore her wedding-dress still": Marriage and silk culture in Aotearoa/New Zealand
When Isabella Alexander married Matthew Fitton at Holy Trinity Church, Lyttelton, Canterbury, on 20July 1869, she wore a brown striped silk dress that survives today as a lustrous relic of an everyday colonial match. Whether the groom's waistcoat was made from "poor man's silk" (corduroy) or silk brocade is unknown. It is known, however, that bride and groom had shared origins as migrants from British weaving districts: for her, the Scottish woollen manufacturing town of Kirriemuir, and for him, the English silk manufacturing centre of Macclesfield. While they were well-versed from childhood in processes of cloth manufacture- from the wonders and miseries of "Kay's flying shuttle" to those of "Cartwright's power loom" - in colonial Canterbury they turned to lives on the land. Their marriage in 1869 marked the beginning of a colonial family that branched vigorously to include hundreds of descendants in the present day.
To classify a silk wedding dress as an artifact that was, and continues to be, embedded in the contexts of family and locality opens up a set of possibilities. After all, as Alison Light has so ably demonstrated in Common People: The History of an English Family (2014), family history is local history. But the year 1869 also marked a beginning, and a high point, in the development of sericulture in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The motivations of the men and women who worked to introduce Morus alba (white mulberry) and Bombyx mori (domestic silkworm) to Canterbury, and other dry regions, such as Otago and Nelson, and who diligently attempted the fiddly tasks of raising silkworms to maturity, killing them and reeling their silk, opens up a further set of possibilities relating to the development of colonial textile knowledge and its undoing. A brown striped silk wedding dress worn in Lyttelton in the winter of 1869 will be used, therefore, to probe what Sydney Shep has described as "the breadth of an object's reach into local, national and global communities."
Fiona McKergow is a doctoral student working on an investigation of colonial textile culture in mid-nineteenth century Aotearoa/New Zealand. She has a background in collaborative history - Women Together (1993, 2018); Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (1996); Looking Flash (2007); Te Hao Nui (2011) - and museum curatorship.
"0 joy unbounded": The Cultural Legacy of Gilbert and Sullivan in Australia and New Zealand
In 1869, Arthur Sullivan composed his first oratorio, The Prodigal Son, and W S Gilbert staged what he described as his first comedy, An Old Score. Two years later these two Victorian talents combined to create the opera Thespis, the first of fourteen collaborations. By the time their partnership ended in 1896 they had celebrated a string of box-office breaking successes, parodied many Victorian institutions and ideologies, introduced several witticisms into the English language, and reshaped light opera into the formula of the stage musical.
This paper seeks to reveal the history of the production, reception, and cultural significance of Gilbert and Sullivan in Australia and New Zealand. It begins by tracing the almost fevered enthusiasm for Gilbert and Sullivan in the 1870s and early 1880s, with enterprising travelling players and commercially savvy impresarios rushing to capitalise on the outpouring of enthusiasm for the operas in Britain and America. Gilbert and Sullivan were synonymous with entertainment, innovation, and topicality, and the staging of their works shortly after their London debuts reassured colonial audiences that they were connected to the latest and most popular stage spectacles.
This immediate popularity has persisted, and the second part of my paper considers what the virtually continuous stage presence of the operas suggests about the evolving outlook and taste of the New Zealand and Australian societies to whom this music appeals. Much of this history relates to the European settler communities in the two nations, but, in New Zealand in particular, Māori audiences and performers have engaged with this quintessentially Victorian musical institution. The history and legacy of Gilbert and Sullivan in Australia and New Zealand is one of both cultural transference and local adaptation, and its narrative provides an insight into patterns of cultural exchange and consumption.
Kirstine Moffat is Associate Professor in the English Programme at the University of Waikato. She has published widely on nineteenth-century New Zealand literature, music, and culture and is the author of Piano Forte: Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand.
House style and class in Victorian and Edwardian Dunedin, 1870-1910
This paper explores the relationship between class and domestic house style in Victorian and Edwardian Dunedin, from 1870 to 1910. A detailed historical examination is made of the colonial and commercial contexts in which the city's houses were created. Using historic images, a statistical analysis of house styles is also undertaken to determine any clear associations between different occupational classes, home ownership statuses and stylistic features. The results are explored though the stories of four individuals whose houses were included in the analysis. Ultimately, this research suggests that house style could express wealth though scale, expensive materials and a clear visual differentiation between personal homes and budget rental accommodation, but there was little evidence to suggest distinctive class-related tastes in architecture.
Originally from Christchurch, Jeremy Moyle has studied archaeology at Otago and Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. He has been involved with archaeological and heritage consultancy for the past five years and works as an archaeologist for Origin Consultants in Dunedin.
Practice of adoption in Aotearoa before the 1881 Adoption of Infants Act
With the arrival of Europeans in Aotearoa/New Zealand, from 1840, came a familial kinship structure and ideas of caring and nurturing children that differed to those of indigenous Māori society. Europeans brought with them a practice of adoption, a concept that was different to the indigenous kinship practice of whangai. This led to misunderstandings between the two cultures about the care arrangements of a Māori child left with a European couple. Even the reasons why Māori engaged in this type of arrangement was not fully understood by Europeans. For Māori, these arrangements were to be temporary, Europeans considered them to be permanent. Hence, we have the beginning of challenges that ultimately resulted in the creation of the 1881 Adoption of Infants Act, a first within the British Empire.
This presentation will begin with an understanding of the European practice of adoption and the Māori practice of whāngai in the two decades preceding the 1881 Act, highlighting the key differences between each. It is these differences that will then lead into understanding the
misunderstandings between the two cultures. The most significant difference is the European idea of permanent, and Maori idea of temporary, care arrangements. As Māori attempted to reclaim their child they were often met with the frustration of Europeans who had misunderstood the temporary nature of the child being in their care. This resulted in Europeans creating a number of initiatives in an effort to gain the permanent care of a Māori child. Finally, we follow how these initiatives led the government of Aotearoa/New Zealand to legally formalise arrangements by initiating the 1881 Adoption of Infants Act.
Erica Newman is a staff member in Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, at the University of Otago. She has recently completed a PhD in Pacific Islands Studies on the history of adoption and guardianship practices in Fiji during the colonial period of 1874 to 1970. This presentation comes from her MA thesis, "A right to be Māori? Identity formation for Maori adoptees". Her research is in the area of adoption, indigenous methods of child circulation and kinship structures.
The other October revolution- art, enlightenment and reformist women in mid-century Victorian Britain and its colonial legacy
On 16 October 1869, the English watercolour painter Barbara Bodichon, reformist publisher Emily Davies and political activist Lady Stanley of Alderley established the first residential college for women at Cambridge University. Thus they revolutionised the education of women in Great Britain. Renamed Girton College, it was relocated to a new building designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse on a site near Girton village two and half kilometres north of Cambridge, far enough away so as not to stir up hostilities on the main campus. Bodichon's contemporary, the philanthropist, art collector and women's rights activist, Helen Blackburn, left her archives and decorated book collection to Girton College. This paper examines the confluence of art, reform, philanthropy and education in mid-century Great Britain through the work of these women pioneers and their legacy in the colonial Australia and New Zealand.
The establishment of Girton College was the culmination of a significant reform agenda percolating throughout the middle century decades. It was no coincidence that in 1869 John Stuart Mill published The Subjection of Women, a treatise which he openly acknowledged was written in collaboration with his wife Harriet Taylor Mill who had earlier published The Enfranchisement of Women in 1851. Three years later, Barbara Bodichon published her Brief "Summary of the Laws of England concerning Women", which led to the passing of the Married Woman's Property Act of 1870. In 1858, she established the English Woman's Journal, at 19 Langham Place, appointing Emily Davies as the editor in 1863, giving rise to the famous Langham Place Group, who established of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women. During the nineteenth century, the work of women artists as social reformers was perhaps more influential than the paintings that they produced, but the production and exhibition of their art was a great act of female empowerment. This paper also examines the role of women philanthropists in the arts and education and their relationship to the women's suffrage movement. This paper will further examine Helen Blackburn's substantial effort to promote women artists through the Loan Exhibition of Women's Industries, opening in Bristol on 26 February 1885, and her personal collection of work of women artists, which she bequeathed to the University of Bristol, where it is currently "to be located", its inventory housed at Girton College within her archive.
Lara Nicholls is a PhD candidate, College of Arts and Social Sciences (Research School of Humanities and the Arts) and a Fellow, Burgmann College at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Her thesis examines the infrastructure available to women artists to create and exhibit their work in the nineteenth century in Britain and Australia. She is currently the Assistant Curator, Australian Paintings and Sculpture at the National Gallery of Australia where she curated recent travelling exhibitions Abstraction, about Australian abstract women artists, and the current exhibition Art Deco: The World Turns Modern. Lara has published widely on Australian art, including catalogues to the collections of The Athenaeum Club, Melbourne and Trinity College at the University of Melbourne. She is an Australian Federal Government Expert Examiner under the Protection of Moveable Cultural Heritage Act.
Hand-axes, saurians and kobongs- Governor Grey's London year
1869 was a good year for George Grey, former Governor of New Zealand. He had survived the stresses of the Waikato War, sacking by the imperial government, and periods of depression. He was back in London, not as a talented but junior lieutenant, as he had been much earlier in his life; nor yet as a bitter and embattled functionary, as he had been ten years before, in 1859.
By contrast, in 1869 Grey was celebrated and admired, welcomed by friends and family, sought after by some of the leading minds of the age, and received by Queen Victoria herself. While his greatest achievements - and maybe his worst sins - were behind him, he had a name, a reputation, and connexions: everything needed to enjoy a year in the world's largest city, the centre of the empire he had so devotedly served all his life.
However, Grey brought to London in 1869 something more valuable than name, reputation or connexions. Sitting at the centre of a vast web of correspondence on subjects as diverse as philology, anthropology and natural history, possessing an ever-growing collection of prized manuscripts, rare books and unusual specimens, he brought back vital information from the imperial frontline - information that savants working in Britain could turn into useful, powerful knowledge.
This paper considers Grey's year in London in 1869 from the perspective of his interactions with the capital's mid-Victorian intellectual culture - the luminaries he dined with, the learned meetings he attended, the scholarly papers he read and the exhibits he displayed. It shows how integrated he was into the intellectual life of his age, and how wide and deep his interests were, revealing in the process a different, fascinating, "other" Governor Grey.
John O'Leary writes on nineteenth-century colonial cultures. He has published numerous scholarly articles, and reviews for NZ Review of Books Pukapuka Aotearoa. In 2011 he published Savage Songs & Wild Romances, a study of colonial poetry about indigenous peoples, and in 2016 A Peculiar Gentleman, a biography of the historian and indigenous rights activist George Rusden. He is currently working on a study of Governor Grey's intellectual life.
Mr Gisborne's gift: the growth of decorative arts and the national collection
In 1869, four years after the foundation of the Colonial Museum (today the Museum of New Zealand), two small Peruvian bowls were received from Mr Gisborne. For the museum, it signalled a desire to bring the world to New Zealand and it demonstrated an interest in acquiring decorative arts and design. What is the history of this area of the Te Papa collection? How did it reflect the colonial perspective and how has it changed in recent years as a resurgence in national identity occurs?
Justine Olsen, Curator of decorative art and design considers its history since 1869 and how it reflects New Zealand's changing view of itself.
Justine Olsen is Curator of decorative art and design at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She has, through her writing and exhibitions, developed a wide interest in how the formation of museums reflect taste, design history and the changing impulses in collecting.
The mystery of the Matoaka; or, Thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird (with apologies to Wallace Stevens)
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms; But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
Wallace Stevens, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird"
There is no shortage of connections between the ship, the Matoaka, and the concerns of this conference. The Matoaka made repeated voyages between Britain and New Zealand in the 1860s, and thus was itself the first point of connection for many settlers between their old home and their new (not least Kate Sheppard, who arrived at Lyttleton on the Matoaka with her family in early 1869).
The Matoaka was also linked to a tragedy that occurred in Otago Harbour in 1863, when passengers who had just arrived after a 3-month voyage transferred from the Matoaka to a smaller steamboat that served as a ferry between Port Chalmers and Dunedin. These passengers included the Reverend Thomas Hewett Campbell, about to become the first headmaster of the new Dunedin High School, his wife Marian and their five children, all under five-years-old. When the ferry collided with a paddle boat just off Sawyers Bay, 13 people drowned, including the entire Campbell family.
However, this was not to be the Matoaka's only association with tragedy, as in May 1869, the ship sailed from Lyttleton and disappeared without a trace, despite becoming the subject of a maritime search and extensive media interest. A message in a bottle claiming to be from the doomed ship was later found on Ocean Beach, Dunedin, but was judged to be a hoax. As well as the loss of almost 80 lives and a large shipment of gold, the Matoaka had also been carrying a significant collection of fossilised dinosaur remains from north Canterbury, on its way to the British Museum.
But as rich in possibility as all these connections may be, it is another connection with the Matoaka that I will focus on in this presentation: its role in the introduction of British birds into Canterbury and Otago in the 1860s at the instigation of the recently-formed Acclimatisation Societies. In February 1868, for example, the Matoaka delivered a shipment to Lyttleton that included 77 pairs of blackbirds, as well as sparrows, robins and redpolls.
In particular, I want to think about the blackbird as a culture-bearing object, drawing onJohn Plotz's illuminating study on the importance of portable culture in the Victorian period to produce a sense of belonging in the farthest reaches of the empire and thus, as Plotz says, to provide insight into the "cultural logic of Victorian empire-formation."2 How does the way we consider the role of portable culture in this period change when the culture-bearing objects are living creatures? What would it mean to think about the blackbird as vitally "involved/in what I know" about our place and our history? And how might we understand the role of introduced species, and our emotional or political responses to them, in the natural environment of contemporary Aotearoa?
Wendy Parkins is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, UK, having been Professor of Victorian Literature there until late 2018. Her books include Jane Morris: The Burden of History (2013) and Mobility and Modernity in Women's Novels, 1850s to 1930s (2009) and her most recent research has focused on Victorian sustainability and the Anthropocene. Her first creative work, Every Morning, So Far, I'm Alive: A Memoir, was recently published by Otago University Press.
2 John Plotz, Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, p.18.
A year in the life of Te Waka Maori
1869 appears a rather sparse year for Māori readers, with just one niupepa (Māori-language newspaper) produced that year. Te Waka Māori o Ahuriri (1863-1871) began as a fortnightly periodical, as a means for Donald McLean to promulgate his views to Hawkes Bay Māori.
1869 is part of a wider transitional period for Māori; the wars over land and sovereignty, although not resistance, were drawing to an end; and the Native Land Court was bedding in. The year was also transitional for McLean, as he relinguished the superintendency of the Hawkes Bay Province to take on the position of Native Minister in the central government. Situated within the context of the changing political environment, this presentation investigates what Māori were reading in this niupepa in 1869, and in particular their responses and opinions in letters to the editor. It argues that although we may view this newspaper as a colonial tool, it also provided knowledge that informed their wider conswusness.
Lachy Paterson is a professor in Te Tumu: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, University of Otago, where he researches Maori history. He has published widely, often using Māori-language texts as his primary sources, including Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Māori 1855-1863 (Otago University Press, 2006) and with Angela Wanhalla, He Reo Wāhine: Māori Women's Voices from the Nineteenth Century (Auckland University Press, 2017).
"A lot of paintings and drawings": Dunedin's 1869 Fine Art Exhibition
1869 was a good year for art in colonial New Zealand. The first art society was formed in Auckland, the Bishop Monrad collection made its first airing on the colonial stage, and in Dunedin, Frances Hodgkins was born and the first dedicated Fine Art Exhibition was held. These last two laudable moments are connected, for Dunedin's 1869 Fine Art Exhibition was organised by Frances Hodgkins' father, William Hodgkins. In the wake of the success of the Fine Art Gallery at the 1865 New Zealand Exhibition, an influential committee gathered together, determined to host an art exhibition that might be "worthy of the Province and of themselves."
In typical nineteenth-century fashion, the exhibition ultimately showcased an eclectic selection of works, not just "a lot of paintings and drawings", but also Old Master engravings drawn from the Monrad collection, photographs by W T L Travers, carvings from Oamaru stone, along with colonial watercolours and European paintings, consisting both of bad originals and good copies.
Beyond an evaluation of the artworks on exhibition and their reception, this paper will assess who the key players on the colonial scene were and the networks that existed between them that enabled such a collection of art to be brought together at this time. As exhibitors of artworks were acknowledged in both the catalogue and in reviews, it will consider how participation was as important for exhibitors as it was for artists, for the exhibition offered an opportunity for individuals to accrue cultural capital in a competitive colonial society.
Rebecca Rice is Curator Historical New Zealand Art at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She researches, curates and publishes in the field of colonial New Zealand Art, with a focus on the histories of exhibition and display, as well as the visual culture of the New Zealand Wars.
Dunedin - a city built on reclamation
When the first Pākehā settlers stepped onto land next to the Toitū Stream in 1848 in a location near the top of today's Water Street, they were greeted with a shoreline that quickly rose upwards towards Dunedin's hilly and forested flanks. The plan for the city devised in 1846 already considered reclamation of the harbour to provide more flat land for industry and government close to where ships would anchor or dock. Reclamation began immediately as the day-to-day workings of a new colony dumped anything they did not want or could not use into the harbour. Things dramatically changed in 1861 with the discovery of gold in Otago. From this date onwards, Dunedin expanded rapidly as people from all walks of life flooded into the city. Flat land near jetties was in demand for businesses and industry, and so the harbour was being reclaimed as quickly as it could be.
This paper will look at the rate of expansion of Dunedin as seen by the change in shoreline from that mapped in 1846, to when Dunedin officially became a city in 1865, to what the shoreline and the built landscape looked like by the early twentieth century. The nineteenth century structures and artefacts from the different periods of reclamation of the city that lie beneath people's feet will be shown. When these structures and artefacts are exposed, they tell the story of the changing fortunes of Dunedin.
Dr Matthew Schmidt is the Senior Archaeologist Tuakana Poutairangahia for the Otago/Southland Office of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. He is also the UNESCO International Correspondent on Cultural Heritage for New Zealand. Dr Schmidt specialises in the management and radiocarbon dating of Māori, Pākehā and Chinese archaeological sites.
Secrecy, suspense and "sensuous raptures": Sensation fiction and its legacies after 1869
Madeleine C Seys
1869 marks the close of what is known as the "decade of sensation" in Victorian literature. Sensation fiction entered the literary marketplace with the 1861 publication of Wilkie Collins's bestselling The Woman in White. Soon, editors were frantically commissioning "sensation novels" for serialisation in magazines and newspapers from Collins and new authors Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mrs Henry Wood, Ouida and Charles Reade. Sensation fiction represented a radical departure from the strict morality and verisimilitude of literary realism. The term "sensation" registered the incredible novelty and popularity of the genre.
"Sensational" also referred to the genre's subject matter of secrecy, bigamy, murder, blackmail, and mistaken and false identities, and to the "sensuous raptures ... [and] eagerness of physical sensation" such narratives evoked in their readers (Oliphant 259). In the commentary of critics such as Margaret Oliphant and H L Mansel, the term "sensation fiction" also bore their disdain for the moral and artistic deficiency of the genre.
However, by 1869 the term "sensation fiction" had become so hackneyed as to be meaningless. In the preface to Veronique, published in that year, Florence Marryat states that "the word sensational has been so twisted from its original meaning ... that it has become difficult to know in what sense it should be applied" (v-vi). Addressing the "Novel-Reading Public", Marryat acknowledges that her novel "appeals to your feelings", yet she refrains from designating Veronique a sensation novel. Statements such as this have long lead critics to infer that sensation fiction passed out of fashion in 1869.
In this paper, I argue that sensation fiction does not, in fact, cease to exist at this moment. Rather, the sensation novel is simply no longer novel, no longer sensational. Throughout the "decade of sensation", the themes, plot, character types and suspenseful structure that had defined sensation fiction were gradually absorbed into mainstream Victorian literature. As this paper explores, the legacies of this once radical, once sensational genre are evident in literature, film and television into the twenty-first century.
Dr Madeleine C Seys is a visiting research fellow and lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Her book Fashion and Narrative in Victorian Popular Literature: Double Threads was published by Routledge in 2018. Madeleine's academic and creative work explores the interweaving of material, sartorial and literary cultures. She also works as a consulting fashion historian and museum curator.
"You are a poem": Poetry, revolution and the knowledge of self in George Eliot's Middlemarch
22 November 2019 marks the bicentennial anniversary of George Eliot' s birth.
In chapter 22 of Middlemarch, Will Ladislaw says to Dorothea Casaubon in Rome, 'You are a poem,' revealing Dorothea as Eliot's poetic iteration of social progress in her cultural moment. Throughout Middlemarch, Dorothea's capacity to read the other - to understand and respond sympathetically in order to enact social progress via collaboration - ties in closely with Eliot's sense of spiritual progress arising from deepened social integration and responsiveness. This, in turn, links meaningfully with Saint Theresa of Avila as Dorothea's analogue in Middlemarch. Saint Theresa's spiritual potency centred on intimacy with the divine, arising in deep intimacy with the self. This is shown in Dorothea's Bildung as Will assists her to read her own divine potential, rather than deferring to established patriarchal structures, empowering her social contribution. In this way, Eliot deploys a sense of spiritual progress influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach, whose Essence of Christianity Eliot translated in 1854. Feuerbach's book was centrally influential on Karl Marx's 1848 Communist Manifesto.
This paper contributes new research on two of Eliot's Middlemarch notebooks: the Folger notebook and the Berg notebook. Eliot intensively read and wrote novels in tandem, and these notebooks reflect that reading process. This paper focusses on the poetry of the Berg notebook, specifically poems by William Blake and Edmund Spenser, and a very communicative poem by William Smith, a progressive theologian. It clarifies Eliot's understanding of Christianity as a means of social progress, along Hegelian lines. The poems are contextualised by reflections in the Folger notebook on the nature and purpose of poetry, and the role of the poet as social visionary, religious teacher and reformer. The relevant sections of both notebooks span 1868-1871.
The dating of these notebooks is their clearest substantive indicator, yet their links with Middlemarch are tangible. The "lady who committed" the Folger notebook to "Sotheby's auction rooms" described it as containing "nothing of importance ... but she added that she is not a George Eliot scholar" (Colton Williams ix). The notebook was sold by Sotheby's on the 27 June 1923, and subsequent scholars took its dismissal at face value for some forty years (Pratt vi). This deferred close examination until1965, whenJohn C Pratt provided a transcription and introductory comments on the books referred to in the Folger notebook, as his doctoral thesis. Pratt observed that these books function as analogues to Edward Casaubon's Key to All Mythologies project in Middlemarch. The intersections between the
Jewish historical sections of the notebook and Daniel Deronda were closely examined by Jane Irwin in 2008. John Pratt and Victor Neufeldt contributed insightful analysis of this breadth in their 1975 introduction to their transcription of these notebooks. The specific significance of the poetry in these notebooks remains open for analysis.
Colton Williams, Blanche. George Eliot. New York 1936. Print.
Pratt,John Clark. "A Middlemarch Miscellany: An Edition, with Introduction and Notes, of George Eliot's 1868-1871 Notebook." Princeton University, 1965. Print.
Elise Silson, BA (Theology), BA Hons (English Studies) is completing her PhD in English Studies and Histories of Systems of Thought. Her publications explore her qualitative and quantitative research on ideological formation, mental well-being, and understandings of sanctity. Elise is a freelance editor and communications consultant specialising in governance ethics and adaptive leadership practices.
The Union Pacific Railroad and its transoceanic frontiers
1869 marked a turning point in global communications with the opening of the Suez Canal and the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad to San Francisco. Besides "unifying" the United States from coast to coast, the railroad seemed to offer promise as an "international highway", connecting the United States to the world. While earlier the continent stood as a barrier between Australia and Great Britain, San Francisco now lay "almost on a direct line" between them. This was a particularly attractive prospect to Australasian colonists seeking faster routes "home" than those via Suez and the Cape.
This paper explores some of the regional imaginaries that developed with the transoceanic extension of the railroad into the Pacific, including for the islands absorbed into expanding networks of transpacific steam. In particular, it explores tensions between strategic visions and embodied experiences of early steamship travel across the Pacific.
Frances Steel teaches and researches Pacific, colonial and transnational history at the University of Wollongong. Her recent publications include the edited volume New Zealand and the Sea: Historical Perspectives (BWB, 2018) and with Julia Martinez, Claire Lowrie and Victoria Haskins, Colonialism and Male Domestic Service across the Asia Pacific (Bloomsbury, 2019).
An American adventurer: H J Moors and the Pacific labour trade
The year 1869 falls between two important moments in the Pacific labour trade. One of these was the end of the American Civil War in April 1865, with the thirteenth amendment that ended slavery being adopted in December of the same year. Significantly, the end of this conflict unleashed a number of disgruntled former slave owners onto the South Pacific, where they sought to set up plantations, especially in Fiji. They were some of the more enthusiastic users of what was virtually slave labour in the South Pacific, and were largely unrestrained by their home government. The other moment was the passing by the British Parliament of first of the Pacific Islanders Protection Acts in 1972, designed to stop the worst excesses of what became known as "blackbirding", especially as it was practiced in relation to plantations in Australia, which had begun recruiting labour in 1863, initially for growing cotton, and then for sugar.
This paper will examine the functioning of a trade and practice that was the scourge of the Pacific for over sixty years. Within this context, I will consider the unpublished manuscript Tabu, by Robert Louis Stevenson's agent and friend, the sometimes-controversial figure, Harry J Moors. Moors's experience working in the western Pacific provided the material for his two forays into fiction, both unpublished in his lifetime (though his memoir about Stevenson, With Stevenson in Samoa, was well received when published in 1905). Moors's time as a labour recruiter occurred during the worst excesses of the trade, which eluded the best efforts of colonial governments in Europe and in the Pacific region.
Mandy Treagus is Associate Professor in English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide, where she teaches literature, culture and visual studies. Her publications include Empire Girls: The Colonial Heroine Comes of Age, Changing the Victorian Subject, and Anglo-American Imperialism and the Pacific: Discourses of Encounter.
Recreating criticism: Oscar Wilde's critical/artistic reading of Matthew Arnold
Oscar Wilde's The Critic as Artist has been constantly seen as a response to The Function of Criticism at the Present Time, a memorable essay by Matthew Arnold in 1865. Its original title, "The True Function and Value of Criticism: with some Remarks on the Importance of Doing Nothing", unmistakably suggests this relation of echo. Significant critical attention has been paid to Arnold's influence on Wilde. Another major critical work of Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, published in 1869, can be also linked to Wilde's "aesthetic criticism" for its anti materialistic, anti-utilitarian convictions. As a notorious, ingenious reader, Wilde always empowers his own reading with controversial assimilation and eclecticism. Wilde himself acknowledged that he never read a great work "without signing his name at the end of it". From the standpoint of cultural legacies, we may ask what Arnold's critical concerns in the 1860s give rise to in Wilde, and further, what Wilde truly receives from Arnold and how he treats it. For Wilde, progress in thought is, precisely, "not to conform to what is established." In this perspective, we may also ask what position Wilde, as a reader/critic, takes up in order to depart from Arnold.
In an attempt to answer these questions, this article seeks, through a conceptual reexamination of The Critic as Artist, to detect the critical/artistic traces and marks left by Wilde in his reading of Arnold, to investigate how he reworks Arnold's major critical notions, particularly those concerning criticism and culture, and thereby goes beyond his predecessor. In light of the innovative function of the critic advocated by Wilde, this article seeks, simultaneously, to see how Wilde establishes criticism as an art and recreates criticism itself out of preexistent criticisms.
Yi-Ching Teng is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Instruction of National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. She obtained her PhD in English Language, Literature and Civilization at the Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France. At present, her research projects center on the works of Oscar Wilde and their trans-linguistic relations with other arts.
Otago's three women's suffrage movements: 1869-1893
John Stuart Mill's 1869 book On the Subjection of Women was a vital component in the campaign for women's suffrage in New Zealand. Most of those who took part in the campaign before the formation of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in 1885, including Mary Muller, Maryann Colclough, Julius Vogel and Robert Stout, said they had been inspired by Mill.
In the historiography of the suffrage movement, Patricia Grimshaw's view of a feminist campaign led by Kate Sheppard and the Women's Christian Temperance Union is the dominant one. Two other campaigns were largely overlooked in writings for the Suffrage 125 commemorations in 2018.
The first was the one inspired by Mill, from 1869. The second was the WCTU, from 1885. The third was that of the Dunedin Women's Franchise League formed in April 1892. The franchise leagues are generally presented as a spinoff from the WCTU as a group for women aiming at the vote but not necessarily at prohibition. In fact, they were more an off-spring of the first movement. Looking at the Dunedin people involved makes this clear as most of the leagues were formed as a result of visits from Dunedin emissaries.
This paper looks at the Dunedin people who took part in the first and third movements, and how they fit with the much more well-known WCTU. It notes that the partnership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford better reflects a model clear in Dunedin in the 1870s-1890s than that of Kate Sheppard. It argues that Sheppard has attracted too much of the limelight for her role in the women's suffrage movement to the detriment of Dunedin people influenced by Mill's 1869 book and active in it from the 1870s.
Jane Tolerton, ONZM FRHistS, of Wellington is the author of an award-winning biography of Ettie Rout (Penguin Books, 1992) and Make Her Praises Heard Afar: New Zealand women overseas in World War I (Booklovers Books, 2017). She is working on how New Zealand women got the vote.
"You see the blank on the map? I wish you to fill it up": James McKerrow's exploration of the southern lakes in the 1860s
Much of southern New Zealand remained unknown to colonists until the 1860s, when the boundaries of colonial knowledge were rapidly extended through the explorations of pastoralists, gold seekers and surveyors. This talk highlights the speed and range of geographical and geological knowledge harvested by colonial authorities, with a particular focus on james McKerrow's three reconnaissance surveys of the southern lakes.James McKerrow, then a junior surveyor, was told by J T Thomson to fill up "the blank on the map" that was then much of inland Otago. In the course of his 1860s surveys of several million acres McKerrow explored and mapped lakes Wakatipu, Wanaka, Hawea, Te Anau, Manapouri, Hauroko and Monowai; he correctly attributed their origins to glacial action; he named hundreds of features, many for scientists, including ranges such as the Humboldt, Hector, and Livingstone mountains; and he perceptively assessed the potential of the land around the lakes for pastoralism and goldmining.
Jonathan West is a New Zealand historian interested in intersections of environmental, economic and cultural change. His book The Face of Nature: An Environmental History of the Otago Peninsula, published by Otago University Press, was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in 2018. He worked at the Waitangi Tribunal for several years, and manages the historian team at the Office for Maori Crown Relations- Te Arawhiti. He is currently the J D Stout Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, where he is writing a history of New Zealand's lakes.
Country:Alfred Burton's first photographic tour of "Otagan scenery", 1869
The year 1869 was a significant one for the renowned photographic firm, Burton Brothers. Established in Dunedin in 1866, the firm commissioned a travelling dark van in 1869 which enabled photography beyond the immediate limits of the studio. With their business diversified in this way, Burton Brothers abandoned their supplementary trade in fine art reproductions and fancy goods to focus exclusively on studio portraiture and "views".
Prior to 1869, the studio's portfolio of "view" photographs was generally limited to urban scenes of Dunedin, including negatives acquired from earlier photographers. The acquisition of a travelling dark van allowed photographic expeditions into Otago's hinterland, unseen by some habitants of Dunedin. In September 1869, Alfred Burton departed Dunedin on a trip into Otago's interior through Hawkesbury and Palmerston to Mount Ida and Dunstan to Queenstown.3 Burton's tour was much-anticipated and required significant planning including additional staff, transport arrangements and accommodation for Burton's family who accompanied him on the tour.
The first photographs from this series were received in Dunedin in November 1869 and were praised for their execution, with one report stating: "the leading features of the country are well defined."4 This paper will explore this photographic series and speculate on the impact of these images for the settler community in Dunedin and colonial administration in general.
Christine Whybrew is Area Manager Canterbury/West Coast for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. Following her early career in New Zealand museums and art galleries she graduated from the University of Otago in 2010 with a PhD on the Burton Brothers photographic studio. Christine has worked for Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga since 2009, where she enjoys discovering and sharing the stories of historic places and archaeology.
3 North Otago Times, 3 September 1869
4 Otago Daily Times, 18 November 1869, p.2
Middlemarch and Reform: Looking Back from 1869
In her journal entry for 1 January 1869, George Eliot mentioned among her projects for the year, "A Novel called Middlemarch"; over several months of 1869, she wrote the first large section of it. This segment was later fused with another narrative, "Miss Brooke", and the novel was published over 1871-72. However, as Middlemarch was set forty years before this, Eliot had undertaken much research into the period leading up to the passing of the first Reform Bill in 1832. In the novel's "Finale", the narrator takes the characters' stories forward from 1832.
In this context, the comments on Will and Dorothea Ladislaw are telling: Will "became an ardent public man, working well in those times when reforms were begun with a young hopefulness of immediate good which has been much checked in our days", while Dorothea offered "wifely help". Here I will relate this pessimistic picture to the career of a woman who did intervene directly, if anonymously, in the political world of the 1830s and 1840s. Christian IsobelJohnstone ran two magazines with her husband John over the early 1830s, until their Johnstone's Edinburgh Magazine merged with the radical monthly Tait's Edinburgh Magazine in June 1834. Christian Johnstone took a leading role in editing and writing for Johnstone's and then Tait's, up to her retirement in 1846. Much of her output comprised literary reviews, but these often expressed political beliefs, while she sometimes covered political topics directly. So does Johnstone's work demonstrate "hopefulness" and I or its checking, post-reform, and how did her gender affect an endeavour that went beyond "wifely help"?
Joanne Wilkes is Professor of English at the University of Auckland. Her publications include Women Reviewing Women in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Critical Reception of jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and George Eliot (2010), and the entries on "Romanticism" and "Historiography" in George Eliot in Context, ed. Margaret Harris (2013).