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  1. December 2023 – The Publication of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol 180 Years Ago, on 19 December 1843 - by Angelika Zirker   Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of… Continue Reading
  2. November 2023 – Bicentenary of the Bannatyne Club - by Laurie Atkinson 2023 marks the bicentenary of the foundation of the Edinburgh Bannatyne Club. Why an antiquarian printing society, dissolved after less than forty years, should warrant commemoration may not immediately be clear. But read on. One illustrious literary founder aside, the club represents a milestone in the transition from amateur scholarship to the professional academic work of universities and learned societies. One of its first publications suggests an attractive fable of scholarly inclusivity in the age of the elite gentleman’s club. Writing of Scottish ‘Antiquarianism’ about 1800, Padmini Ray Murray observes that: The rapid industrialisation and urbanisation of… Continue Reading
  3. April 2023 – 500th Anniversary of John Skelton’s Garlande or Chapelet of Laurell - by Laurie Atkinson The Garlande or Chapelet of Laurell by John Skelton is five hundred years evergreen. In 1523, this remarkable poem about Skelton’s elevation to the court of Fame was published in London by Richard Faques. Mostly the preserve of early modern scholars, Skelton is best known as the writer of satires and invectives at the court of Henry VIII – most famously against the king’s powerful minister, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who he calls ‘the bochers dogge’ (Why Come Ye Nat to Court?, line 298), among other things. But in the Garlande, Skelton’s subject is himself; or rather, a… Continue Reading
  4. Rainer Lengeler (1933-2022) - Rainer Lengeler, a long-time member of the Connotations Society and a close colleague of the founding editor Inge Leimberg, died on 29 October 2022. He was born in 1933 and grew up in the Eupen-Malmedy region, then and now a part of Belgium. He attended Belgian schools and was fluent in French as a result (German being his mother tongue). He subsequently studied at the universites of Leuwen and Cologne and he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Bonn. He taught at the Universities of Kiel, Düsseldorf and Bonn, and he was elected a member of the prestigious Northrhine-Westfalian… Continue Reading

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