The Elizabeth Montagu Letters Project: two-day colloquium in London

On Thursday, November 29, at King’s College, London, and Friday, November 30, at the V&A, London, The Elizabeth Montagu Letters Project – an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research network – will host an interdisciplinary colloquium.

Led by Professor Caroline Franklin of Swansea University and Dr Elizabeth Eger of King’s College, London, the two-day event will explore the tools and environments of women’s writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, creating new connections between texts and material objects and linking intellectual history with its material medium.

Speakers and participants include:

Pamela Clemit (University of Durham)
Dena Goodman (University of Michigan)
Peter Stallybrass (University of Pennsylvania)
Karen Harvey (University of Sheffield)
Clare Brant (King’s College London)

The goal of The Elizabeth Montagu Letters Project is to prepare a fully annotated electronic edition of Elizabeth Montagu's correspondence.

The author and bluestocking salonnière (1718-1800) was the leading woman of letters and artistic patron of her day. The 8,000 extant letters, 'among the most important surviving collections from the eighteenth century' (Schnorrenberg) is held in the British Library, the Bodleian and the Huntington Library, the latter of which holds 6,000 of them.  

Less than a quarter of these documents has been previously published, and then, only in, partial archaic print selections. The team are conducting a pilot study over 24 months, listing and examining the correspondence of Montagu and devising the editorial principles by each taking a different correspondent as a case study.

The Writing Materials Conference at Kings College and the V&A is the third installation in a series of colloquia to examine the problems and possibilities thrown up by the researchers work to which they will invite  other experienced editors of eighteenth-century texts and related experts including librarians, curators, academics and postgraduate students and early career researchers.

Registration details are as follows:

The first day at King’s College, London, on Thursday, November 29, is free and open access to all. To register, please email the network co-ordinator:

The full day at the V&A, on Friday, November 30, is priced at £25, with concessions as advertised. Places are available for research students at a reduced rate of £10. You are advised to book early as places are limited. 

This news item has been posted on behalf of Swansea University's Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH), College of Arts and Humanities.