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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Bordering the Brotherhood: Pre-Raphaelite influences on Literature and Fashion Study Day Event

09:30 - 12:30
25 January 2020
Avenue Campus, Highfield Rd, Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Lifelong Learning at .

Event details

Join us for a series of talks which will explore the influences and impact of the Pre-Raphaelites on the world of literature, poetry, fashion and design. This event is run in collaboration with Southampton City Art Gallery and will include three talks at The University of Southampton (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Avenue Campus) followed by an optional guided tour of the Beyond the Brotherhood: the Pre-Raphaelite Legacy exhibition at the Art Gallery in the afternoon.


09:30 - Registration and refreshments

10:00 - Talk by Dr Justine Pizzo: Sexuality and the Spendthrift: Reading Text and Image in Christina Rosetti’s ‘Goblin Market’ (1862)

 This talk examines Christina Rossetti’s 1862 narrative poem ‘Goblin Market’: A deceptively simple fairy tale of two sisters temped by the sumptuous fruits of sinister merchants. By analysing selected stanzas from this story of sexual transgression and commercial desire alongside the artwork of the Pre-Raphaelite movement—with which Rosetti was closely involved—this talk addresses the significance of female sexuality and the figure of the ‘fallen woman’ for Rosetti and the PRB.

10:45 - Refreshment break

11:00 - Second talk by Professor Mary Hammond: ‘”He died in my arms”: the PRB and literary celebrity in the late nineteenth century’

When Dante Gabriel Rossetti died on 9 April 1882, among those close friends present was a young author, Thomas Henry Hall Caine, who would subsequently work his way up the literary ladder and go on to become one of the best-selling novelists of the 1880s and 90s. This talk explores the ways in which the fame of a notorious author-artist was used by ambitious newcomers to further their careers in a celebrity-driven culture highly reminiscent of our own.

11:45 - Refreshment break

12:00 - Third talk by Dr Jo Turney: Social Reform and Aesthetic Dress: Fashioning the Pre-Raphaelites

This talk interrogates the dress of men and women within the paintings and daily life of the Pre-Raphaelites and their group. By considering the development of a specific style of artistic and aesthetic dress in the mid-latter part of the 19thC, the discussion will investigate notions of fashionability, dress reform and the ways in which clothing became a visual signal of political dissent and social distinction. By considering the appropriation of Romantic 'artists' clothing with 19thC 'healthy' dress innovation, questions regarding the development of a bohemian style will be  addressed.  

By considering dress and the movement of the body, the expression of the past in the present with an eye to the future of fashion,  the enduring appeal of Pre-Raphaelites as force for change, and as trend inspiration will be assessed here.

13:00 - Event ends

14:00 – Optional tour at the City Art Gallery


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