John Miller

Tales of the Tattooed: An Anthology of Ink (British Library Publishing, 2019) (ISBN: 978-0712353304)

Uncovering the history of the tattoo in classic fiction for the first time, this original selection depicts the tattoo as a catalyst for scandal in society, as a symbol for an unknowable supernatural force, and as transcendent living art merging the spirits of a tattooer and his or her living canvas.

Featuring previously hidden works from the pages of rare literary magazines such as “The Starfish Tattoo” alongside such classics of the genre as Tanizaki’s “The Tattooer” and Saki’s “The Background,” this exploration of the tattoo in fiction is guaranteed to leave an indelible impression.

Weird Woods: Tales from the Haunted Forests of Britain (British Library Publishing, 2020) (ISBN: 978-0712353427)

Woods play an important and recurring role in horror, fantasy, the gothic and the weird. They are places in which strange things happen, where you often can’t see where you are or what is around you. Supernatural creatures thrive in the thickets. Trees reach into underworlds of earth, myth and magic. Forests are full of ghosts.

The tales in this title span all regions of the UK – from the obviously eerie rural areas of Devon and Yorkshire to more unexpected cosmopolitan locations like Stoke Newington, London. It resonates with a growing readership of nature and folk stories, and contains fascinating notes on the history of these stories and their writers. This edition also includes notes on the real locations and folklore which inspired these deliciously sinister stories.

Madeleine Callaghan

The Poet-Hero in the Work of Byron and Shelley (London: Anthem Press, 2019) (ISBN: 13 9781783088973)

Byron’s and Shelley’s experimentation with the possibilities and pitfalls of poetic heroism unites their work. The Poet-Hero in the Work of Byron and Shelley traces the evolution of the poet-hero in the work of both poets, revealing that the struggle to find words adequate to the poet’s imaginative vision and historical circumstance is their central poetic achievement.

Madeleine Callaghan explores the different types of poetic heroism that evolve in Byron’s and Shelley’s poetry and drama. Both poets experiment with, challenge and embrace a variety of poetic forms and genres, and this book discusses such generic exploration in the light of their developing versions of the poet-hero. The heroism of the poet, as an idea, an ideal and an illusion, undergoes many different incarnations and definitions as both poets shape distinctive and changing conceptions of the hero throughout their careers.

Shelley’s Living Artistry: Letters, Poems, Plays (Liverpool University Press, 2017) (ISBN: 13 9781786940247)

This study of the poetry and drama of Percy Bysshe Shelley reads the letters and their biographical contexts to shed light on the poetry, tracing the ambiguous and shifting relationship between the poet’s art and life. For Shelley, both life and art are transfigured by their relationship with one another where the ‘poet participates in the eternal, the infinite, and the one’ but is equally bound up with and formed by the society in which he lives and the past that he inherits.

Callaghan shows that the distinctiveness of Shelley’s work comes to rest on its wrong-footing of any neat division of life and art. The dazzling intensity of Shelley’s poetry and drama lies in its refusal to separate the twain as Shelley explores and finally explodes the boundaries between what is personal and what is poetic.

Arguing that the critic, like the artist, cannot ignore the conditions of the poet’s life, Callaghan reveals how Shelley’s artistry reconfigures and redraws the actual in his poetry. The book shows how Shelley’s poetic daring lies in troubling the distinction between poetry as aesthetic work hermetically sealed against life, and poetry as a record of the emotional life of the poet.

Callaghan, Madeleine (2019) ‘“The artifice of eternity”: The Wanderings of Oisin and the Byzantium poems‘, Irish Studies Review, 27(2), 177-194

Callaghan, Madeleine (2017) ‘Laon and Cythna‘, Keats-Shelley Journal, 66, 186-187

Callaghan, Madeleine (2015) ‘Forms of Conflict: Byron’s Influence on Yeats’, English, 64 (245), 81-98.

Frances Babbage

‘Staging Angela Carter’, in Contemporary Gothic Drama: Attraction, Consummation and Consumption on the Modern British Stage eds. Kelly Jones Benjamin Poore and Robert Dean (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) (Ebook ISBN 9781349953592)