Friday, October 20, 2023

Volunteering, Cover Art, Fan Fiction and Canada

The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is looking for a volunteer to become the next editor of the "Notes and Queries" section of the journal. More details here:

Alice Liang takes a look at trends in cover design over the past few decades:

Audrey Lavallée is starting to publish a series of blog posts about the history of Canadian romance publishing. There's an introduction to the series here and the first post is about Julia Catherine Beckwith's St. Ursula’s Convent, or the Nun of Canada (1824). The Internet Archive has a copy available which dates from 1824 although the following statement from Jennifer Blair in her “Reading for Information in St. Ursula’s Convent, or The Nun of Canada” in The Yearbook of English Studies, vol. 46, 2016, pp. 201–18 may put you off reading it (or encourage you to see if it really is as bad as Blair claims):

Julia Catherine Beckwith Hart’s St. Ursula’s Convent, or the Nun of Canada. Containing Scenes from Real Life (1824) secured its place in the canon of English Canadian novels retroactively, not because, as with most texts, its aesthetic or social importance could be appreciated only long after publication, but for the unique reason that it is the progenitor of that canon. While Frances Brooke’s The History of Emily Montague (1769) is often cited as an earlier Canadian novel, and while John Richardson has been called the ‘first real Canadian novelist’ for his later Wacousta (1832), St. Ursula’s Convent is the first English novel to be written by an author born in the region that would become Canada. Despite its claim to fame, the book has since gained notoriety for its discomfiting lack of quality. Suffice it to say that while St. Ursula’s might be forever celebrated as the ‘first Canadian novel’, Hart’s admittedly ‘“little work”’ now tends to be counted among Canada’s very worst novels of all time. (201)

And, still on a Canadian theme, here's a new thesis which is freely available:

Vermeer, Lina (2023). The Affective Power of Intimacy: A Case Study of a Men’s Hockey Real Person Fan Fiction’s Literary and Social Contexts. Master of Arts, Trent University.