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Email Roisín Laing for Zoom link

3 February 2022 - 3 February 2022

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Online (Zoom)

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You are warmly invited to the third Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Studies Research Seminar, hosted by Durham University’s English Studies Department and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. This seminar will be held 1-2pm on Thursday, 3rd February 2022, via Zoom; please email Roisín Laing ( for the link.

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An 18th and 19th century research seminar

This paper traces the threads of scattered details, repeated images and occasional plot twists found in the fiction and letters of Maria Edgeworth in order to consider the scope and extent of her engagement with the West Indies across a long career. The topic of slavery makes an uncomfortable home within Edgeworth’s broader intellectual interests, not least because she does not set the ownership, sale and exchange of people apart from the trade in ideas, books and goods. In order to develop these ideas, I consider also about the ways in which the kinds of violent improbabilities that help to form the particular texture of Edgeworth’s realism often concern seeds and plants. Within the specific scenes that flow from Edgeworth’s thinking about slavery in the context of improving debates about education and domesticity, she allows seeds, plants and gardens to sharpen and define lines of imperial connection, shaping fictions that are formed and deformed by empire.