When the Lamps Went Out: H. G. Wells and his World on the Eve of the War (27th September 2014)


The H. G. Wells Society Conference will take place at Palace Green Library, Durham University on 27th September 2014. It will feature plenary lectures by Professor Matthew Pateman (Sheffield Hallam University) and Megan Shepherd (author of The Madman’s Daughter).

This year will see the anniversary of the outbreak of what H. G. Wells optimistically hoped would be ‘The War that Will End War’. When the Lamps Went Out is a conference that seeks to take a snapshot of the literary, political and social landscape at the end of the ‘long nineteenth century’ and the dawn of the First World War. We welcome papers on Wells’s Edwardian and early twentieth-century work, on his political and discussion novels, and/or on his journalistic, political, utopian and wargaming writing, and on the legacies of the nineteenth century in the early twentieth. We also invite papers on connections with the writers and people of significance from Wells’s circle in this period: such figures may include (but need not be confined to): Elizabeth von Arnim, Arnold Bennett, Edward Carpenter, G. K Chesterton, Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, John Galsworthy, Alfred Harmsworth, Violet Hunt, Vernon Lee, C. F. G Masterman, E. Nesbit, Amber Reeves, Dorothy Richardson, Elizabeth Robins, Robert Ross, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, Frederick Soddy, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, Rebecca West… We especially welcome proposals for papers on Wells, gender, sexuality and marriage.

Papers should be no more than 20 minutes long. Please send proposals (maximum of 250 words, by no later than 20th June 2014), or expressions of interest in attending, to s.j.james@durham.ac.uk.

When the Lamps Went Out is a collaboration between Durham University Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, the H. G. Wells Society and the Edwardian Culture Network. Attendance fee is: H G Wells Society members: unwaged £20, waged £30; non-Members: unwaged £25, waged £35. The Wells Society can be joined at:
http://www.hgwellsusa.50megs.com/.

This conference also marks the launch of the exhibition Books for Boys: Heroism, Empire and Adventure at the Dawn of the First World War. Books for Boys tells the story of Britain and Germany in the years leading up to the Great War through showing what the public enjoyed reading. The exhibition will also display late-Victorian and Edwardian maps, toys, uniforms, photographs, pictures, medals, literary memorabilia and other artefacts and ephemera. Conference delegates will be invited to a private view of the exhibition on the evening preceding the conference.

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