The reign of George IV was a decade of profound transformations, during which technological, generic and ideological innovations opened up culture to unprecedentedly vast audiences, mandating the creation of new modes of communication and production, but also triggering fears about the loss of social cohesion and nostalgia for perceived lost identities.  By 1830, Samuel Taylor Coleridge felt empowered to contend that ‘Roads, canals, machinery, the press, the periodical and daily press [and] the might of public opinion’ had fundamentally reconfigured political and social discourse.

The innovations and developments of the 1820s currently have a relatively low scholarly profile.  This project’s steering group are seeking to address this neglect through organising an international conference in Glasgow on April 11th and 12th 2019, to which interested researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts and suggestions for keywords.  Please see the Call for Papers (assembled at the network’s first meeting) for further details.

The conference will be followed by a pair of authors’ workshops (one in York, one in Glasgow), at which invited scholars will work up chapters for an edited collection of essays addressing the decade’s literary and sociocultural developments.

For more information on all aspects of the project, please explore the menu above or contact the organisers, Matthew Sangster and Jon Mee.


Updates on the project

Conference Reports

The Bibliographical Society generously supported ‘The 1820s: Innovation and Diffusion’ with three bursaries to support attendance by doctoral students working on topics related to the history of printing, publishing and illustration, and the broader fields Read more…

Network News

Conference Approaching

‘The 1820s: Innovation and Diffusion’ is now just a couple of weeks away. Registration is available through Eventbrite until April 4th, and the programme is being updated on this site. We had a really great Read more…