Typographical Antiquities

SWINC is delighted to welcome to Edinburgh Deidre Lynch of Harvard University, one of the world’s foremost scholars of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literature, to deliver a lecture entitled ‘Walter Scott’s Typographical Antiquities’.  The event includes a round table on antiquarianism with Angela Esterhammer, Nigel Leask, and Emily Rohrbach, chaired by Bob Irvine.

Sir Walter Scott Finding the Manuscript of ‘Waverley’ in an Attic, Charles Martin Hardie (1858–1916) 
Photo credit: The Abbotsford Trust

Prof. Lynch’s scholarship has been wide-ranging both historically and conceptually but her SWINC lecture will revisit one of her persistent concerns: the material contexts, institutional and economic as well as physical, that have shaped the writing and reading of literature, and particularly of the novel, in the modern era. In honour of Prof. Lynch’s visit to Edinburgh and in recognition of her continuing influence her lecture will be preceded by a roundtable discussion among three international scholars on historicism and the materiality of texts, focussing on manuscripts, digital texts and textual editing in the present moment.

Prof. Lynch’s lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

Date: 21 April 2023

Time: 16:00-20:00

Location: 1.06 Project Room, 50 George Square Edinburgh EH8 9LH

Advance Registration is essential. Booking is open via Eventbrite here.


4.00–5.00         Roundtable (Chair: Robert Irvine; Speakers: Angela Esterhammer, Nigel Leask, Emily Rohrbach.

5.00–5.30         Coffee

5.30                 Deidre Lynch (Harvard), “Walter Scott’s Typographical Antiquities” 

7.00                   Wine reception

Speaker bios

Deidre Shauna Lynch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of English Literature at Harvard University, has published widely on eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century British literature, the theory of the novel, the history of reading, and the history of the book.  She is the author of the prize-winning The Economy of Character: Novels, Market Culture, and the Business of Inner Meaning (1998) and Loving Literature: A Cultural History (2015).  Other publications include editions of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion and Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the Romantic-period volume of The Norton Anthology of English Literature (2018), and the edited collections Cultural Institutions of the Novel (co-edited with William B. Warner, 1996), Janeites: Austen’s Disciples and Devotees(2000), and, most recently The Unfinished Book (co-edited with Alexandra Gillespie, 2021).

Bob Irvine is Reader in Scottish Literature at the University of Edinburgh. He has edited Robert Burns, Selected Poems and Songs for Oxford World’s Classics (2013); Prince Otto for the New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson (2014), and Annals of the Parish for the Edinburgh Edition of the Works of John Galt (2020). 

He is currently working on another volume for the Galt edition, the companion novels The Member and The Radical; and a critical edition of The Lord of the Isles for the Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott’s Poetry. 

Angela Esterhammer is Professor of English and Principal of Victoria College in the University of Toronto. Her book publications include The Romantic Performative: Language and Action in British and German Romanticism (Stanford UP, 2000); Romanticism and Improvisation, 1750-1850(Cambridge UP, 2008), and most recently Print and Performance in the 1820s: Improvisation, Speculation, Identity (Cambridge UP, 2020). 

Her current research interests include late-Romantic print culture, performance, periodicals, and fiction, and she is General Editor of the Edinburgh Edition of the Works of John Galt.

Emily Rohrbach is Associate Professor of English at Durham University, where she teaches and writes most often about poetics and futurity, the literary imagination of the book, and British Romanticism. 

Her first book, Modernity’s Mist: British Romanticism and the Poetics of Anticipation, was published by Fordham UP in 2016. With support from a 2022 Leverhulme Research Fellowship, she is currently completing Codex Poetics: Romantic Books and the Politics of Reading.

Nigel Leask is Regius Chair in English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on British and especially Scottish romantic literature and culture, with a special emphasis on orientalism and empire, travel writing and ‘improvement’, and the Gaelic world. 

His most recent monograph is Stepping Westward: The Highland Tour 1720-1820 (Oxford 2020) which was shortlisted for the Saltire National Book Awards 2021. He is also co-editor (with Anne Dulau and John Bonehill) of Old Ways New Roads: Travel in Scotland 1720-1830 (Birlinn 2021), addressing the visual culture of the tour. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Vice-President of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.