Digital Humanities Seminar, 28 November 2013: Who Killed Christabel?

The Digital Humanities Thematic Research Network is pleased to present the next event in the Digital Humanities in Practice series.

Who Killed Christabel? A thrilling tale of reviewing, anonymity and computational stylometry

Francesca Benatti (Digital Humanities, The Open University)

Date: 28 November 2013

Time: 12.00-2.00

Location: Arts Music Studio, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes (directions)

In the early nineteenth century, public debate on literature and politics was dominated by the great quarterly reviews, the Edinburgh and the Quarterly. While the authorship of most of their anonymous articles has never been a mystery, some cases have been puzzling scholars for almost two centuries, none more so than the scathing review of Coleridge’s Christabel published in the Edinburgh in 1816. Scholars have focused on William Hazlitt and Thomas Moore as the most likely authors, but there is so far no firm consensus on its attribution.

This talk presents the results of the investigation undertaken by the editors of the Thomas Moore Archive, based a new evaluation of existing contextual evidence and on the stylometric analysis of the literary reviews published in the Edinburgh, using the methods and tools developed by John Burrows and implemented by Maciej Eder and Jan Rybicki’s suite of tools for the R statistical software.

A sandwich lunch will be served to registered participants. Please email Heather Scott by 25 November to reserve a place.