Michael Wolff's Homepage
I am using this homepage mostly to record matters Victorian. Iíve spent
pretty well my whole professional life (since 1952) studying and teaching
and otherwise encouraging scholarly work on Britain in the nineteenth century.
I have now retired though I continue to be active in the field. There are
four topics to which I invite your attention and I hope your participation.
My email is email@example.com
(I am putting this whole homepage up even though only the Library page
is operational. I will gradually build the others as I have time and data.)
As of September 1998, I have been actively working on "Locating
the Victorians", a conference scheduled for London, 12-15 July 2001.
It is being hosted by the Science, Victoria & Albert, and Natural History
Museums, and a preliminary description of the conference can be found
I should be glad to field inquires at my e-mail address.
1) I am trying to construct (and to persuade others to help me construct)
a sort of archive/history of Victorian studies as
a ďdisciplineĒ distinct from Victorian literature, economics, science,
2) I am putting together a personal record of
activities in the field. Even here, people might have contributions to
make, especially those who were in at the beginning of groups I helped
to start. There will a good deal of overlap with #1.
3) Because there is no listserv or bulletin board for George
Eliot, Iím going to put up a probably idiosyncratic GE page, a sort
of specialized notes and queries, which I hope GE scholars and enthusiasts
will consult, use, and supplement.
4) I am keeping the listing of my Victorian library
which for the most part I will not be using any more and am therefore offering
for sale to other scholars who might find Victorian books and periodicals
available here more cheaply than through booksellers (if they are available
at all). I might later on add photographs and caricatures of Victorians
and perhaps even some Victorian objects (e.g., Jubilee material and housewares)
I no longer use or display.
Archive/history of Victorian studies
I think the time is appropriate for some record to be built of what has
happened in Victorian studies since the beginning of the journal in 1957.
Iím not claiming that that is when Victorian studies ďbeganĒ, only that
itís a good marker. What Iíd very much like to record in addition to the
facts about Victorian groups and key publications are individual experiences
of how and why and when someone found interdisciplinary study an important
addition to or substitute for traditional departmental work.
My brilliant career
This will be a conventional resume, but because I have been around so many
Victorian events it will cross-refer to much thatís happened in the field
since the late 50s. I should confess ďupfrontĒ (as they say) that there
is an element of self-praise in this, partly I think because interdisciplinary
work is still not (certainly wasnít in my generation) recognized as readily
as standard work and partly because collaborative work such as editing
and organizing (and Victorian studies is nothing if not collaborative)
is not as highly regarded as the quantity of articles, etc., a scholar
could produce. If you sense a little bitterness here, youíre right. The
academic world is, as Iíve often complained, culturally representative
in its emphasis on individual rather than collective achievement.
I have been hoping that some more technically proficient scholar with a
little time on her/his hands might start a George Eliot list. I frequently
find myself coming up with minute matters in her texts that are both too
trivial for VICTORIA and which Iíd like to have permanently registered
somewhere for others to know about and to comment on. Sometimes what I
want to record is interpretive but not yet ready for publication; sometimes
itís informational. In any event, I hope to get people in the George Eliot
Fellowship and readers of William Bakerís GE/GHL Newsletter to think of
this as a resource.
This list has been a source of real pleasure to me (as well as real dollars!)
because it has put me temporarily in touch with scholars and booklovers
all over the world. However, a) I have neglected it now for almost half
a year, and b) for all the books Iíve sold, many remain, and I really do
need to get them out of the house and out of my life. Pricing has always
been the problem because I donít have any easy way of quantifying the value
of these volumes. So I hope people will think of making me offers--that
is, of sharing with me the trouble of Ruskinís difficulty of moving from
value to price. Click here
to see my Victorian Library page.