Public Lecture—Sarah Ross on Elegy in Print: King Charles I in the Emmerson Collection

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Image of title-page opening of Monumentum RegaleThe Centre for the Book is pleased to welcome Professor Sarah Ross of Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington to speak on “Monumentum Regale: King Charles I in the John Emmerson Collection, State Library Victoria, Melbourne.”  Her lecture will be held Wednesday, 11 October, at 5:30 pm in Archway 2, or online via Zoom (register your email here and we’ll send you the link on the day).

In 2015, State Library Victoria, Melbourne, received an extraordinary bequest of early modern books, over 5000 volumes amassed by John Emmerson, QC, during a lifetime of collecting. The third largest deposit of early modern books in the world (after those in the British and Bodleian libraries), the Emmerson collection centres on material relating to the execution of King Charles I in 1649, the defining moment of the English revolution. This presentation focuses on elegies for the king in the Emmerson collection, exploring the relationship between icon, body, and text; the figuration of poetry and the book as tombs for the king; the reassemblage of the king in Emmerson’s volumes; and Emmerson’s collecting practice as an inherently elegiac activity. The talk showcases images from the recently launched exhibition, Beyond the Book: A digital journey through the treasures of the Emmerson Collection:


Sarah C. E. Ross is Professor of English at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington. She has published widely on seventeenth-century poetry, politics, women’s writing, and manuscript and print culture. Her most recent publications include Early Modern Women’s Complaint: Gender, Form, and Politics (2020), The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Women’s Writing in English, 1540-1700 (2022), and the digital exhibition, Beyond the Book (2023).

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