By Timothy Raylor
As you may already have noticed, this winter has seen the launch of the Society’s new website, put together with energy, imagination, and professionalism by our new Webmaster, Dr. Matthew Augustine of the University of St Andrews, with valuable support from his home institution. We welcome Matthew and thank him for his work.
Along with the website, the Society’s Newsletter has also moved. This is therefore a propitious moment to look back and thank George Klawitter, Professor of English at St Edward’s University (retired), for his work on the previous incarnation of the site over the past decade. Following the founding of the Marvell Society at a meeting of South-Central Renaissance Conference (SCRC) at College Station, Texas, in 2001—in which endeavor Phoebe Spinrad and Mark Heumann were the leading actors—George took it upon himself to set up and manage the Society’s website. He was supported in his work by St Edward’s University, to which institution we are most grateful.
From 2002 until 2012 George ran the site with his characteristic verve, providing a window onto the world of Marvell studies for those unable to attend SCRC: making available abstracts of papers, minutes of business meetings, and a generous supply of candid photographs (some of them leaving their subjects with a new understanding of the plight of Damon the Mower, peering at his reflection in his scythe). In 2009 George supplemented the website with a Newsletter, furnishing an online outlet for Marvellians to report new findings and announce new work, recount visits to places of interest, review recent publications, and publish brief articles.
Under Dr. Augustine’s editorship the Newsletter will continue to appear online, in winter and summer issues, offering what we hope will be an increasingly robust array of articles, notes, and reviews. No less than three recent book-length studies of Marvell are reviewed in the current issue; Alan Altimont contributes a valuable reconsideration of the architectural history of Appleton House; and Keith McDonald continues the Fairfacian theme of the issue with a report on the Fairfax 400 Anniversary Conference and with his own investigation of Marvell’s “witnessing” to the Lord General’s retirement.
Past issues of the Newsletter are now being archived with, we hope, little interruption to their availability. Submissions or suggestions for future issues should be sent to Dr. Matthew Augustine either through the website or at [email protected]. Proposals for special issues would be especially welcome.
As we in Minnesota and New Jersey, in Leicestershire and Fife, peer out from under layers of ice and snow, we look forward to a fruitful spring. We have a full program scheduled for the South-Central Renaissance Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, on March 21-23, featuring fifteen contributors in five sessions. Our own Nicholas von Maltzahn will deliver the Louis L. Martz Lecture on Marvell. We are also sponsoring two sessions at the Renaissance Society of America Conference in San Diego, California, on April 4-8. For further details on these upcoming presentations, see the Executive Secretary’s column. And be sure to watch the website over the coming months, as new features appear.