Marc Ricard

Department: English
Discipline: English

Project Summary

My project: 'Fantastical Flora: Vegetal Imaginaries in Victorian Fin de Siècle Literature' - examines the ways in which botanical forms were manipulated and altered to respond to cultural aspirations and fears in the Late Victorian and Edwardian periods.

The thesis asks why botanical nature in particular seemed to lend itself to these transformations, and what they can reveal about the period's attitude to the natural world and the rapidly changing world around them.

Wider Research Interests

Victorian botany, speculative fiction, the history of patent medicine, the botanical form in ornament, plants and commerce in the long nineteenth century, the work of H.G. Wells, the work of William Morris, 'energy' in the Victorian period, the influence, analysis and reception of decorative art in the period, Imperial adventure fiction, the early history of genetics and mutation - including the work of Charles Darwin and Hugo de Vries, the horticultural influence of Luther Burbank.

More generally I'm interested in the intersection between print and visual cultures in the Victorian period, especially concerning the decorative arts and the social/moral importance placed upon certain styles and aesthetics during the period.