Faculty note: Prof. Nesvet publication
Associate Prof. Rebecca Nesvet’s (English) article “James Malcolm Rymer’s Cockney Mazeppa: Byron Reassembled” will be published in Nineteenth Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal. The article shows how James Malcolm Rymer’s Chartist principles inform his 1850 “penny dreadful” update of Byron’s radical poem Mazeppa (1819), Rymer updates the legend of folk hero Ivan Mazepa, Hetman of the Ukraine to foreground a new hero, a “Cockney” shopkeeper who becomes a hero in a Ukrainian fantasy world, much like Twain’s (later) Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. With this reinvention of Byron, Rymer argues that working-class Britons have the right and ability to participate in government and reconciles Byron’s memory with his own youthful radicalism. Research for this article was supported by a 2016 UW-Green Bay Grant in Aid of Research (GAIR).