By Anna Mercer
The ‘On This Day’ series continues with a post by Ana Stevenson to celebrate 200 years since a gathering of remarkable intellects…
Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem, 1824 – 1820 by Benjamin Robert Haydon
The Immortal Dinner
by Ana Stevenson
Born in 1786, Benjamin Robert Haydon was a history painter who surrounded himself by men whose genius he judged equal to his own. Although Haydon is less well-known today, he was highly regarded as an artist in his own time. In 1804 he entered the Royal Academy Schools in London and exhibited there for the first time at the age of 21. Although this led to recognition and commissions, he did not have a steady income, meaning that he was in constant debt and struggled financially until the end of his life.
In 1817, however, Haydon moved to 22 Lisson Grove, where he was in possession of his own furniture and house-appliances for the first time. He wrote that he had used ‘my own tea cup and saucers. I took up my own knife. I sat on my own chair. It was a new sensation!’.
Fond of social gatherings, his new house also …read more
By Anna Mercer
Improvisation and Mobility
44th International Byron Conference
Ravenna 2-7 July 2018
Call for Papers
The Italian Byron Society is pleased to announce the 44th International Byron Conference to be held in Ravenna from 2 to 7 July 2018. Website here.
Byron’s most famous use of the word “mobility” is in Don Juan, Canto 16, stanza XCVII, where he uses it to describe Lady Adeline Amundeville, adding a footnote in which he defines it as “excessive susceptibility of nimmediate impressions”. Since then the word has been taken up by critics and biographers from Thomas Moore and Lady Blessington onwards, to refer to what seems an essential quality of Byron’s personality and poetry (and, particularly in more recent years, politics). The word has sometimes been linked with the notion of improvisation, especially when considering the spontaneity (or apparent spontaneity) of his verse: “I rattle on exactly as I’d talk / With any body in a ride or walk.” (Don Juan, 15, XIX). The conference will welcome 20-minute papers on topics including, but not necessarily limited to:
– formal experimentalism and improvisation
– multiplicity of voices
– hyphenated identities
– genre hybridity
– experience and imagination, fact and fiction
– geographical mobility
– cosmopolitan visions and identities
– political mobility and improvisation
– reinterpretations …read more
By The Keats Letters Project Commentary from poets Virginia Bell, Jerry Harp, and Gary Hawkins on a few poems (by Erika L. Sánchez, John Milton, and Amiri Baraka) exemplifying negative capability. …read more
By The Keats Letters Project Commentary from poets Matt Hart, Shara McCallum, and Jennifer Militello on a few poems (by Kenneth Koch, Sylvia Plath, and e.e. cummings) exemplifying negative capability. …read more
c) Keats – he wrote part of Endymion while staying at Magdalen Hall in 1817.
e) Shelley – in University College
a) Shelley – his first wife, Harriet Westbrook
c) Byron – Annabella Milbanke, daughter of Sir Ralph Milbanke of Seaham. The two were married for little more than a year before separating amid scandalous rumours,
a) Byron – in Rowing with the Wind (1988)
b) Keats – in Bright Star (2009)
c) Shelley – in Gothic (1986)
d) Wordsworth – in Pandaemonium (2000)
e) Coleridge – in Pandaemonium
b) Byron – a legitimate daughter (Ada) with his wife, and an illegitimate daughter (Allegra) with Claire Clairmont. There were also rumours he had fathered his half-sister Augusta’s child.
c) Coleridge – Hartley, Derwent, Berkeley, and Sara
d) Wordsworth. His illegitimate daughter was Caroline, the child of his French lover Annette Vallon.
e) Shelley – two with Harriet, and four with Mary Shelley. Only one of Mary’s children survived beyond the age of five.
d) Shelley and Byron – the poem is by Shelley. Keats and Byron never met.
a) Byron – at …read more