This year digital technology has brought us closer together than ever. With geography no object, we’re inviting experts on the Romantic era from all over the world to tell us all about the exciting things they’re up to. We’ll be exploring their thoughts on everything Wordsworthian, from poetry and artefacts to nature and the modern world, as well as finding out about their new books and research. We’ll also be investigating some of the themes raised in the free online course William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place. They’ll bring their enthusiasm, we’ll bring the questions – and we’d like to share your questions with them too!
This series is hosted by Jeff Cowton, Curator & Head of Learning at Wordsworth Grasmere, and Simon Bainbridge, Professor of Romantic Studies at the University of Lancaster.
Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, award-winning biographer, joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to talk about his new book Radical Wordsworth, which explores Wordsworth’s radical life as a thinker and poetical innovator. He will reflect on what he learned when making his BBC Radio 4 series ‘In Wordsworth’s Footsteps’.
Thursday 1 October, 5.00pm BST (UTC +1) This event is captioned.
Dove Cottage is the place where William Wordsworth produced most of his greatest and best-loved poems. After being restored as part of a multi-million pound project, it is open to the public again and ready to inspire a whole new generation of poets. Who better to celebrate this important moment with than the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage?
Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist. In 2010 he was awarded the CBE for services to poetry and in 2019 he was appointed Poet Laureate. This year we have invited him to take over Dove Cottage for an exclusive performance combining his own poetry and his favourite Wordsworth poems, bringing to life the house that Wordsworth lived in 200 years ago.
Tune in on 1 October for this one-of-a-kind, online only performance. Experience the newly restored Dove Cottage, take in the beauty of Grasmere and its spectacular surroundings, and hear the poetry of two Poet Laureates as you’ve never heard it before. This live broadcast will not be available after the event, so make sure that you book your ticket!
Daniel Johnson (Univ. of Notre Dame), Beth Lau (California State Univ., Long Beach), and Greg Kucich (Univ. of Notre Dame) wish to announce the official launch of their digital edition of Keats’s heavily annotated copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost (2 vols., 1807).
The edition features page scans of Keats’s book, showing the entirety of the poem and all of Keats’s notes and markings. The viewer can zoom in for closer inspection and rotate pages to follow Keats’s writing around the margins. Each page scan is accompanied by transcriptions of the corresponding lines of Milton’s poem, Keats’s underscoring and vertical marginal lines, and Keats’s notes.
Users can move from page to page, note to note, book to book of Paradise Lost, and from one volume of Keats’s edition to the other. The site also includes a scholarly introduction, bibliography on Keats and Milton, and editorial notes. The digital edition of Keats’s Paradise Lost makes widely available this valuable source of information about Keats’s reading practices and response to Milton’s epic poem.
They invite everyone to visit and explore the website.
The Anne Lister Society is dedicated to fostering sustained research and scholarly conversation about Yorkshire diarist Anne Lister, in order to establish her permanent place in the historical and literary record and to interpret the rich legacies of her life and writing for the future.
The Society is looking for scholars across the disciplines who may be working on Lister and her writings.
The Society eventually become a membership and subscription organization; in the meantime, they invite you to follow themon Twitter (@AnneListerSoc) or Instagram (@annelistersociety) for all their updates and news about debut events they plan for July, 2021 in Halifax, U.K.
As in previous years the Keats-Shelley Association of America will award two Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Research Grants of $3,000 each to advanced graduate students, untenured faculty, or independent scholars.
The purpose of the Grants is to defray travel expenses incurred in pursuing archival and/or special-collections research related to British Romanticism and literary culture between 1789 and 1832, with preference given to projects involving authors and subjects featured in the Keats-Shelley Journal.
Due to possible delays related to COVID-19, extensions will be permitted this year.
No “country of origin” restrictions apply, and proposals from everywhere to go anywhere are welcome. Please note that the Grants do not underwrite time off for writing or for travel to a conference. Further information and application forms may be obtained at the K-SAA website here.
The works of Romantic writers and political philosophers served a morally instructive purpose for the audiences and readerships of their time. In their pamphlets, speeches, plays and poetry, as well as narrative texts, dominant discourses on, e.g., socio-economic questions, child-rearing, self-management, interactions with marginalised individuals, and visions of democratised states and communities stabilised, commented on and potentially subverted what is now considered a Romantic belief system. The implicit hierarchy of authors of such instructive texts and their recommended moral regulations open a window into the social inequalities of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Because these texts “appeared to have no political bias, these rules took on the power of natural law, and as a result, they presented readers with ideology in its most powerful form” (Armstrong 60). At the same time, it must be acknowledged that Romanticism as such “did create a great revolution in consciousness” (Berlin 20) insofar as Britain’s marginalised groups often became the central focus of Romantic works. Despite their normative character, these texts still left room to create counter-hegemonic discourses, allowed for alternative readings and subversive re-writings, and incited (sub-cultural) agency as a challenge to prevalent …read more
Today, Dr Sibylle Erle (Bishop Grosseteste University)continues her reflection on Blake’s Visionary Heads…
On This Day in 1820: The Visionary Heads and William Blake’s attitude towards Death
This Blog post has 2 parts. Click here to view part 1.
This blog discusses Blake’s Visionary Heads not as a spiritual phenomenon but as an expression of continuing bonds and Blake’s attitude towards death. If we think of the drawing sessions not as séances but as contacts with the spiritual world, Blake’s vision about life after death will come into focus. While the early heads were created in a séance-like ambience, as noted by Bentley (2004 363, 366), the later ones are different. By 1820, the wild, mad and eccentric Blake had calmed down; his new-found serenity, according to Bentley, is reflected in the faces of the later Visionary Heads (2002, 184).
Blake’s first biographer Benjamin Heath Malkin notes that Blake resented drawing from life and spoke of it ‘as looking more like death’ (quoted in Bentley 2004, 564). Many will agree that in Blake’s sketches …read more
2020 presents yet another exciting year for Romantic bicentenaries. We’ve already shared ‘On This Day’ posts about Lord Byron, John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Today we are delighted to present a reflection on William Blake in September 1820 by Dr Sibylle Erle (Bishop Grosseteste University).
Would you like to contribute to a future post about literary and/or historical events from 200 years ago? Get in touch!
On This Day in 1820: 18 September, William Blake draws Pindar the Greek Poet and Lais the Courtesan (Visionary Heads) for John Varley
This Blog post will have two parts. Check back tomorrow to read part II for more on William Blake’s Visionary Heads.
According to its inscription, which was written by John Linnell (1792-1882), William Blake (1757-1827) drew ‘Pindar and Lais the Courtesan’ on 18 September 1820 (Butlin 1981, #711). Blake drew for an audience but only Blake could see who he was drawing.
Pindar (died c. 439BC) was a well-known, now canonical, lyric poet in Ancient Greece. Blake, who mentions ‘Pindar’ in passing in An Island in the Moon (1784), would have deepened his knowledge when illustrating Thomas Gray’s poems (c.1797-98). He would have been familiar with the apocryphal …read more
Jane Spencer is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter. Her numerous publications include the monographs The Rise of the Woman Novelist (1986), Elizabeth Gaskell (1993), Aphra Behn’s Afterlife (2000) and Literary Relations: Kinship and the Canon, 1660-1830 (2005); the edited collection Political Gender (1994; with Josephine McDonagh and Sally Ledger); The Rover and Other Plays (1995); and essays ranging across fiction, poetry, drama and periodicals from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth. Her essay collection Reading Literary Animals: Medieval to Modern, co-edited with Karen Edwards and Derek Ryan, came out with Routledge in 2019. Her most recent book, Writing about Animals in the Age of Revolution, which we discuss below, was published in June 2020 by Oxford University Press.