Keats Foundation Annual Lecture 2020

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‘Between the Downs and the Sea: Romantics in Sussex’

By Alexandra Harris, author of Weatherlands: Writers and Artists under English Skies, and Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination, from Virginia Woolf to John Piper.

‘Nothing worth speaking of’ happened on Keats’s 1819 excursion over the South Downs to Chichester and then to Bedhampton – nothing except most of The Eve of St Agnes and The Eve of St Mark. William Blake referred to his Sussex years as a ‘slumber on the banks of the ocean’, but it was a fruitful sleep in which Chichester appeared as a version of Jerusalem. William Collins, who spent most of his life in Chichester, catches the music of his ‘native plains’ in some of his most influential odes. This lecture will consider Keats and his predecessors in this small part of Sussex, and will explore more broadly the relationship between place and poetry.

Alexandra Harris will speak on Saturday 7 March 2020 at 5 pm.

Booking here

Other selected Keats House events (several more, including Family Days and free poetry readings, can be found on their Eventbrite page).

All events listed below run 6.30-8pm in The Chester Room, Keats House

30 Jan Jennifer Wallace ‘”Digging Up Milton”. Keats, Milton and London 1790-1818: Writing Historical Fiction.’

6 Feb Jonathan Gonzalez ‘Keats and Wine’

20 Feb Damian Walford Davies ‘Keats’s Killing Breath: Poetry and Theories of Consumption’

5 March Drummond Bone ‘What is Poetry – thoughts by Byron (and Keats)’ – in partnership with the Byron Society

16 April Andrew Rudd ‘Charities in Keats’s London’