Conference Report, ‘Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil’, University of Sheffield

By Anna Mercer


Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil (24-27 June, University of Sheffield)

Conference report by Carly Stevenson

On an aptly stormy weekend in June, the University of Sheffield hosted an international conference commemorating the bicentenary of the infamous summer of 1816, when P.B. Shelley, Mary Godwin (later Shelley), Lord Byron, John Polidori and Claire Claremont gathered to share ghost stories at the Villa Diodati in Geneva. Organised by Professor Angela Wright and Dr Madeleine Callaghan, this conference celebrated the extraordinary literary output of this circle with a diverse array of papers from scholars in the fields of Romanticism, Gothic, eighteenth and nineteenth century studies.

Jane Stabler

On the Friday, keynote speakers Jerrold Hogle, Jane Stabler and Michael O’Neill lead a series of masterclasses for postgraduates and early careers researchers before the conference began in full the following day. After the first day of papers, Michael O’Neill gave a plenary lecture that examined the ways in which Byron and the Shelleys influenced each other in 1816-17. Afterwards, delegates headed over to 99 Mary Street for the conference dinner and drinks. This event was followed by another full day of parallel panels on the Sunday, rounded off with Jane Stabler’s …read more