This year’s Annual Byron Foundation Lecture – The Age of Wonder and Beyond – will explore how Romantic writers incorporated the big scientific discoveries of the time.
The eminent biographer Richard Holmes OBE will speak about the revolution in the physical sciences that happened in the late 18th century and the profound impact discoveries had on the Romantic writers of the day – including Coleridge, Mary Shelley and, of course, Byron.
The Centre for Regional Literature and Culture and The University of Nottingham’s School of English are hosting the lecture on Thursday 15 May in the Senate Chamber, Trent Building, University Park, at 6pm. Places are free and can be booked online via www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/rsvp
Lynda Pratt, Professor of Romanticism at the University and Director of the Centre for Regional Literature and Culture, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to hear a distinguished biographer and historian talk about Romantic period culture. Richard Holmes is the author of several deeply learned and eminently readable biographies, including lives of Shelley and Coleridge. His work crosses disciplinary boundaries – showing connections, for example, between writers and scientists. So this talk isn't just for those interested in literature, but will appeal to a wide audience.”
The annual lecture was established by public subscription in 1912. Its subject is not limited to Byron, but can include any aspect of English Literature. In recent years – including this year – it has focused on Byron and his contemporaries.
Professor Pratt believes the longevity of the annual lecture lies with the man himself. She said: “'Mad, bad, and dangerous to know', as one of his lovers described him, Byron was a highly controversial, complex, influential and entertaining figure who was also one of the best-selling poets of the early 19th century. He was, to put it mildly, a celebrity and his life and works resonate with many of our concerns today. This year’s lecture will be a wonderful demonstration of his contemporaneity.”
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