October 2003

John Keats b. 31 Oct. 1795

Today is anniversary of Keats's birth, so we thought we'd use the opportunity to direct attention to some materials on the Web from the British Library exhibit of a few years back:

http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/keats.html

Besides a few facsimiles and mini-essays, you'll find audio files (in Real Audio format) including a brief clip of the song of the European nightingale.

Wat Tyler production in NY

This afternoon we received the following note from a member of the cast of an upcoming theatrical production in New York: a staging of Robert Southey’s famous (and famously-pirated) 1817 drama about the leader of the Peasants' Rebellion of 1381, Wat Tyler.

I wanted you know about a great theatrical matinee in New York City on Sunday afternoon, November 16, titled "Ethics Is A Living Thing!" This dramatic presentation on Robert Southey's Wat Tyler includes a performance of the play in its entirety, and stirring discussion of its history and meaning for people today.

The matinee is based on a 1970 lecture given by Eli Siegel, founder of the philosophy, Aesthetic Realism. It will take place at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation--a not-for-profit educational foundation in the SoHo section of New York.

Keats House voted "top poetry landmark"

A recent poll conducted by the British Poetry Society (according to a story we noticed in The Telegraph for October 11) has named Keats House in Hampstead the "top poetry landmark" in Great Britain. The poll was conducted as part of the general festivities commemorating the tenth annual National Poetry Day.

New Romantic Circles Bibliography (Kyle Grimes)

Romantic Circles is happy to announce the publication of a redesigned and updated Publications page. At the heart of the page is a new Romantic Circles Bibliography, which offers tables of contents from selected Romanticism journals and, more important, annual listings of books likely to be of interest to Romanticists. The RCB is intended as a "browser's bibliography." While it does (or soon will) offer a limited search capability, it is not intended to compete with or replace the more robust research databases that are available from most university libraries. Instead, the RCB offers a convenient listing of recent books, complete (where possible) with links to publishers’ Websites and to online reviews--either on Romantic Circles itself or elsewhere on the web.

Forthcoming at RC Praxis (Orrin Wang)

Orrin Wang, Editor of the Romantic Circles Praxis series, which publishes peer-reviewed collections of original critical essays, writes with this preview of some volumes we can expect in the near future.

One of the most exciting sessions at the 2003 NASSR conference at Fordham in NYC was "Romantic Libraries," with papers by Ina Ferris, Heather Jackson, and Deirdre Lynch. I'm delighted to feature that session as a forthcoming volume on Romantic Circles Praxis, not simply because of the high quality of the essays (though there is that!) but also because it seems quite appropriate in this day and age to present the study of bibliomania in electronic form.

Bate Biography of John Clare

Jonathan Bate’s biography of the “peasant poet,” John Clare, has just been published (by Picador):

http://www.panmacmillan.com/books/october/johnclare/default.html

It was reviewed on October 10 by Simon Kovesi of Oxford Brookes University. Here’s the review, in The Independent:

http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/reviews/story.jsp?story=451687

Kovesi also publishes the John Clare page (hosted by Nottingham Trent University), which contains lots of Clare materials including some useful information on the copyright dispute surrounding his texts:

http://human.ntu.ac.uk/clare

Another review essay, by Christopher Caldwell and containing links to a good number of excerpts from the poems, appeared in Slate magazine yesterday:

Keats in Slate Magazine

Today in Slate (the online magazine), you can find Keats's "To Autumn," with a brief headnote by the poet Robert Pinsky. The note suggests (among other observations) that "The fulfillment, the hovering, and the finality of autumn are so vivid in John Keats' 'To Autumn' that readers of English cannot be sure how much our perception of the season comes from this poem."

http://slate.msn.com/id/2089783/

From that page you can also download a Windows Media audio file of Pinksy reading the poem.

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Coincidentally, Romantic Circles just this hour announced the publication of a new volume in our Praxis series: "Ode on a Grecian Urn": Hypercanonicity and Pedagogy. Edited and introduced by James O'Rourke, the volume contains eleven essays from a distinguished group of scholars focusing on how they teach Keats's "Urn" in courses ranging from introductory literature surveys to graduate seminars.

Hannah Cowley in New York

Tom Crochunis of Brown University writes to let us know about an intriguing theatrical production in New York. Anyone who attends the play is hereby invited to send us a brief review.

If any Romanticists out there are lucky enough to be in New York (but not unlucky enough to be Yankees fans--sorry, as a temporarily exuberant Red Sox fan I just had to say it), they should consider attending the current production of Hannah Cowley's The Belle's Strategem, which was just reviewed in The New York Times and Curtain Up.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/07/arts/theater/07RIVA.html?ex=1066533286&ei=1&en=34b6ff9972cce93f

http://www.curtainup.com/bellesstratagem.html

Mary Shelley ceremony (Nora Crook)

Mary Shelley scholar Nora Crook sends us this report on last Friday’s Blue-Plaque ceremony in London. (See post for Sept. 29 below.)

The unveiling of a Blue Plaque on 24 Chester Square, Mary Shelley’s London home from 1846-1851, took place on Friday 3 October 2003 at 12 noon. About fifty people were present on a typical London autumn day, overcast but mild. Loyd Grossman spoke for English Heritage, which puts up Blue Plaques marking the residences of celebrated London-dwellers. (There are now nearly 800 such plaques, literary figures being well represented. Another be-plaqued house in Chester Square belonged to Matthew Arnold. ) Number 24, overlooking the leafy private square, is a handsome, stuccoed Grade II listed building in one of the most desirable residential districts of London. [cont'd]