On November 13, Nicholas Roe will be giving a lecture at the University of Nottingham, sponsored by the Centre for Byron Studies and the School of English Studies at the University, on "Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt and Some Contemporaries, 1816." The flyer below contains further details, but note that anyone who is planning to attend is asked to RSVP as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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:
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.
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.
I want you to know too that the presentation includes Eli Siegel's new, tremendously kind comprehension of Robert Southey—about the torment he had, including about the publication of Wat Tyler.
Here is a link to an online flyer for the event in PDF format--I thought you might like to post the link on your site, so readers could know about it:
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.
(Thanks to Wordsworth's famous sonnet, another London site, Westminster Bridge, was voted the second favorite poetic landmark.)
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.
A note about the principles of selection: It is, as students of the period well know, impossible to define with any precision exactly what books might be relevant to the study of Romanticism. The book lists provided in this first edition of the RCB are the result of various library, publisher, and database searches on the key persons and historical topics that are most central to the study of British Romantic-period writing. Inevitably, important books will be omitted from such a list. Readers who are aware of books that should be included are invited to click the "Make Submission" button at the top of each book listing page. The editor will compile such submissions and include them in quarterly updates of the RCB. In theory, the RCB will develop by this process as a kind of reading list attuned specifically to the needs and interests of the Romantic Circles community.
The URL for the new Romantic Circles Publications page is
Questions, complaints, and comments can be addressed me at email@example.com.
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.
Two other RCP volumes coming out this year also deal with the mixing, or combining, of media. Ron Broglio is editing a volume on digital studies of Blake, which explores the possibilities generated by studying Blake in this medium, as well as how much the art and textual forms of Blake encourage such a method. And Gillen D'Arcy Wood is editing a volume for us on Romanticism and opera, which not only looks at opera during the Romantic era, but also considers how much Romantic writing is an operatic experience.
It makes quite nice sense to me to showcase all this diverse, but overlapping scholarship on media on a Website devoted to Romantic literature. Perhaps one day we'll do a volume on comparing the habits (as Jerome Christensen might put it) of the Romantic bibliophile and the twenty-first century Web user . . . .
Jonathan Bate’s biography of the “peasant poet,” John Clare, has just been published (by Picador):
It was reviewed on October 10 by Simon Kovesi of Oxford Brookes University. Here’s the review, in The Independent:
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:
Another review essay, by Christopher Caldwell and containing links to a good number of excerpts from the poems, appeared in Slate magazine yesterday:
[NOTE: additional late sighting (October 21)--a review by John Lanchester in The New Yorker. Read it online at: http://www.newyorker.com/critics/books/?031027crbo_books.]
Today we asked Karl Kroeber of Columbia University, “What are you working on?”
I am "working" (as you know when classes are in session and the department is hiring, there is little productive personal intellectual labor) on two projects. A contrast of visual and verbal narrative, focused on nineteenth-century novels and twentieth-century films, with significant emphasis falling on what I consider romantic novels by Jane Austen and Emily Bronte. The second project is a study of "children's literature," the roots of which I identify with Blake and Wordsworth, whom I associate with Hans Christian Anderson and later Kipling, in a line running through Tolkien and T. H. White and Richard Adams into Phillip Pullman. This line is distinguished by its antagonism to the overwhelming bulk of "children's literature" that increasingly appeals to and reinforces a commodified imagining, a Disneyfied perversion of imagining encouraged by all commercial movies and TV directed at children.
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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."
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.
The contributors are David Collings, Helen Regueiro Elam, Spencer Hall, David P. Haney, John Kandl, Bridget Keegan, Brennan O'Donnell, Jeffrey C. Robinson, Jack Stillinger, Heidi Thomson and Susan J. Wolfson.
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.
From everything I hear, this sounds like a very strong production worked on by a sharp dramaturg, Melinda Finberg, and a good director, Davis McCallum. Finberg has edited a collection of plays by women dramatists from Behn to Cowley for Oxford and worked on the Cowley readings that were a part of the First 100 Years series that has taken place over the past year in New York.
Some readers of this blog may have attended the readings of Joanna Baillie's The Election and The Tryal that were given during the period of this year's NASSR conference at Fordham. The series' readings have had the effect of interesting artistic directors in New York in mounting productions of some of these plays (about which they’d previously known little or nothing). The production of The Belle's Strategem is just one example of the payoff of this excellent series, curated by Mallory Catlett and Gwynn MacDonald.
Here’s the information on the show:
THE BELLE'S STRATAGEM
by Hannah Cowley
Directed by Davis McCallum
October 9-11, 15-18 @ 8pm
October 12, 19 @ 3pm
at the West End Theatre in the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew,
263 West 86th Street, near Broadway
(take the 1, 2, or 9 subway to 86th Street)
$15 General Admission/$12 Students with ID
Purchase tickets at www.Theatermania.com (212) 352-0255