19th century literary celebrity culture explored

Posted by mjs76 at Mar 08, 2010 01:17 PM |
The School of English presents a ‘Midlands Romantic Seminar’ on Thursday 11 March, an opportunity – open to all – to hear about the later lives of three famous 19th century writers and how they were documented by contemporary biographers.

Dr Jane Darcy from Kings College London will look at the events of 1816, when Lord Byron’s separation from his wife sparked debates in the press that are still with us today, on how much licence biographers should have to reveal private lives (especially of those celebrities deemed “mad, bad and dangerous to know”).

Leicester’s own Dr Julian North, whose recent book The Domestication of Genius examined the afterlives of Romantic poets, will discuss how Mary Shelley coped with the death of her husband Percy by writing him back into life in her letters and her biographical editions of his work. (Mary Shelley knew a thing or two about bringing people back to life, of course…)

And Dr David Higgins from the University of Leeds will talk about the autobiographical work of essayist Charles Lamb – best known for his Tales from Shakespeare retellings of the Bard – in the context of his career, working for the East India Company in the early years of the 19th century.

The ‘Romantic Afterlives’ seminar takes place on Thursday 11 March in Room 1315 way up on the 13th floor of the Attenborough Tower (meaning you can travel there by paternoster, although a lift is also available) on the University of Leicester campus.

Doors open 2.00pm for tea and coffee, kick-off at 2.30pm, all wrapped up around 5.00pm. The event is free and open to all. Contact Dr Felicity James, fj21@le.ac.uk for more information.