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Make the most of your visit while attending this event and take a tour of Dove Cottage and gardens.

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Part of: Saturday Talks

Saturday talks

'Of the Glory in the Flower'

Jerwood Centre

22 April 2017
2.00 - 5.00pm
£10.00 per person

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Wordsworth’s deep affinity with the natural world and the Lake District landscape is widely known, and discussed, but this afternoon we will consider his relationship with man-made and cultivated outdoor spaces.  We are delighted to be joined by three excellent speakers who will talk on their own research concerning Wordsworth and gardens.


Wordsworth and Constable
How is it that lime trees planted by William Wordsworth in Leicestershire came to be recorded in a painting by John Constable?  This talk will explore how friendship with Sir George Beaumont connects two of Britain's greatest creative minds: Wordsworth and Constable.

Michael Thompson is the curator of the Focus on a Friendship exhibition in our Community Gallery this spring. 

Wordsworth and the Picturesque
In the eighteenth century, fashionable landscape gardens designed by ‘Capability’ Brown and his followers were taken to epitomise the picturesque. But some theorists of the picturesque, such as Sir Uvedale Price, raised objections to this craze. Price was a close friend of Sir George and Lady Beaumont. In a letter to Lady Beaumont of January 1806, Dorothy Wordsworth reported that her brother ‘has read Mr Price’s Book on the picturesque […and] thinks that Mr Price has been of great service in correcting the false taste of the Layers out of Parks and Pleasure-grounds’. This talk will explore Wordsworth’s objections to picturesque aesthetics and consider how his opinions were shaped by the influence of the Beaumont circle. 

Jessica Fay is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Bristol. She holds a PhD in English from Oxford University. She is working on a project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which considers the relationship between Wordsworth and his patron, Sir George Beaumont.

Wordsworth and Flowers
Flowers feature prominently in Wordsworth's visions of domestic, regional and national belonging. Wordsworth uses flowers to embody the possibility of regaining paradise in a world unsettled by revolution, war and industrialisation. This illustrated talk explores the subtle ways in which Wordsworth portrays flowers - daisies, harebells, snowdrops, daffodils, lesser celandines and more - in an abundance of biographical, literary and socio-political contexts. It also looks at relevant materials, such as albums, illustrations and pressed flowers, in Wordsworth's times.

Brandon Chao-Chi Yen is an independent scholar, literary translator and botanical illustrator. He holds a PhD in English from Cambridge. This talk arises from his research at the Jerwood Centre as an Early Career Fellow in February 2017 and the accompanying exhibition Spirit of Paradise: Wordsworth's Flowers.


Each talk will last around 45 minutes, refreshments will be provided.

Cost: £10

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