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23.10.2017

'Becoming Manfred': Tchaikovsky and Byron

by David Perkins Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s festival overture, The Year 1812, (popularly known as the 1812 Overture), is probably one of his most famous works. Tchaikovsky didn’t think much of it as it was a commission piece to open the All-Russian Arts and Industry Exhibition. “It is impossible to set about without repugnance music that […]

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18.09.2017

David Bowie and Romanticism

By Matthew Sangster, Emily Bernhard Jackson, Joanna Taylor and Beatrice Turner   In thinking about the developments of the Romantic period, scholars often place a great deal of emphasis on examining works’ receptions around the time of their original composition or publication. However, in re-inscribing the importance of Romantic-period developments, it is important to acknowledge the […]

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20.04.2017

‘’Huge and blackbearded and ferocious’’: Byron’’s manservant Tita Falcieri

by Claudia Oliver If there is one thing I have learnt about my ancestor Giovanni Battista Falcieri, as I have worked on my biography of him and the film script that seeks to bring his story to life, it is that he was an absolute nightmare to live with. He had the Italian temperament, of […]

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07.02.2017

'The more I study, the more insatiable do I feel my genius for it to be'’: Ada Lovelace and her mother Annabella Byron

by Eleanor Fitzsimons ‘Never was a bridegroom less in haste’. This worrisome observation was noted down by politician and diarist John Cob Hobhouse as he accompanied his dear friend George Gordon Byron on a convoluted journey to Seaham Hall in County Durham. Once there, Hobhouse, who had known Byron since both were students at Trinity […]

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08.09.2016

Byron and his women: Mad, bad and very dangerous to know

by Alexander Larman In the (mercifully) final season of Downton Abbey, the Earl of Grantham, played with wooden heartiness by Hugh Bonneville, is convalescing after a spectacular moment of bloody vomiting. To aid him in his recuperation, he is shown leafing through a volume of Byron’s poetry. There is a jocular exchange in which Byron […]

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08.08.2016

Diets of the Romantic poets

by Andrew McConnell Stott Cartoon by Mike Barfield The most notable meal in the history of English Romantic poetry took place on a Sunday afternoon in late December, 1817, as a garrulous group of men assembled at the London home of the artist, Benjamin Robert Haydon. The guests included William Wordsworth, the essayist Charles Lamb, […]

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10.06.2016

Death, disaster, and the ‘End of Days’: ‘Darkness’, by Lord Byron

by Allen Ashley  Later years and a deeper and wider reading of their work have shown me that the Romantics had a great affinity with the fantastic; but when I first read ‘Darkness’ during A’ Level English studies, I was amazed and delighted. Amazed that the dashing Lothario more associated with the bedroom and the […]

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10.03.2016

Romantic readings: Childe Harold, by Lord Byron

by Francesca Blanch Serrat Lord Byron left England in April 1816 after he and his wife Annabella Milbanke had begun separation proceedings. The whole of English society had risen with a commotion over Byron’s alleged misconduct toward Lady Byron and his presumed incestuous relationship with his half-sister Augusta Leigh. Those who up to that moment […]

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