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29.04.2014

Book review: Unfashioned Creatures by Lesley McDowell

Review by Pam Norfolk ‘Love is merely a madness,’ wrote Shakespeare but it was the poets and writers of the later Romantic period who came to love madness to distraction. Mental disorders, sexual obsession and supernatural mystery were at the beating heart of 19th century literature… and leading the charge was Mary Shelley with her […]

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22.04.2014

Coleridge and Spring

By Seamus Perry I frequently think: what was Coleridge doing at this time of the year? And his private notebooks often tell us. The Spring of 1802, for example, was a delightful one, and his eyes and ears were brilliantly alert, especially to birdsong: ‘The yellow Hammer sings like one working on steel, or the […]

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22.04.2014

Harriet Shelley

By Eleanor Fitzsimons On Thursday, December 12, 1816, a short but intriguing report was carried on page two of The London Times. It read: “On Tuesday a respectable female, far advanced in pregnancy, was taken out of the Serpentine River and brought to her residence in Queen Street, Brompton, having been missed for nearly six […]

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17.04.2014

Ode to Football

A tongue in cheek post, by Sarah Doyle. It’s not uncommon for those who love football to talk about ‘the beautiful game’, the romance found in many a match.  But what of the Romantics themselves?  Although pre-dating Association Football as we know it today, might the great Romantic poets have made compelling football figures?  Would […]

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14.04.2014

Getting to know Dorothy Wordsworth

By Pamela Woof Dorothy Wordsworth was a poet’s sister but she only became truly aware of the significance of that relationship when it burst on her when she was fifteen and a half. She had been separated from her four brothers and father when she was six at the death of her mother. Her girl-hood, […]

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03.04.2014

William Wordsworth

By Professor Stephen Gill Towards  the end of the nineteenth century a group of devotees decided to save the cottage in Grasmere that had once been the home of  William Wordsworth. Why did they do it?  Who was this man they were honouring forty years after his death and why  was  it important to preserve […]

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28.03.2014

Claire Clairmont: On her letters and journals

By Lesley McDowell “I have just got your amusing letter (no one writes such good letters as you do)…I have not the art of letter writing – You have it to an eminent degree.” Mary Shelley was not attempting to ingratiate herself with her step-sister, Claire Clairmont, when she wrote these words to her towards […]

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27.03.2014

‘What Exile from himself can flee?’: Byron and the price of exile

by Andrew McConnell Stott. For one who identified so strongly with the bitterness and imagery of exile – of being marked out, cast out, and left to wander – Lord Byron did not flinch when it came to sending people away. Take Frank Boyce, a servant he had taken up to Cambridge in 1806, only […]

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