London-Paris Romanticism Seminar: Timothy Webb, Friday 18 October 2019, Senate House, University of London

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The first seminar in the 2019-20 programme of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar will be held on Friday 18 October 2019 at 5.30 in the Bloomsbury Room (G35) at Senate House, University of London. To launch the new series, we are delighted to welcome Professor Timothy Webb, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and a renowned international scholar of Romanticism. His talk, entitled Leigh Hunt and ‘Romantic’ Imprisonment, will be followed by a discussion and wine reception.

As with all our events, the seminar is free and open to everyone, including postgraduates and members of the public. No registration is necessary.

webb mugshot 2Timothy Webb is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol where he was Winterstoke Professor and for nine years Head of the Department of English. He has written and lectured widely on Romantic topics, especially Byron and Shelley (the subject of nine books, written or edited, sometimes jointly), and on Irish topics (including Joyce and Yeats, focus of a pioneering Penguin edition). His two-volume annotated edition of Leigh Hunt’s Autobiography will be published by Oxford University Press in the next calendar year. Work in progress includes The Book of Stones, a book-length study of English Romantic writers and Ireland, and the collection of about a hundred essays into six volumes.

Regarding the subject of his talk, Tim writes:

“The writer and reforming journalist, Leigh Hunt was a friend of Keats, Byron, Percy and Mary Shelley, Moore, Charles Lamb, Hazlitt, Haydon, Landor, Dickens, Forster, Carlyle and many others. Between 1813 and 1815 he and his brother John were separately imprisoned for libelling the Prince Regent in The Examiner. Famously, and unlike his austere and less fortunate brother, Leigh Hunt translated his prison experience into Spenserean terms, decorated his cell with books and a piano, painted its ceiling with blue sky and clouds, and cultivated a small garden. His celebrated imprisonment provided an opportunity for creating a kind of salon and for continuing to publish his weekly paper, in which he openly passed judgement on his own trial and the conditions of his incarceration, and on contemporary politics and the behaviour of the Prince Regent. Hunt’s time in prison became an inspiration to writers such as Keats and Shelley, the crusading and populist publisher William Hone, and the much younger Dickens.”

We hope you can join us for this exciting event.