The next meeting of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar will be held on Friday 12 May 2017 in the Bloomsbury Room (G35) at Senate House, University of London, starting at 5.30. Our speaker is Gregory Dart, Professor of English at University College London, who will present a paper entitled The Lamb Circle and the Birth of Romantic Practical Criticism. This will be followed by a discussion and a wine reception, to which all are invited. Admission is free.
Gregory Dart is the author of two acclaimed monographs, Rousseau, Robespierre and English Romanticism (1999) and Metropolitan Art and Literature 1810-1840: Cockney Adventures (2012). He has published two editions of Hazlitt’s writings, and co-edited a volume on the modern city with his colleague Matthew Beaumont. He is currently editing three volumes of the new Oxford University Press edition of the Complete Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, a project for which he is also General Editor. He is a member of the Lamb Society and Chair of the Hazlitt Society.
Regarding the topic of his paper, he writes:
“My paper charts the development of a new model of critical reading among the English Romantics, a mode of ‘genial criticism’ expressly designed to oppose the judgmental reviewing practices of the age. Having its source in literary conversations among the Lamb circle, especially in the years 1808-12, it began to find tentative public expression in Coleridge’s Shakespeare lectures of 1811-2, Lamb’s essays for The Reflector, those Round Table essays of Hazlitt’s that were not overtaken by the ‘reviewing’ spirit, and the critical notes in Wordsworth’s Excursion and Poems (1815). The second part of Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria was the culmination of this vein, giving the fullest theoretical articulation of the ‘genial’ model of criticism, although arguably the most sustained examples of Romantic practical criticism are to be found in works of a more private nature, such as Coleridge’s marginalia to the Ayscough Shakespeare.”