Byron & Rochester
Byron Society Lecture, 20th February
6.30-8.00pm, at the Art Workers Guild, London
£5.00 for Members; £6.00 for Students;
£7.00 for Non-Members.
Wine reception 6.30 pm
Lecture at 7.00 pm
Dinner from 8.00 pm
Dr Tom Lockwood, Reader in English Literature and Director of Education in the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham, will explore the things Byron might have known about the poetry and life of John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, some of the things that he did with that knowledge in his own writing, and some of the ways in which Byron’s contemporaries used the cautionary narrative of Rochester’s life to do things to Byron.
Rochester’s reputation today – as a poet who can be furiously obscene, often blasphemous, and all the while stylish – is in some respects different from his reputation in Byron’s lifetime. Lockwood will think about the poems for which Rochester was known then, and is known now. Thinking then about the forms in which Byron read Rochester, the talk will explore the ways in which he brings Rochester’s lines into his own writing, and his own self-conception. The lecture ends with a discussion of the ways in which others – in, and shortly after, Byron’s lifetime – have since used their conception of Rochester to shape their judgements about Byron. The two poets are as important to one another as many readers have hoped they should be, but in different ways from those to which we have been accustomed.
Art Workers Guild
6 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AT
Drinks at 6.30
There will be a dinner for those who wish to join, details will be confirmed closer to the time.
£5.00 for Members
£6.00 for Students
£7.00 for Non-Members
Imagery: "John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester"by William Nelson Gardiner, published by E. & S. Harding, after Silvester Harding, after Unknown artist. National Portrait Gallery.