Newstead Abbey Byron Conference 2020

24th-25th April

2020 marks the bicentenary of a troubling year. George III had lost his life and, many would argue, George IV lost what little shreds remained of his dignity, pursuing his errant wife with hypocritical vengeance during the so-called Queen Caroline Affair. The monarchy and government had lost the trust of the people, and many of them would have lost their lives had the Cato Street Conspiracy succeeded. Meanwhile Byron, now in the fourth year of his self-imposed exile, was rapidly losing his hair, teeth, famous good looks, and – some might argue – his dignity. It is against this backdrop that he became interested in Italian politics, or rather the loss of political authority and national autonomy.

To mark the year of 1820, we welcome papers considering the theme of Byron and loss. These could include`, but are not limited to:

  • Grief, familial loss and suicide
  • Melancholy, weltschmerz, Romantic melancholia
  • Material and aesthetic losses
  • Appetite and diet
  • Loss of status, land, and national autonomy
  • Loss of love, lovers, and spouses
  • Religious convictions and anxieties
  • Idealism and political convictions
  • Anxieties about poetic reputation and legacy
  • Writer’s block and poetic inspiration
  • Financial losses, economic instability and usury
  • Ruins and degeneration

Submissions by 1st February 2020. Please send in proposals of no more than 300 words to the Conference Organisers, Dr Emily Paterson-Morgan and Dr Charlotte May, by email:

There are 5 bursaries available for Students and ECRs to attend this conference, if giving a paper,  from the Maureen Crisp Young Scholar Fund. More details of the bursary fund are available here. However, this is a special one-off bursary offering so please indicate if you would like to apply for a bursary when you send in your proposal and applications can proceed after papers have been accepted.