David Duff

22nd March, IN-PERSON

6.30pm-8.00pm, Art Workers Guild

Ticket Price: £5.00

Wine reception 6.30 pm

Lecture at 7.00 pm

Dinner from 8.00 pm

Ticket registration here.

Enquiries: contact@thebyronsociety.com

John Hookham Frere’s pseudonymous Prospectus and Specimen of an Intended National Work, by William and Robert Whistlecraft (1817) is recognised as a model for Byron’s use of comic ottava rima and the figure of a chatty, self-reflexive narrator in Beppo and Don Juan. But the poem’s significance for Byron extends beyond that. Frere’s wide-ranging satire of the British book trade, including marketing devices such as prospectuses, specimens, and grandiose-sounding labels like ‘national work’, has multiple echoes in Byron’s poetry. David Duff will show how Frere draws on his experience as a co-founder of The Anti-Jacobin and the Quarterly Review, and how his techniques mirror other contemporary experiments with mock-prospectuses and bibliographic satire. Byron takes this subject matter and satiric method to a new level of imaginative accomplishment, creating a comic poetry that is genuinely ‘national’, and international, in scope. Byron’s personal connections with Frere through the John Murray circle provide a further context for my exploration of this under-researched but formative literary relationship.



Art Workers Guild

6 Queen Square


London WC1N 3AT

See Map 


Drinks 6.30-7.00

Lecture 7.00-8.00pm

There will be a dinner for those who wish to join, details will be confirmed closer to the time.