Faith and Infidelity: Byron in 1819

Newstead Abbey

26 & 27 April 2019

Hosted by the Newstead Abbey Byron Society

Plenary: Bernard Beatty (Liverpool & St Andrews)

Immersed in an affair with a married woman, fresh from writing about one ‘married woman’, Laura, and her lover, the Count in Beppo, and publishing the story of another extra-marital affair (between Julia and Juan) and of the consequences of another (in Mazeppa), Byron in 1819 had infidelity very much on his mind. Yet Italy was inspiring faith in him too – in ‘art and its great masters’ – and in ‘more’ than this (‘each conception was a heavenly guest’), in ‘Freedom’s banner, torn, but flying’, in an Italy ‘still impregnate with divinity’, and in the healing power of time and ‘forgiveness’ (CHP, IV). This conference welcomes traditional 20-minute paper proposals and panel proposals (10-minute papers tightly knit around a topic) on all aspects relating to ‘faith’ and ‘infidelity’ in Byron’s life and work, especially but not exclusively, around 1819. Broader topics relating to these concepts might include, for example: Byronic scepticism, Byronic cynicism, Byronic idealism, Women in Byron, Byron, faith & religion, Byron and Italy / Byron in Italy, Byron and love, Byron and sex, Byron’s politics in 1819, Cantos I and II of Don Juan, Mazeppa, and other works, 1818-1820, Italian revolutions & uprisings, Infidelity & faith in Romantic thought around 1819.

Please send abstracts of approximately 300 words, including affiliation, to by 15 February 2019.

The conference will start at 1 p.m. on Friday with lunch at Newstead Abbey, followed by afternoon sessions and dinner. On Saturday, the conference will run from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.