Professor John Beer

The Friends of Coleridge are very sad to report that Professor John Bernard Beer, M.A., Ph.D., Litt.D., FBA, Coleridge scholar, Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse, and former Research Fellow of St John’s College, died on 10 December 2017, aged 91 years.

A full obituary will follow.

RIMECOPYIMAGE

'The Rime of The Ancient Mariner' production in Bath

'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'
Instead of the Cross, The Albatross About My Neck Was Hung

14th–16th December, Burdall’s Yard, 7A Anglo Terrace, Avon, Bath BA1 5NH

Produced by OnSet Productions, Associate Producer Matthew Emeny, Directed by John Ward.

A dark and thrilling re-telling of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous Rime of The Ancient Mariner. A timeless epic revamped by a modern ensemble; fusing poetry, music and movement.

14th 7:30pm, 15th 2pm and 7:30pm, 16th 1pm, 4pm and 7:30pm

Box office:
www.bathspalive.com
Tickets: Full Price £8, Conc £6, BSU Student, £4
Running time 1 hour

Ben Manning short film on saving Alfoxden

Alfoxden house, with 55 acre,s goes under the hammer at auction on 31 October at Cannington (see Kivells website). Ben Manning has put together a short film on the importance of saving it. Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSXlKmtStVY&t=6s

Mary Thompson photograph

Photo Exhibition - Caverns Measureless to Man, Burnham on Sea

This exhibition of photographs by Mary Thompson will be held at the Princess Theatre and Arts Centre, Princess Street, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset until 14th October.
Tuesday to Friday 10am to 3pm, saturday 10am to 1pm.

October auction of Alfoxden

 Alfoxden House is being auctioned by Kivells near Bridgwater on 31st October. 
The guide price is £500,000 to £750,000.
The property comprises:
* Grade 11 Listed country house (former hotel) for refurbishment extending to 11,000 sq ft 
* Courtyard of traditional stone barns with potential for conversion
* Wonderful walled garden
* Modest cottage
* Tennis court 
* Deer Park and woodland
* In all 55 acres
You can view the auction details at the following link https://www.kivells.com/residential-sales/holford-bridgwater

Coleridge Ottery weekend programme

Click here to view the weekend programme for the Coleridge Memorial Trust Ottery weekend.

An Invitation from the Coleridge Memorial Trust

Click here to read the invitation to the fund-rasiing and lecture weekend by Chairman, John Pilsworth.

Coleridge Weekend Programme, Ottery St Mary, October 20-22

Coleridge Memorial Trust, Ottery St Mary, Coleridge Weekend Programme, October 20-22


Friday 20th October, Afternoon 3pm-5pm

A reading of the 'Ancient Mariner' by Laurie Palmer and Oscar Pearson in Coleridge costume.
Poetry reading by the Kings School students.

Friday 20th October, Evening 7pm-10 pm, approx finish

Chairman’s welcome
Presentation by Dr Sandra Tuppen, Lead Curator, Modern Archives and Manuscripts 1601-1850 from The British Library.
Talk by Mr Nicholas Dimbleby, the CMT’s sculptor, on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge sculptural memorial. 
Interval with refreshments: Tea, Coffee, Wine.
Presentation by Oscar Pearson on the CMT’s achievements and aims.
Chairmans outline of CMT fundraising plans.
Reading of 'Kubla Khan' and other Coleridge poems.
Exhibition all weekend in the Dorset Aisle - STC banners & maquette.

Saturday 21st October

9.30-10.30am:  STC Birthday Celebration peel off bells by the Bellringers of St Mary’s church, Ottery, in honour of the towns most famous son. Sponsored by Otter Vale Probus Club.
12.30 for 1pm:  Coleridge Anniversary Lunch, Tumbling Weir Hotel. Organised by Robert Neal - OSM Heritage Society. Guest speaker: Historian and author Todd Gray: ‘Coleridge the Walker’.
4pm:  Short guided walk and talk - lead by Sam Coleridge to Pixies Parlour. Meet on the bridge between the Land of Canaan car park and The Tumbling Weir Hotel on the Mill Stream. £10 a head for fundraising, children under 12 years old & dogs - no charge.


Sunday Morning 22nd October

10am - 4pm approx:  'Coleridge Link' - strenuous 9 mile walk,  led by Sam Coleridge.  Meet on the bridge over the Mill Stream between the Land of Canaan car park and The Tumbling Weir Hotel.  £10 a head for fundraising;  bring water etc. - dogs welcome.

Calne Music Fesival logo

Coleridge at the Calne Music and Arts Festival 2017

Calne Music and Arts Festival 2017
Coleridge in Calne
Saturday 7 October, 3.00pm - The Lansdowne Strand Hotel - Admission £5 (£4 Friends; £1 Child)

Poetry, songs, quips, quotes and local stories tell the tale of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Calne, featuring the Wiltshire History Man, Nick Baxter, and songs performed by Michelle Sheridan-Grant. A leading figure of the Romantics, Coleridge lived in Calne at the time of Waterloo, and took a keen interest in local events while writing his meditative classic, Biographia Literaria. Accompanied by the ballads of Thomas Moore, the 19th century Irish bard, who lived and is buried in Bromham.

Tickets can be bought in advance through our website (http://www.calnemusicandartsfestival.co.uk/2017/), or the direct link is: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/388205

Schelling IMG 0375 Coleridge1

Online Supplement to Coleridge's 'Marginalia'

Announcing the Online Supplement to Marginalia, Vol. 12 in the Bollingen Edition of The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, published by Princeton University Press, 1969-2001. http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/collections/special_collections/coleridge_marginalia

Coleridge's marginalia, edited by George Whalley and H. J. Jackson, appeared in six volumes in the Bollingen Edition between 1980 and 2001. Given the choice of alphabetical order, and considering the length of time that passed between the start and finish of the project, during which time salerooms continued to operate, there were naturally fresh discoveries made of annotated books that turned up too late to take their proper place. But a home was found for these stray titles in the "Addenda" section of Volume Six. The editors' solution on that occasion provides the precedent for this online supplement that is expected to provide a good home for new materials as they emerge.

The unusual event that prompted this new online supplement was the discovery of completely new marginalia, notes written by Coleridge in a book that his name had never previously been associated with, in the spectacular Crewe Bequest to Trinity College Cambridge--which also included a fine example of a "lost book" with some unrecorded notes. (See https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/library/the-crewe-collection/.) With the kind permission of the Wren Library at Trinity College, both those books (Dalrymple and Pereira) are included in the inaugural group of marginalia on this website, along with links to digital images of the books.

The first set of titles thus includes one completely new title (Dalrymple) together with three "lost books" (Colquhoun, Pereira, Taylor) and two fragments (Bull, Schelling). All are given in PDF format, in a style designed as a close approximation of the style of the Collected Works, with which all users should be familiar: headnote, textus and notes in different colours, textual notes, footnotes in two columns on the same page. Abbreviations and other editorial apparatus conform to the conventions of the Bollingen Edition.

The editor and the host of this online resource at Victoria University Library (Toronto) gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Trinity College, Cambridge, and thank Princeton University Press for permission to use materials copyrighted to them. (“Introduction,” H. J. Jackson)

For inquiries about this resource, please contact: r.kail@utoronto.ca; To submit information about Lost Books Found, contact: heather.jackson@utoronto.ca

Humphry Davy course

Free online course: Humphry Davy

'Humphry Davy: Laughing gas, literature and the lamp'

This free online course (MOOC), organised by Lancaster University and the Royal Institution of Great Britain, The is intended for anyone with an interest in Humphry Davy, or early nineteenth century literature, science, or history. It will explore some of the most significant moments of Davy's life and career, including his childhood in Cornwall, his work at the Medical Pneumatic Institution in Bristol and the Royal Institution in London, his writing of poetry, his invention of his miners' safety lamp and the controversy surrounding this, and his European travels. The course will also investigate the relationships that can exist between science and the arts, identify the role that science can play in society, and assess the cultural and political function of science.

The course will start on 30 October 2017, and will run for four weeks. Learners will typically spend three hours per week working through the steps, which will include videos (filmed on location at the Royal Institution), text-based activities and discussion, and quizzes. Learners will be guided at all stages by a specialist team of Educators and Mentors. It's entirely free to participate, and no prior knowledge of Davy is required.

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested in participating.

If you have any questions, please contact the Lead Educator, Professor Sharon Ruston (s.ruston@lancaster.ac.uk).

Sign up today at http://www.futurelearn.com/courses/humphry-davy

Imagined Worlds 'Kubla Khan' project report

During 2016 and 2017 the Friends of Coleridge celebrated the bicentenary of the publication in 1816 of the visionary poem 'Kubla Khan'.

The Arts Council supported this innovative project after receiving our initial application for funding, which showed a substantial number of organisations working in partnership with us to arrange a programme of poetry, art, walks, talks, film and competitions.

After the completion of the project we thought you might be interested in seeing the illustrated report that we submitted to the Arts Council, summarising the various activities we ran. Click here to download it.

albatross

"I (did not) shoot the albatross"

A very rare Indian Yellow albatross was was found by birdlover Hugh Harris after it wondered onto his East Huntspill driveway looking exhausted - just a few flying miles from Nether Stowey where Coleridge wrote 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'.

Spotted just twice before in Europe, it is one of only one of only 73,000 left in the world.

The photograph shows Simon Kidner releasing it back into the wild at Brean Down, where it had landed after a flight from the South Atlantic.

Conference: Sibylline Leaves: Chaos and Compilation in the Romantic Period

Conference: Sibylline Leaves: Chaos and Compilation in the Romantic Period

Birkbeck's School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London, 21 & 22 July 2017

Registration is now open. To view the full programme and purchase tickets, please visit the conference website: www.sibyllineleaves2017.wordpress.com

Alfoxden to Stowey Walk

Alfoxden to Nether Stowey Walk

On Saturday 10 June, Terence Sackett and Ian Enters will be leading a walk from Alfoxden to Nether Stowey. It is part of the Sedgemoor Ramblers Walking Festival. There will be readings from 'Lyrical Ballads', plus extracts from Dorothy Wordsworth's Alfoxden Journal.

Symposium: ‘Writing Romantic Lives’

‘Writing Romantic Lives’
A One Day Postgraduate Symposium, hosted by Romanticism @ Edge Hill University & Keele University
25 November 2017

This postgraduate conference is held in celebration of the 200th anniversary of S. T. Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria (1817), an experimental combination of life writing, philosophy, and literary criticism. Coleridge’s interest in the self, creativity, imagination, and the relationship between poetry and cultural life forms part of the wider Romantic exploration of individuality and collectivity.

This one-day symposium, co-organised by Edge Hill and Keele Universities, asks: what kind of value is placed on auto/biographical writings of the Romantic period? How does life writing in the Romantic period engage with philosophical, theological and literary critical theories? What would Romantic writers have to say now, if given the chance?

Proposals for individual papers, panels of 3 speakers and a chair, or innovative presentation formats, are invited on the following topics (although they are certainly not limited to them):

Coleridge and the bicentenary of Biographia Literaria (1817)
The historical/cultural/literary significance of life writing (auto/biographical)
Poetry, prose and essays by and about key and marginal Romantic figures
Adaptations and re-imaginings of Romantic lives
Female biography and gender
Explorations of the link between creativity and the primary/secondary imagination
Health, illness and disability
Literary and memoir musings on 18th/19th century life
Romantic ecologies
Romantic life sciences and medicine
The evaluation and interpretation of literature
Memorial and elegiac writing
‘Spirit(s) of the age’
The ‘vitality’ debate
Romantic afterlives and legacies

Please submit:

Abstracts of 250 words for individual papers / creative responses

or panel proposals / innovative presentation formats of 500 words (including a brief introduction and details of each paper), along with a short biography of presenters

to krystan.best@go.edgehill.ac.uk by 18th September 2017.

Find out more by visiting https://writingromanticlives2017.wordpress.com

Imagined Worlds 'Kubla Khan' art exhibition at Coleridge Cottage in May

Imagined Worlds 'Kubla Khan' art exhibition at Coleridge Cottage

During May visitors to the National Trust's Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey will have a unique opportunity to see an innovative exhibition of artworks inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous and visionary poem 'Kubla Khan'.

During the past year the Friends of Coleridge have been celebrating the bicentenary of the first publication of the poem in 1816.

Somerset Art Works managed this exciting venture in which artists were invited to create a painting inspired by 'Kubla Khan' under the theme 'Imagined Worlds'. The Friends were delighted with the high quality and innovative approaches of many of the region's foremost artists. A selection of their outstanding artworks has been on display in Taunton and Bath.

On 4 May the exhibition comes to Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey, where Coleridge lived for a period of three years during which he wrote much of his most memorable poetry.

This exciting and stimulating exhibition, curated by Jon England and Somerset Art Works, will be on show to visitors in the Garden Room, Coleridge Cottage, Thursdays to Mondays, 11am to 5pm, 4 May to 22 May. Normal admission prices apply.

Other events to celebrate the bicentenary have included a programme of poetry, walks, talks, film and competitions. This highly successful project has been supported by the Arts Council, Somerset Artworks and Somerset Film.

Lecture: ‘Coleridge and the Historical School at Göttingen in 1799'

Lecture: ‘Coleridge and the Historical School at Göttingen in 1799'
Thursday 27 April, 5:30pm, Room 111, Foster Court, UCL, London

You are warmly invited to attend a lecture given by Dr. Maximiliaan van Woudenberg, who will be addressing the Science & Literature seminar organised in collaboration between the Reception of British Authors in Europe (RBAE) and UCL A&H with his paper entitled: ‘Coleridge and the Historical School at Göttingen in 1799'.

Dr. van Woudenberg's paper will be followed by questions and discussion, and the meeting will conclude with a glass of wine at 7:30 pm.

'What did Coleridge do in Göttingen?' This has been a persistent question ever since Coleridge returned to England from Germany in 1799. Over the past two hundred years, responses have varied significantly, interpreting the Göttingen period as spoiling Coleridge’s career as a poet; as a waste of time, or; as a significant influence on his thinking.

Founded by the Hanoverian rulers of Great Britain in the 1730s, the University of Göttingen was an innovative institution that anticipated the foundation of the modern von Humboldt research-university model. Drawing on hitherto unexamined primary records and documents, this talk explores Coleridge’s engagement with the innovations of a Reform university during his studies at the University of Göttingen in 1799. In particular, it was the methodology of the Historical School at Göttingen that had a profound impact on Coleridge’s intellectualism. An understanding of the influence of the Historical School at Göttingen characterizes Coleridge as a visionary whose cross-cultural importation of continental methods in England was ahead of its time.

Dr. Maximiliaan van Woudenberg: Maximilaan van Woudenberg is a College Professor of English and Communications in the Faculty of Humanities at the Sheridan Institute of Technology in Canada. He has published on book history, print and material culture, digital humanities, and such Romantic figures as Austen, Byron, Coleridge, and Mary Shelley. Along with Dr. Anthony Mandal, he is an editor of the online journal Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780-1840. He recently completed a monograph on Coleridge’s activities at the University of Göttingen, which will be published by Routledge this Summer.

Coleridge walk around Stowey in 1797 12-page leaflet

My 12-page leaflet of a walk with Samuel Taylor Coleridge around Nether Stowey in 1797 is now available - get free copies of an A5 printed version in shops in the village and at Coleridge Cottage. Or download an A4-size PDF at the link below. It is intended for visitors and walkers who may wish to learn a little more about Coleridge's short, productive stay in the village.

Terence Sackett

12-page Coleridge Stowey walk leaflet

Malcolm Guite talk at Coleridge Cottage 21 April

Malcolm Guite talk
National Trust, Coleridge Cottage, Nether Stowey, Somerset
Friday 21 Apr 2017, 2pm to 3pm

Writer, theologian and song-writer Malcolm Guite visits the Garden Room to talk about his unique new biography of Coleridge: 'Mariner: a Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge', which is structured around 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'.

Copies of the biography will be for sale in the Garden Room during the event.

This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.

Skempton low res

New Music Release: Howard Skempton – 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

Howard Skempton – 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

Perfectly crafted, deceptively simplistic and distinctively individual, Howard Skempton's compositions have a soundworld all of their own. This new full-length album on NMC perfectly displays his experimental, yet sonorous and tonal music. Skempton takes on Coleridge's epic poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and brings it to life, using just solo voice (baritone) and small chamber ensemble. The result is a stunning, dark and hypnotic journey led by the almost constant, magnetic presence of Roderick Williams, for whose voice and dramatic capabilities the piece was conceived.

Only the Sound Remains takes its name from the opening line of The Mill-Water by English poet Edward Thomas. The piece is an evocation of loss and decay, where textures, and melodies mysteriously recur, while others simply fade beautifully out of aural reach. It is written for sixteen players, including solo viola. This is a stunning premiere recording of two recent works by one of Britain's finest living composers.

Release date: 21 April
Details of recording and how to purchase it at www.nmcrec.co.uk/recording/rime-ancient-mariner

Friends of Coleridge AGM

Friends of Coleridge Annual General Meeting

Saturday 18 March, 10.30am, Coleridge Cottage, Nether Stowey.

All members welcome.

Coleridge Lectures - Bristol Ideas Festival 20 and 27 April, 3 May

Coleridge Lectures - Bristol Ideas Festival 20 and 27 April, 3 May

Martha Spurrier: Hate, Hostility and Human Rights – A Brave New World
Thu 20 April, 18:30 - 19:30, Wills Memorial Building. Free Admission

Rachel Hewitt: The Revolution of Feeling in the 1790s
Thu 27 April, 18:30 - 19:30, Wills Memorial Building. Free Admission

Gareth Stedman Jones: Rediscovering the Nineteenth Century Marx
Wed 03 May, 18:30 - 19:30, Wills Memorial Building. Free Admission

Click here for details

Symposium: Historical Poetics in the 18th And 19th Centuries, Connecticut, November 2017

Historical Poetics In The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries
A Symposium at Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut
November 3–4, 2017


Call For Papers

Keynote Speakers: Virginia Jackson and Suvir Kaul

The wager of this symposium is simple: historical poetics needs the eighteenth century, and eighteenth-century studies needs historical poetics. For over a decade, a group of nineteenth-century scholars has been practicing historical poetics, building arguments around the core insight that ideas about what poetry is and what it means to make and read it change over time—that these are ineluctably historical ideas. A group of eighteenth-century and Romantic specialists is now asking whether and how this approach applies to pre-1800 poetry. Eighteenth-century verse was produced before lyricization, before poetry as such was equated with the lyric, and its students have long recognized that limited modern ideas about poetry cannot do justice to this period's proliferation of forgotten poets and genres, tropes and terms. Yet old historicisms die hard, and form-minded scholarship in eighteenth-century studies has been uneven in exploring verse that departs from the supposedly universal norms of post-Romantic lyric.

This symposium aims to bring together eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scholars for shared methodological reflection and conversation. How might attention to eighteenth-century verse enrich or complicate recent arguments that de-center the nineteenth-century lyric? What might traditions of historicist reading in eighteenth-century studies bring to historical poetics? How might the latter reshape the former? What does it mean to do historical poetics both before and after lyricization? Symposium participants will explore such questions in a combination of traditional panels, larger round table discussions, and interactive seminars about shared readings.

We invite proposals for presentations engaging with historical poetics across the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some papers might pursue inquiries into particular poems, techniques, trends; others might consider historical poetics itself, contextualizing the phenomenon, raising methodological problems, or imagining new critical histories. We welcome proposals for either traditional twenty-minute papers (meant for panels) or shorter methodological position papers (for roundtables). We also welcome expressions of interest from scholars who would like to participate in seminar discussions. All proposals should include a title, a brief (200-word) description of your argument and approach, and an indication of your preferred format.

Proposals should be sent to historicalpoeticsC18C19@gmail.com by April 15.
Questions can be addressed to Jeff Strabone at jeff.strabone@conncoll.edu.

For more information, please see the symposium website: http://www.conncoll.edu/poetics/

The two-day symposium will be held on November 3 and 4 at Connecticut College in New London, conveniently accessible by plane, train, or car.

The event will pay tribute to the legacy of Paul Fussell (1924–2012), an influential member of the college's faculty and a grandfather of historical poetics.

Organizing committee:
Anna Foy, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Meredith Martin, Princeton University
Lisa Moore, University of Texas at Austin
James Mulholland, North Carolina State University
Courtney Weiss Smith, Wesleyan University
Dustin D. Stewart, Columbia University
Jeff Strabone, Connecticut College

Join the Coleridge and Cottle Walk, Chepstow to Tintern, 22nd & 23rd April 2017

Coleridge and Cottle Walk, Chepstow to Tintern, 22nd  and 23rd April 2017
Chepstow Walking Festival 2017.

Chepstow ‘Walkers are Welcome’ is a volunteer group aiming at promoting walking in the Wye Valley. Each year its walking festival encourages both local people and visitors to discover the delights of the region.

This year the group is organising a programme of 30 walks. One should be of considerable interest to members of the Friends of Coleridge: a walk spread over two days following in footsteps of the poet on his walk from Chepstow to Tintern in 1795. He was accompanied by Joseph Cottle and the Fricker sisters.

The walk leader is Anne Rainsbury, Curator of Chepstow Museum, and she will be reading from Joseph Cottle’s account of the walk, and giving insights into the countryside that Coleridge would have experienced in 1795.

The walk was part of the 2016 Coleridge in Wales Festival, and proved so successful that it was felt it should be included in the 2017 Walking Festival.

To find out more, visit www.walksinchepstow.co.uk for the full programme.

Malcom Guite: Talk - The meeting of Coleridge and Blake in fact and imagination

Congenial beings from another sphere - The meeting of Coleridge and Blake in fact and imagination

7.00 pm, Wednesday 22 February 2017, Waterstones Bookshop, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

‘Blake and Coleridge, when in company seemed like congenial beings from another sphere, breathing for a while on our earth’. This was how Charles Tulk, the Swedenborgian described their meeting. Unfortunately he didn’t tell us what they actually said. In this talk Malcolm Guite will try to tease out what they had in common, particularly in their theology of Imagination.

Malcolm Guite is a poet and priest, working as Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge. He also teaches at the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge and lectures widely in England and North America on Theology and Literature. He has a particular interest in the imagination as a truth-bearing faculty and continues to reflect deeply on how poetry can stimulate and re-awaken our prayer life.

The event is free, but if you would like to come please register your attendance via: www.blakesociety.org/news

Conference: Robert Southey and Romantic-era literature, culture and science: 1797, 1817, 2017, Clifton, Bristol, 11-13 April 2017

Conference: Robert Southey and Romantic-era literature, culture and science: 1797, 1817, 2017, Clifton, Bristol, 11-13 April 2017

Click here for more details and to access the registration form.

Click here to see the conference programme

Listen to Justin Shepherd's radio interview on his new booklet 'In Xanadu'

Listen to Justin Shepherd's half-hour radio interview, in which he talks about 'Kubla Khan' and the illustrated 56-page booklet he has written to celebrate the bicentenary of its publication in 1816.

Click here.

Remember to buy your 'In Xanadu' booklet by Justin Shepherd

This beautifully illustrated, full-colour, 60-page booklet has been written by the Friends of Coleridge Chair Justin Shepherd, and designed by Terence Sackett of the Friends. It offers insights into the origins of the poem, Coleridge's life, and how it has been received down the years by the literary world and the wider population It is available as a printed booklet for £5. Click the link to the order form on the Home Page, or buy from selected booksellers and tourist centres.

Imagined Worlds art exhibition now on in Bath

The Imagined Worlds exhibition of artworks inspired by Kubla Khan is on display at the Royal United Hospital in Bath until 28 April. Poets will be visiting patients to share favourite poems.

Imagined Worlds update

Click here to read an update on the Kubla Khan Imagined Worlds project.

A showing of ‘Pandaemonium’ at Watchet

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Watchet Community Cinema is organising a 4-day film festival.

The highlight of the festival is the showing of the film ‘Pandaemonium’, which is based on Coleridge’s and Wordsworth's time in the Quantocks. Director Julien Temple will be attending the showing and will give an introductory talk.

The film will be shown on Saturday 11th February at Knights Temple School, Watchet. Doors will open for a reception, and the film will start at 7pm. Tickets are £4.00 and can be reserved by emailing Anne Harrison at harrisonanne@hotmail or by telephoning 0755 7734795. Details of the whole festival can be found on the website www.watchetcommunitycinema.weebly.com.

Opus Anglicanum - Bosham Church 19 November

THE GREAT AND WIDE SEA
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Music by Lynne Plowman

Saturday 19th November, 6 pm, Bosham Church, Bosham, West Sussex

Twelve brilliant miniatures which illustrate a complete reading of Coleridge’s 1798 epoch-making work by Zeb Soanes (BBC Radio). The 12 compositions refer to the engravings by David Jones for Douglas Cleverdon’s 1929 edition of the poem. Lynne Plowman won the 2003 British Composers Award and has composed for Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, and the London Mozart Players.

Also
Sea Psalm, The Sinking of HMS Duchess 1939. Music by Sally Beamish.
A 20-minute setting of the psalm ‘They that go down to the sea in ships’ during which a spoken narration recites the eyewitness account of the only surviving officer of the sinking of the destroyer HMS Duchess. The psalm forms a refrain to the account, ending with the hymn ‘Eternal Father strong to save’. Sally Beamish is a composer whose work is performed and broadcast internationally. She has composed for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, and BBC Proms.

Kubla Khan Imagined Worlds Events update

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

The Friends of Coleridge have been celebrating the bicentenary of the publication in 1816 of the visionary poem Kubla Khan. This innovative 2016 project is supported by the Arts Council, Somerset Artworks and Somerset Film.

We have been organising an exciting programme of poetry, art, walks, talks, film and competitions.


National/International Poetry Competition

Poets were asked to write a poem inspired by Kubla Khan under the theme Imagined Worlds.
There were two categories, one for adults and one for poets 10 to 17 years of age, with prizes of £500 for the winning poem and £200 for two runners-up. There were also prizes for the junior section.
Click here to read the winning poems.

National Art Competition and touring exhibition

Somerset Art Works is managing this exciting venture. Artists were invited to create a painting inspired by Kubla Khan under the theme Imagined Worlds. We are delighted with the high quality and innovative approaches of the chosen artworks. The final exhibition, which has been curated by Jon England and Somerset Art Works, was on show at CICCIC in Taunton. It is now on at the Royal United Hospital in Bath until 28 April, when it will transfer to Coleridge Cottage in Nether Stowey, where Coleridge lived and wrote many of his most outstanding poems.


Coleridge-inspired Walks

A series of Coleridge-related guided walks was arranged.

The first walk was from Porlock Weir to Ash Farm and back. A group of over twenty walkers followed in the footsteps of Coleridge to the farmhouse where he is said to have written Kubla Khan. There were readings en route. It was ably led by Tilla Brading of the Friends of Coleridge.

There were two guided walks around Nether Stowey, led by Terence Sackett and Ian Enters of the Friends. A group of Coleridge enthusiasts were encouraged to experience the village as Coleridge and Tom Poole knew it in 1797. There were readings from Coleridge and historical insights into the sights and sounds of the late 18th century.

We also arranged a walk in the footsteps of Coleridge and Wordsworth. This guided walk followed the start of the Coleridge Way, taking in beautiful stretches of the Quantock Hills. There were readings and brief explanations of the Quantock countryside that Coleridge and Wordsworth knew. We were delighted that the Somerset naturalist Nigel Phillips agreed to join us, and he granted us some invaluable insights into the area's natural history, and into the coppicing, oak barking and charcoal burning industries Coleridge would have encountered when he walked the hills here. The walk was led by Terence Sackett and Ian Enters.

On Saturday 12 November a group of walkers explored the country around Holford where the Wordsworths rented a country house, Alfoxden.


Somerset Film

Somerset Film, an organisation with an excellent reputation for creative work, managed this exciting venture. A short film of Kubla Khan being read by various voices was created at the Engine Room in Bridgwater, just a street away from where Coleridge preached in the town's Unitarian chapel. Click here to view the film on YouYube.


Schools programme

In partnership with Somerset Art Works and Somerset Film, the Friends of Coleridge have arranged a programme of school workshops inspired by Kubla Khan / Imagined Worlds. Young people are encouraged to explore their own ideas and creativity in response to Coleridge's visionary poem. Schools signed up to the InspirED project received a resource pack and were invited to apply for placements with Alice Maddicott, poet and artist, and Christopher Jelley, poet and creative landscape technician. Somerset Film have been coordinating workshops to create broadcasts by children for Somerset Radio. Listen to Chris Jelley working with Parkfield Primary School children at http://ignitesomerset.com/artontheradio


Coleridge-related Talks

Kubla Khan lecture. Seamus Perry, Professor of English at Oxford and a Coleridge expert, gave a lucid and witty talk about Kubla Khan and Coleridge to a packed audience at Taunton Castle. We all came away with fresh insights into this enigmatic and extraordinary poem, and a new sense of its unique power to engage readers old and new down the years. With grateful thanks to Tom Mayberry of the Friends for organising this successful event.

Strangers in Somerset. Poets Liz Cashdan and Ian Enters read their own poetry in the light of Coleridge's life and times in an enjoyable evening at Nether Stowey library. The evening was arranged in coordination with the Friends of Nether Stowey Library.

Aisholt Village Hall, Quantock Hills. A celebratory evening combining poetry and prose readings from Coleridge and other Somerset writers was held both to celebrate Christmas and the bicentenary of Kubla Khan.

Kubla Khan commemorative booklet

This beautifully illustrated, full-colour, 60-page booklet has been written by the Friends of Coleridge Chair Justin Shepherd, and designed by Terence Sackett of the Friends. It offers insights into the origins of the poem, Coleridge's life, and how it has been received down the years by the literary world and the wider population It is available as a printed booklet for £5. Click the link on the Home Page, or buy from selected booksellers and tourist centres.

Grand Awards Evening

The awards evening was held on 21 October at CICCIC, Taunton. Kate Innes and Jane Kite, two of the winning poets, attended to read their own poems and collect their prizes. A packed audience of well over seventy browsed the chosen Imagined Worlds artworks, and watched the Kubla Khan film. The evening proved a huge success.

Buy 'Il Cantico dell' Antico Navicante', an Italian translation of 'The Ancient Mariner'

The Friends of Coleridge are pleased to support the publication of 'Il Cantico dell' Antico Navicante', an Italian translation of 'The Ancient Mariner', illustrated and hand-written by Ugo Gervasoni, including both 1798 and 1834 versions. For an illustrated review of the work, please click here. The cost will be £25 including p&p.

Click here to find out more.

Romantic Poetry and ‘the Existing State of Things’ – a Talk

Romantic Poetry and '€˜the Existing State of Things'
A talk by Michael Rossington
Tuesday 15 November, 6.00-7.00pm in the Chancellor'€™s Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU.  The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception at Senate House

Percy Bysshe Shelley'€™s Poetical Essay on the Existing State of Things (1811) had been feared lost forever until discovered in a private collection in 2006. In November 2015, the only surviving copy became the Bodleian Libraries'€™ 12 millionth book and it was published for the first time in over 200 years.

Michael Rossington, Professor of Romantic Literature at Newcastle University, was one of the first academics to be able to closely study and write about the newly discovered work. This talk will reflect on the engagement of the poetry of the Romantic period, including that of Wordsworth and Southey, with social and political crises of various kinds prompted by €˜the 'Existing State of Things'€™.
 
If you would like to attend, RSVP to: Hannah Stratton, Development Office, Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9SH
Or telephone 015394 63520 or email h.stratton@wordsworth.org.uk
Please RSVP by Monday 7 November. Early booking is advised as places are limited

Shirley Watters

Shirley Watters, long-serving Hon. Secretary and devoted friend of The Friends, died on Monday evening the 19th September at home, peacefully, surrounded by her family.

She and her husband, Reggie, revitalised the Friends when its future looked bleak, and Shirley herself continued to look after the interests of the Friends for many years after Reggie died, only finally stepping down from the Committee a couple of years ago.

She was loved by all, and The Friends of Coleridge has been very fortunate in being able to count on her unwavering support.

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held in Nether Stowey Church at 2.30 pm on Friday 28th October.

A piece about Shirley will appear in the Bulletin in due course.

Summer Conference Report by Anastasia Stelse

Click here to read The 15th Coleridge Summer Conference (1-5 August 2016, Wills Hall, Bristol) report.

Kubla Khan Poetry awards evening, Taunton

As part of the continuing programme of events celebrating the bicentenary of the publication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's visionary poem €˜Kubla Khan€™, the Friends of Coleridge are delighted to invite you to visit our touring art, poetry, and film exhibition.

The impressive and exciting art has been specially commissioned by Somerset Art Works on the theme of Imagined Worlds. The artworks, by established artists, will be on display at CICCIC in Taunton, from 17 October-12 November 2016, Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm.

You are very welcome to attend the viewing night and event on 21 October, 7.30pm. We will be presenting the awards for our national poetry competition (Greg Leadbetter is one of the judges and will be there), and a short film of a community performance of Coleridge’s poem, created by Somerset Film.

The Friends of Coleridge are working in partnership with Somerset Art Works, Somerset Film, and the National Trust.

Seamus Perry on Coleridge in Taunton

Not to be missed! Seamus Perry, Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, will be discussing Coleridge and Kubla Khan at the Museum of Somerset, Taunton, 13 October, 7.30pm.
He is a renowned public speaker, widely known for his wit and his insight. Kubla Khan€™ was written at Culbone in Somerset, and is one of the most celebrated and mysterious of English poems.
Tickets, costing £10, from the Museum of Somerset. Tel 01823 255088

The event is part of the continuing programme of events celebrating the bicentenary of the publication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge'€™s visionary poem Kubla Khan.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner-concert of new music by Lynne Plowman

THE GREAT AND WIDE SEA
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Music by Lynne Plowman

Saturday 8th October, 6 pm, Mercers' Hall, London EC2V 8HE

Twelve brilliant miniatures which illustrate a complete reading of Coleridge’s 1798 epoch-making work by Zeb Soanes (BBC Radio). The 12 compositions refer to the engravings by David Jones for Douglas Cleverdon’s 1929 edition of the poem. Lynne Plowman won the 2003 British Composers Award and has composed for Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, and the London Mozart Players.

Also
Sea Psalm, The Sinking of HMS Duchess 1939. Music by Sally Beamish.
A 20-minute setting of the psalm ‘They that go down to the sea in ships’ during which a spoken narration recites the eyewitness account of the only surviving officer of the sinking of the destroyer HMS Duchess. The psalm forms a refrain to the account, ending with the hymn ‘Eternal Father strong to save’. Sally Beamish is a composer whose work is performed and broadcast internationally. She has composed for the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, and BBC Proms.

Places are limited and please note all bookings need to be made by Sunday 2nd October.
Visit http://www.opus-a.co.uk/ for more details and to book.

Robert Southey and Romantic-era literature, culture and science: 1797, 1817, a Bicentennial Conference

Robert Southey and Romantic-era literature, culture and science: 1797, 1817, a Bicentennial Conference
The Clifton Club, Clifton, Bristol 11-13 April 2017

In the 1790s, an extraordinary confluence of poets, scientists, publishers and political campaigners came together in Bristol. An important port city and center for the slave trade, Bristol became a hub for a radical coterie of writers whose work and conversations bridged nascent divisions between humanistic and scientific concerns.

By 1817, many of these same writers - including Humphry Davy, Robert Southey, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge - had emerged as establishment figures calling for radical journalists to be imprisoned and laboring-class inventors to be prosecuted. This bicentennial conference focuses on the transformation of Bristol’s radical writers, doctors, and experimentalists in the aftermath of changes that transformed the city, most importantly the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815, and the formation of the Bristol Philosophical and Literary Institution in 1817.

The conference will explore several linked concerns: How does our perspective on Romanticism shift when we take Bristol as an evolving center for Romantic scientific and literary culture? What does the 1797-1817 frame reveal about the changing relations between poetry and science, and between both and politics? What questions does the twenty-year trajectory of Southey, Davy, Coleridge and their circle pose for Romanticists in 2017?

Confirmed keynotes include: Ian Packer and Lynda Pratt, editors of Southey’s Collected Letters, on “Southey in context, 1816-18”. Frank James, editor of Faraday’s Collected Letters, on “Davy of the Pneumatic Institution and Davy of the Royal Society in 1817”. We envisage days of intense discussion in the Regency rooms of the Clifton Club, and evenings of relaxed conviviality in the many bars that surround it. The conference fee – to include dinner in the stunning surroundings of the Clifton Lido – will be ca. £100-120. Five bursaries of £100 each are available for graduate students/independent scholars.

Proposals for 20-minute papers, of no more than half a page, are welcomed on all aspects of Southey and the Bristol circle and its legacy – including, for instance, Thomas Beddoes, Erasmus Darwin, the Edgeworths, Joanna Baillie, Hannah More, William Godwin, Francis Jeffrey, Leigh Hunt, Mary Robinson, Robert Lovell, Joseph Priestley, William Taylor, William Hazlitt, William Wollaston, William Wordsworth; slavery and abolition, medicine, chemistry, experimentalism, political writing, travel and exploration.

Send your proposal by email to timfulford@tiscali.co.uk by 10 November. Be sure to write ‘Southey conference’ in the subject line and your name and email at the top of the proposal. If you’d like to be considered for a bursary, say this at the head of your proposal.

The conference is organised by Tim Fulford and Dahlia Porter. It is supported by the Friends of Coleridge, De Montfort University, and the University of Glasgow.

William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place - a course

This free online course will explore the great poetry of William Wordsworth, with an emphasis on his writing process and the inspirational landscape of the Lake District. The course is presented in association with the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere.

Click here for full details.

Bicentenary of Coleridge’s 'Sibylline Leaves' conference

Chaos and Compilation in the Romantic Period, A Bicentennial Conference, Birkbeck College, 20-21 July 2017

July 2017 marks the bicentenary of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poetry collection 'Sibylline Leaves' and 'Biographia Literaria'. This conference invites participants to investigate the play of papers between proliferating ‘snips’, ‘scraps’, and ‘scattered leaves’, and the promise of the ‘GREAT WORK’, complete edition, or philosophical system.

Click here for details

wills hall at night

Adam Neikirk on the 2016 Summer Conference

Click here to read Adam Neikirk's unconventional take on the Summer Conference, held this year at the Wills Hall in Bristol.

Coleridge in Wales - programme of events

In early summer 2016, singer and facilitator Richard Parry will set out with a band of artists, poets, musicians, actors, environmentalists, philosophers, politicians, theologians, cooks and story-tellers on the route of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s two tours of Wales.

Coleridge dropped out of Cambridge university and travelled around Wales in 1794 dreaming of founding a new, fairer society. This walking tour was bold and revolutionary. Walking then was unfashionable and thought of as vulgar. Society was not interested in mountains.  Coleridge came to experience Welsh landscape, beauty, inspiration and to dream of a transformed society based on equality of opportunity and spirit. Wales influenced his poetry, and 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the writing of his mid-life classic 'Biographia Literaria'.

The 2016 touring band will perform, engage with the public, attend festival events, bring with them exhibitions, meet local communities, organisations and schools and collaborate with Welsh artists, thinkers, performers, churches, educators, makers and business leaders.

They will travel on foot, by bike and boat, and on public transport, embarking on excursions and touring the landscape. In a very public way the Festival will explore the celebrated poetry and influential thinking of Coleridge, as it moves from town to village to city through the Welsh countryside, discovering and broadcasting Coleridge’s resonance with Welsh literature, culture, traditions and visions for contemporary life today in Wales, uncovering how Coleridge’s quest is and was already distinctively held in Welsh culture, language and history, and Wales’s connections across the world.

Coleridge’s genius has never been fully celebrated  - here’s a bold cultural Welsh adventure to re-ignite in the British public imagination an appetite for exploring Coleridge’s power of envisioning our shared landscape, industry, community, broad faith, justice, hospitality and connection.  A vision lost in other areas of Britain? Join them.

Click here to find out the programme of events and talks www.coleridgeinwales.org

Imagined Worlds Logo

Kubla Khan bicentenary celebrations

Arts Councilfunding logo

 “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan …”

Get involved in an exciting programme of poetry, art, walks, talks, film and competitions to celebrate the bicentenary of Coleridge’s visionary poem Kubla Khan. The project is being supported by the Arts Council.

Over two hundred years ago Coleridge retired to a remote farmhouse on Exmoor suffering from an attack of dysentery. Having taken laudanum, he began writing his visionary poem Kubla Khan, but claims he was interrupted by the famous person from Porlock. The resulting poem has deservedly become one of the nation’s favourites, with Coleridge’s extraordinary evocation of the kingdom of Xanadu. The Friends of Coleridge are celebrating the bicentenary of its publication. If you would like to be involved, browse the events listed below for more details.To read the poem, click here.


National/International Poetry Competition

Write a poem inspired by Kubla Khan under the theme ‘Imagined Worlds’. Your imagined world does not have to relate specifically to Kubla Khan, but we are looking for a vision as startling and original as Coleridge’s. Click here after 1st June for full details and entry form. The closing date is  now 5th September.

There are two categories, one for adults and one for poets 10 to 17 years of age. Prizes of £500 for the winning poem and £200 for two runners-up. There will also be prizes for the junior section.

The judging panel for the adults comprises Gregory Leadbetter, Liz Cashdan, and Ian Enters. Justin Shepherd, Chairman of the Friends of Coleridge will help with the judging of the junior section.

The awards night will be held on 21st October (Coleridge’s birthday) at CICCIC, Taunton.

Click here to access the Kubla Khan Poetry Competition Entry Form.

 

National Art Competition and touring exhibition

Somerset Art Works is managing this exciting venture. Artists are invited to create a painting inspired by Kubla Khan under the theme ‘Imagined Worlds’. Down the years some fine evocations of Coleridge’s poetry have been conjured by artists such as Doré. This is a unique opportunity for you to create a powerfully imagined world through your own art. The best paintings will be part of a touring and selling exhibition in Nether Stowey, Taunton and Bath. Visit http://somersetartworks.org.uk/2016/06/call-for-artists-imagined-world-exhibition/ for full details and how to enter.


Coleridge-inspired Walks

Porlock Weir to Ash Farm and back. Join a group following in the footsteps of Coleridge to the farmhouse where he is said to have written Kubla Khan. There will be readings en route and Coleridgeans will be on hand to give you insights into the poem and his life. 2nd July, 10.45. Meet for an 11am start at the Toll Gate, Worthy, near Porlock Weir (SS 858482). Bring a packed lunch. To park your car, pay toll and park through toll gate above residents’ parking.

The route: Walk up hill through Worthy Combe along Yearnor Mill Lane to Ash Farm. From Silcombe Farm return via Withycombe, Silcombe, Culbone, Yearnor Wood and Ashley Combe to Worthy Toll Gate (4 m approx.) Then continue, via a short drive, to Broomstreet Farm for tea and final readings.

Further information email tilla2b@gmail.com


Nether Stowey walks. 13th August or 27th August. 2pm. Meet after your visit to the National Trust Coleridge Cottage (where the walk begins), accompanied by local historians and poets. Coleridge lived in the Somerset village of Nether Stowey for three years from 1797. Here he wrote his most famous poetry and collaborated with Wordsworth on Lyrical Ballads. The village is rich in history and you can enjoy a guided walk. Email sandrasidaway@hotmail.com

Autumnal Quantock Hills walk: Nether Stowey to the Quantock hills and combes and back. Saturday 15th October. Meet at Coleridge Cottage at 12.00 (this National Trust property opens at 11am so you've time for a visit before the walk). This guided walk follows the start of the Coleridge Way, and takes in beautiful stretches of the Quantock Hills. There will be readings and insights into the Quantock countryside as Coleridge knew it and the area's natural history. The walk was well-trodden by Coleridge and the Wordsworths. Email sandrasidaway@hotmail.com

In and around Alfoxden and Holford with Coleridge and the Wordsworths. Saturday 12th November, 11am. meet at the Bowling Green carpark, Holford. Email sandrasidaway@hotmail.com


Somerset Film

Somerset Film, an organisation with an excellent reputation for creative work, is managing this exciting venture. A short film of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan being read by various voices will be created at the Engine Room in Bridgwater, just a street away from where Coleridge preached in the town’s Unitarian chapel. Details to follow.

 

Schools’ programme

In partnership with Somerset Art Works and Somerset Film, the Friends of Coleridge are arranging a programme of school workshops inspired by Kubla Khan / Imagined Worlds. Young people will explore their own ideas and creativity in response to Coleridge’s visionary poem. Schools signed up to the InspirED project will receive a resource pack and they will be invited to apply for placements with Alice Maddicott, poet and artist, or Christopher Jelley, poet and creative landscape technician. Somerset Film will be coordinating workshops to create broadcasts by children for Somerset Radio.


Coleridge-related Talks

Seamus Perry. The Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Taunton, Somerset, 13 October, 7.30pm.
This noted Coleridge scholar and lecturer will give a talk on Kubla Khan. Tickets from Taunton Museum.

Ian McMillan – In Xanadu. Monday 27th June at the Church Centre, Nether Stowey, Bridgwater, Somerset, 7pm. This acclaimed poet and radio presenter will be talking in his inimitable style about Kubla Khan and the voices of the community. Tickets are available from the National Trust, Coleridge Cottage (coleridge.cottage@nationaltrust.org.uk) or telephone 01278 732662.

Liz Cashdan and Ian Enters – ‘Strangers in Somerset’. 14th September, Nether Stowey Library, 7pm for 7.30pm. Entry at the door £3.50. These two poets will be reading their own poetry in the light of Coleridge’s life and times. Arranged in coordination with the Friends of Nether Stowey Library.


Art Exhibition Launch Nights

When the Art Exhibition arrives in each of its three venues there will be a launch night at which music, poetry and film will be shared. Entry £5.

 

‘In Xanadu - Kubla Khan’ commemorative booklet

A beautifully illustrated gift book written by the Friends of Coleridge Chair Justin  Shepherd, is being published in October giving insights into the origins of the poem, Coleridge’s life, and how it has been received down the years by the literary world and the wider population. 36pp, 210 x 210mm. Pb, illustrated throughout in colour, £4.99. Available from the Friends of Coleridge, selected booksellers, and tourist centres.

 

Below is Coleridge’s own account of the gestation of the poem Kubla Khan:

“In the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farmhouse between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been prescribed, from the effects of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in Purchas's Pilgrimage: "Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden thereunto. And thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall." The Author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence, that he could not have composed less than from two to three hundred lines; if that indeed can be called composition in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel production of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of effort. On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!”

Conference: George MacDonald and the Cambridge Apostle

Conference: George MacDonald and the Cambridge Apostle
Trinity Hall Cambridge, 20-22nd July, 2016

The George MacDonald Society has decided to re-open its CFP for 5-8 additional 20minute session papers at its July 20-22, 2016 conference at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. The theme of the conference is “George MacDonald & the Cambridge Apostles,” and we have an excellent lineup to discuss this highly influential and interdisciplinary group, upon which Coleridge was a primary influence. Keynote speakers include Elisabeth Jay, Timothy Larsen, Stephen Prickett, Trevor Hart, Kerry Dearborn, and Kirstin Jeffrey Johson.

Fascinating connections exist between 19th century author George MacDonald and the first generations of the Cambridge Apostles - scholars who met to discuss and debate philosophy, theology, ethics, and reform. Early Apostle F. D. Maurice was MacDonald’s friend and minister, and provided a link to other members and their associates, such as Lord Tennyson, Julius Hare, John Sterling, & Charles Kingsley. This conference will explore this network of scholars and MacDonald’s engagement with them: in particular, their active socialism, diverse writings, and fascination with S. T. Coleridge.

Please see http://www.george-macdonald.com/macdonaldsociety/conference2016.html  for further details, or contact  gmsociety.papers@gmail.com. Registration for attendees is also now open.

De Quincey jacket

New biography of Thomas De Quincey

This month, we see the launch of a new book on Thomas De Quincey – arguably the most mysterious member of the Wordsworth circle and the last of the Romantics. The book, Guilty Thing, is out on April 7th and  is a gripping study – part reportage, part biography, part literary criticism:
 
Thomas De Quincey - opium-eater, celebrity journalist, and professional doppelgänger – is embedded in our culture. Modelling his character on Coleridge and his sensibility on Wordsworth, he took over the poet’s  former cottage in Grasmere and turned it into an opium den. Here, increasingly detached from the world, he nurtured his growing hatred of his former idols and his obsession with murder as one of the fine arts.
 
De Quincey may never have felt the equal of the giants of the Romantic Literature he so worshipped but the writing style he pioneered – scripted and sculptured emotional memoir – was to inspire generations of writers: Dickens, Dostoevsky, Virginia Woolf. James Joyce knew whole pages of his work off by heart and he was arguably the father of what we now call psychogeography.
 
This spectacular biography, the produce of meticulous scholarship and beautifully supple prose, tells the riches-to-rags story of a figure of dazzling complexity and dazzling originality, whose rackety life was lived on the run, and both brings De Quincey and his martyred but wild soul triumphantly to life.
 
30% Discount Available to the Friends of Coleridge
Simply go to http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/guilty-thing-9781408839775/ and quote GUILTYTHING at the checkout.

Romantic Legacies, Taipei, 18-19 November 2016

Romantic Legacies, National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taipei, Taiwan, 18-19 November 2016

The EARN (Enlightenment and Romanticism Network) at National Chengchi University in Taipei is pleased to announce a call for paper and panel proposals for a two-day interdisciplinary conference on the legacies of Romanticism. We cordially invite academics from the humanities and social sciences to reassess Romanticism and its afterlife in different nations and disciplines.

Keynote Speakers: Rachel Bowlby, FBA (Comparative Literature, Princeton University/English, University College, London): “Romantic Walking and Railway Realism”, Arthur Versluis (Religious Studies, Michigan State University): TBA

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be sent by 15 May 2016 via EasyChair (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=rl2016). Should you have any questions or enquiries, please contact us at earn.nccu@gmail.com.

Kubla Khan at 200 -

Written in 1797, Coleridge’s mysterious fragment did not see the light of day for nearly 20 years. 2016, the bicentenary of its first publication, offers the perfect opportunity for a fresh look at ‘Kubla Khan’ and its enduring significance and value. Three leading scholars of Romantic literature will offer different takes on the meanings of Coleridge’s poem and why it still holds such power over its readers: Nick Groom (University of Exeter), Tim Fulford (Nottingham Trent University) and Jane Moore (Cardiff University). Chaired by Robin Jarvis, University of the West of England. The venue is the Watershed, Bristol on saturday 21 May. For more information, and to book your place visit Kubla Khan lecture day

Coleridge information page with timeline and time map

Julian Yanover has produced a very useful Coleridge-related page containing several of his poems, a biography, a multimedia gallery, and a timeline and timemap of his life. To see it visit
http://mypoeticside.com/poets/samuel-taylor-coleridge-poems

Annual General Meeting 19 March, Coleridge Cottage

Please note that the Friends of Coleridge Annual General meeting will be held in the Garden Room at Coleridge Cottage, Nether Stowey, on Saturday 19th March at 10.30am. All members will be welcome.

The rich Romantic heritage of the wandering albatross

The wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans has been adopted as the new emblem of the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia. Read about this avian exile of the southern seas, and its rich Romantic heritage.

http://rsaa.net.au/pages/albatross.php  Wandering albatross

Auction of Coleridge items, Christie's New York, December 8th

Auction of items from the Davidson Collection: important English and American literature
Christie's, New York, Tuesday 8 December.

Books, letters, manuscripts and various other documents, inoluding 35 lots relating to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

To see the illustrated catalogue, click here

Introduction below by James Vigus

The Davidson collection of Coleridge texts is outstanding in both quality and range. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was not only a poet but also a playwright, translator, and prolific writer on literary, philosophical, religious and political topics. All these fields are richly represented here.

Nearly all of Coleridge’s writing is now collected in the Bollingen edition, yet this collection boasts fresh manuscript material, including a late letter to Charles Lamb with an unpublished postscript. To anyone inclined to lend out their books, Lamb advised: ‘let it be to such a one as STC, who will return them [enriched,] tripling their value’. Coleridge delighted in writing notes in friends’ copies of his own books: a wonderful example here is Sophia Raby Gillman’s long-lost copy of Coleridge’s Aids to Reflection, an item of great importance to scholarship. He directs Sophia to a couple of pages in which ‘will be found my Creed as a Christian digested in Seven Articles.’

Other lots feature Coleridge’s handwritten revisions to his own poems; and there are copies of books owned by Coleridge, one delicious highlight being the edition of Rabelais that Coleridge annotated in preparation for his lecture on wit and humour in 1818.

There is an opportunity to acquire a rare first edition of Coleridge’s early, politically radical newspaper, 'The Watchman', many copies of which – as he ruefully recounted – were recycled as firewood.

Also from the mid-1790s is a very scarce, uncut copy of 'The Plot Discovered; or An Address to the People, Against Ministerial Treason', the format of which reveals much about the fast-changing political scene when Pitt’s ‘gagging acts’ curbed free speech. By 1809, when Coleridge embarked on 'The Friend', another precarious self-published periodical, he had ceased to believe in the efficacy of addressing ‘the people’, preferring instead a more foundational approach to the principles of morality and legislation. The complete set of 'The Friend' is an especially desirable lot.

Early editions of Coleridge’s tragedy, 'Remorse', and his translation of Schiller’s 'The Piccolomini', represent major aspects of Coleridge’s work that are generally lesser-known today. Lovers of Coleridge’s poetry will be thrilled: perhaps the most remarkable item of all is Coleridge’s extensively annotated copy of his 1817 collection 'Sibylline Leaves' containing, in addition to much else, Coleridge’s handwritten revisions to his poetic masterpiece, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'.

Mortal Man Kieron Winn

New poetry: Kieron Winn, The Mortal Man

The Mortal Man
Kieron Winn
Clothbound, 52 pages, 216 x 138 mm    ISBN 978-1-910693-31-5

The poems in Kieron Winn’s first collection, 'The Mortal Man', range from the Lake District to Rome, and from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first. The poet says that 'the poems revel in the particularity of people and places, and look for the sources of delight in human consciousness. The presence of the past is keenly felt, whether in faces of visitors to the British Museum, conversations with the Romantic age, or the erotic scene on an ancient oil lamp'. The collection includes a poem called 'Wordsworth and Coleridge'. There is a version of a medieval Noh play, and Seamus Heaney’s first collaboration with Eminem. Poems from this collection have appeared in magazines including Agni, The Dark Horse, The London Magazine, The New Criterion, New Statesman, Poetry Review, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement, as well as in anthologies and on BBC TV and radio. To find out more and to purchase the book, click here

New ebook - The Influence of Coleridge on Wordsworth

The Influence of Coleridge on Wordsworth   
Jeffrey Side

An examination of the ways in which aspects of Coleridge’s early writings and philosophical concerns permeate the poetry and poetic aesthetic of Wordsworth, especially in the composition of Wordsworth’s Preface to “The Lyrical Ballads”, of which Coleridge said, ‘It is most certain, that that Preface arose from the heads of our mutual Conversations […] the first passages were indeed partly taken from notes of mine […] for it was at first intended, that the Preface should be written by me’.

Available as a free ebook: http://www.argotistonline.co.uk/THE%20INFLUENCE%20OF%20COLERIDGE%20ON%20WORDSWORTH.pdf

Coleridge Summer Conference 2016

The Coleridge Summer Conference, Bristol, 1-5 August 2016, in conjunction with the Centre for Victorian and Romantic Studies, University of Bristol

Keynote speakers:  Jeffrey Cox, Peter Manning, Margaret Russett


The Coleridge Summer Conference meets again next year in a new venue, the verdant quadrangles of Wills Hall, in the green downs above Bristol.  The Hall’s garden grounds, croquet lawn and tennis courts will be available for all participants, and there will be perambulations and bibulations in the beautiful walled gardens, yew avenue and romantic grotto of Goldney Hall. The Pneumatic Institution is at hand, as is the Avon gorge and Leigh Woods, where STC and Southey walked and discussed pantisocracy.

We aim for a wide range of papers on the literature of Coleridge’s circle in Bristol and beyond, as well as on Coleridge himself.  Abstracts are welcomed on Coleridge, the Coleridge Circle, and Romantic Writing and Culture more generally.  Papers on the themes of Romantic Bristol and the West Country are particularly welcome.

Transport: there are flights from North America to Bristol airport (1 stop).  Wills Hall is a short taxi ride from the airport and from Bristol Temple Meads station; it can be reached on foot from the local station, Clifton Down.

Price: approx.  £480 including accommodation and meals.

Deadline for submission of abstracts, which should be no longer than 250 words, and should include THE PROPOSER’S NAME, AFFILIATION AND EMAIL, is 20th December 2015.  Decisions will be made by 31st December 2015.

Bursaries (full and partial) will be available for postgraduates and unwaged scholars. Please state on your abstract if you would like to be considered for a bursary.

Send to: kerri.andrews@strath.ac.uk

Thomas Poole's friendship with Humphry Davy

Click here to read Martin McDonagh on Thomas Poole's friendship with Sir Humphry Davy.

Lecture - 'Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge'

'Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge'
The Revd. Dr. Malcolm Guite
Monday 19 October 2015, The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3ED
Lecture 7pm, doors open 6.15pm, concludes 8.15pm
Admission £5 or £3.50 concessions (on the door)

Though Coleridge wrote ‘The Ancient Mariner’ when he was only twenty-five, there is a real sense in which it mapped out his life to come and
he later lived through both its horrors and its moments of divine revelation and transfigured vision. This lecture will explore the extent to which
the poem was prophetic not only of Coleridge's own life but also of the major cultural and ecological crisis through which we are living.

MALCOLM GUITE is a Bye-Fellow and the Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and one of the clergy at the church of St. Edward King and Martyr, Cambridge. The author of Faith, Hope and Poetry (2010) and The Singing Bowl: Collected Poems (2013) among other works, he is a poet, librettist and a singer-songwriter, and is currently front man for Cambridge rockers ‘Mystery Train’. 

The lecture is organised by the Temenos Academy (an educational charity), P O Box 203, Ashford, Kent TN25 5ZT

The Coleridge Way Companion Guide

Ian Pearson’s Coleridge Way route guide and path companion takes the reader along the full 51 miles of the path.

It is a travelogue, route guide, and gazetteer, and packed with stories and anecdotes about Coleridge himself, the people who live (and lived) along the path, and the places the poet would have visited.

Ian Pearson, together with his partner Lynne, runs the Old Cider House Bed and Breakfast in Nether Stowey. He has been involved with the Coleridge Way project since its inception, and walked the route prior to its official opening in 2005. He is keen to continue his involvement with the path and planned to be the first person to walk the newly extended route on 1st June 2014 – thwarted by a broken arm while researching the guide! Ian and Lynne also arrange Real Ale Walks, introducing groups to the spectacular Quantock landscapes.

To buy a copy of the guide (£10 plus £2.50 p&p) visit http://www.coleridgewaywalk.co.uk/coleridge-way-guide

Singer Ange Hardy and ‘Along the Coleridge Way’ and ‘esteesee’

Ange Hardy’s fourth studio album ‘esteesee’ is a folk project inspired by the life and work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The 14 new folk songs were inspired by Coleridge’s relationships with friends, family and acquaintances, verses of his poetry set to music, new songs inspired by his characters and stories, and tales based on fragments of his conversation.

Ange lives close by the Quantocks and is inspired by the landscapes that Coleridge walked during his years at Nether Stowey. Her music is deeply personal and often autobiographical, and this project sees her stepping outside the familiar comfort zone of her own experiences.

As well as featuring Ange Hardy on guitar, traditional whistle, harp, and vocals the album is complemented by a roster of world class folk musicians including Steve Knightley (‘Show of Hands’) providing guest vocals, the spectacular Patsy Reid (founding member of ‘Breabach’) on fiddle, viola and cello, Lukas Drinkwater on double bass, Archie Churchill-Moss on diatonic accordion, Jonny Dyer on the piano, Jo May providing percussion, Andrew Pearce on the drums, Kate Rouse as the damsel with the hammered dulcimer, Steve Pledger on backing vocals, and poetry readings from David Milton (the Watchet town crier) and the wonderful Tamsin Rosewell (broadcaster and artist).

Since winning the FATEA Female Vocalist of the Year award in January 2014 Ange Hardy has established an enviable reputation as one of the fastest emerging folk acts in the UK, a position cemented by her BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination this year. Mike Harding referred to her as ‘one of the most interesting, powerful and talented singers and songwriters to come out of the last couple of years’. Blues & Roots Radio has said 'This release is a masterpiece'.

The songs for this Coleridge project were written with the support of public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, who supported Ange with grant funding.

The album can be purchased at the following link: http://www.angehardy.com/shop/details/esteesee


Along the Coleridge Way

Ange is presenting 14 nights of music entitled ‘Along the Coleridge Way’ at rural venues along the route of the Coleridge Way in Somerset and Devon between October 3rd and October 18th.

Find out more about this highly talented singer and the Coleridge Way venues at http://www.angehardy.com

New Book – ‘Freedom as Marronage’

Freedom as Marronage
Neil Roberts
University of Chicago Press 2015
264 pages
Available on Amazon

What is the opposite of freedom? In ‘Freedom as Marronage’, Neil Roberts answers this question with definitive force: slavery, and from there he unveils powerful new insights on the human condition as it has been understood between these poles. Crucial to his investigation is the concept of marronage - a form of slave escape that was an important aspect of Caribbean and Latin American slave systems. Examining this overlooked phenomenon - one of action from slavery and toward freedom - he deepens our understanding of freedom itself and the origin of our political ideals.

Roberts examines the liminal and transitional space of slave escape in order to develop a theory of freedom as marronage, which contends that freedom is fundamentally located within this space - that it is a form of perpetual flight. He engages a stunning variety of writers, including Hannah Arendt, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the Rastafari, among others, to develop a compelling lens through which to interpret the quandaries of slavery, freedom, and politics that still confront us today. The result is a sophisticated, interdisciplinary work that unsettles the ways we think about freedom by always casting it in the light of its critical opposite.

'Particularly powerful is Roberts’s discussion of Coleridge’s impact on Douglass’s thought. Roberts reveals, in Coleridge, a profound existential commitment against bondage and an understanding of freedom that transcends mere liberty.'
Lewis R. Gordon, University of Connecticut, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, and Rhodes University

Halsway Study weekend photographs

Tilla Brading's photographs of the Halsway Manor Study weekend, including Derek Woolf with his magnificent collection of illustrated 'Ancient Mariner' editions.

Two Coleridge first editions for sale

David Wright is selling his private collection of first editions, which include the two Coleridge early edition items listed below.
He can offer a reduction of 10% on the stated prices to society members: postage and insurance are extra at cost and payment is only required on receipt.
If you are interested, email hazelwright199@btinternet.com. He is happy to hold them for up to 9 months upon request.

COLERIDGE, S.T.. Biographia Literaria : Or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions.. London: R.Fenner, 1817. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Cloth. Near Very Good / No Jacket. 2 volumes bound in one. Plain early Nineteenth century black binder's cloth with a blind trellis design,Corners bit rubbed, top spine slty chipped, spine slty sunned. End papers foxed, with 3 early signatures upon them. Occas. slt text foxing to late leaves. Lacking the two half titles but with 1page ads at rear.  £200.00

COLERIDGE, SAMUEL TAYLOR. Essays On His Own Times, Forming A Second Series of The Friend.. London: Pickering, 1850. First Edition. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. Half-Leather. Good+ / No Jacket. First edition and the earliest impression.3 volumes, contemporary half mid brown calf with contrasting morocco spine labels, marbled boards and edges. Spines discoloured, Covers and edges bit rubbed, prelims bit foxed.  £85.00

Forthcoming Concert: Howard Skempton, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Forthcoming Concert: Howard Skempton, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
4th December, CBSO Centre, Birmingham
5th December, Wigmore Hall, London

The world and London premiere performances of British composer Howard Skempton’s setting of Coleridge’s masterpiece The Rime of the Ancient Mariner will be held at the CBSO, Birmingham and the Wigmore Hall, with the internationally acclaimed baritone Roderick Williams as soloist.

The programme also includes:
Dominic Muldowney: Six cabaret songs : Adlestrop (Edward Thomas); At Last the Secret is Out, Foxtrot, Funeral Blues (WH Auden); Uffngton (John Betjeman)
Dominic Muldowney: Two Shakespeare settings: Winter, Fear No More
Dominic Muldowney: Smooth between sea and land (World premiere / BCMG commission)

There will be a free pre-concert talk from 7-7.30pm with Stephen Newbould, Howard Skempton and Roderick Williams. Open to all ticket holders.

To find out more and to book tickets, visit http://www.bcmg.org.uk/whats-on/birmingham-concerts-2015-16/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner

Southey and the Bristol Poets Conference Report

Southey and the Bristol Poets Conference Report (14 July 2015, MShed, Bristol)

by Jo Taylor, Friends of Coleridge

‘Southey and the Bristol Poets’ was a one-day conference held at the centre of Southey’s home city: Bristol. MShed, a museum about Bristol, boasts stunning views over the city (if you can get past the killer seagulls to look at it), and it was the ideal place from which to talk and think about the Southey circle’s relationship to their local area. 

The first panel, ‘Cottle and the Bristol Sound’, focused on Joseph Cottle’s central role in the formation and distribution of the Bristol circle’s poetry. Paul Cheshire focused on Cottle’s Bristol album, and demonstrated how it acted as a repository for work from the rising stars on the 1790s Bristol poetry scene. Dahlia Porter’s close work on Nathaniel Brigg’s printing practices considered similar issues of presentation, and she revealed how Southey was instrumental in shaping what we would now recognise as a Romantic printing aesthetic. Jeff Strabone considered how Norse mythology impacted upon the early Romantic imagination, and in particular argued that these poets conceived themselves to be creatively descended from Northern ancestors, with Odin at the head of this wild poetic line.

In the next panel, Graham Davidson and Stuart Andrews both provided fascinating accounts of Southey’s early friendship with Coleridge, and Tim Fulford presented transcripts from the forthcoming, much-anticipated Part Five of The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Kerri Andrews followed with an introduction to the work completed so far on her current research project, The Letters of Hannah More, and she provided a tantalising glimpse into the exciting ways that this project will develop in the coming months.

The afternoon began with readings from The Annual Anthology, hosted by Suzanne Webster. These orations set the tone for the panels that followed, which focused on literary – particularly poetic – form. Julia Carlson provided an impressive close reading of Wordsworth’s blank verse, particularly how Wordworth’s metre enacted forms of motion so that his body of poetry mimicked his bodily movements. Jo Taylor’s paper developed similar ideas with relation to Coleridge’s Conversation Poems; she focused particularly on ideas of rest and motion in Coleridge’s dells. Susan Valladares bought us back to Bristol via its theatres, and she provided a fascinating account of the staging of Coleridge’s Remorse on the Britsol stage.

The final panel returned to Southey. Carol Bolton revealed how Letters from England challenged previous accounts of the Lake District, whilst providing a domestic view of the region, ostensibly to allow ‘non-natives’ to read the landscape. Chine Sonoi followed with a wide-ranging paper that took ‘The Vision of Judgement’ as its focus, and related this poem to several key contemporary events to reveal the poem’s connectedness to Romantic-era politics. Matthew Sangster closed the panel with a lively account of Southey’s novel The Doctor, a text which, Sangster demonstrated, playfully resists acts of reading. Martin Priestman concluded the conference with a keynote titled ‘Pneumatics and Lunatics: Beddoes, Southey and the Lunar Connection’, which brought together the key themes of the day: Southey’s relationships to his contemporaries, his engagements with contemporary events – in this case, scientific – and the importance of local networks on his circle’s works.

The conference was memorable for its excellent sense of conviviality, aided by the sociable nature of MSHed’s layout, and facilitated in the evening with sampling of Bristol beers. MShed provided excellent catering, and cheerful assistance whenever it was needed. The organisers, Tim Fulford and Carol Bolton, are to be thanked and congratulated for putting together such a stimulating, engaging and friendly conference which amply demonstrated the importance of Southey and his circle to Romantic events.

Edge poster

'Coleridge Country' exhibition of paintings

‘Coleridge Country’ Exhibition at Coleridge Cottage, Nether Stowey

Alison Hood, Gerry Wright and Juliet Harkness (of Edge) have an exhibition of paintings at Coleridge Cottage from 12 noon on Thursday August 6th. The exhibition runs until Sunday August 9th from 11am-4pm.

Alison is exhibiting images relating to her impressions of the Quantocks. With her love of coast and sea, Gerry will be showing some paintings inspired by 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. Juliet will be showing some new paintings inspired by her recent walk along the Coleridge Way.

Juliet Harkness painting

The Coleridge Way by Juliet Harkness.

Charles Lamb

Coleridge and Lamb in London: A Symposium

'Coleridge and Lamb in London': A Symposium
31 October 2015, Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, Highgate, London
Keynote lecture: Richard Holmes

The Friends of Coleridge and the Charles Lamb Society are delighted to announce a one-day symposium on Coleridge and Lamb in London on Saturday 31 October 2015, to which you are warmly invited.

Our keynote speaker will be Richard Holmes, renowned biographer of Coleridge and author of 'The Age of Wonder'.

The Symposium will focus on the London lives and works of Coleridge and Lamb, and will be held in the Victoria Hall at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, Highgate, London. The day will include a walk around Coleridge's Highgate haunts.

The programme details are as follows:

10.30am - Welcome: Victoria Hall, Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution: http://www.hlsi.net/contacts.aspx
11.00 - Peter Newbon - 'Coleridge, Lamb and the Witch of Endor'
11.30 - Heather Stone - 'Lamb and Coleridge on Books and Reading'
12.00 - Break
12.15 - Graham Davidson - '"Say less than this, and say it to the winds": Specimens of Lamb's Seriousness'
1.00pm - Lunch (N.B. Not provided by the Symposium - but options close at hand include Strada, the Angel Inn, and numerous sandwich shops)
2.30 - Richard Holmes - 'Coleridge at Highgate'
3.45 - Closing remarks
4.00 - Optional walk around 'Coleridge's Highgate', with Edward Preston
5.00 - Close

If you would you like to attend the day, please register by emailing Gregory Leadbetter at gregoryleadbetter@email.com. Make sure you provide your name, email address, postal address, and phone number.

The artist Angie Wood and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The stunning Quantock Hills scenery inspires not only poetry but a wealth of creativity in other areas of the arts. The artist, musician and dancer Angie Wood lives by the Quantock Hills, and has long been inspired by the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. She has painted a number of innovative works based on ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.

Her paintings depict the wildness, mood and beauty of the natural world. She says that her work ‘takes a journey into the intuitive, creative, often unconscious hemisphere of our minds in search of a more compassionate solution to our human condition’, engaging with an emotional and energetic vitality beyond words and logic. Like Coleridge she is fascinated by evolution, science and spirituality, as well as by the moods and beauty of nature that are paralleled by the moods and beauty of our own human nature.

Angie is a member of the Watchet-based arts group ‘contains art’, and you can see her work at their gallery space on Watchet quay.

Find out more by visiting http://angwood.webs.com

Romanticism and the South West – a Bristol conference

Romanticism and the South West – a conference
29 June 2015, Goldney Hall, Clifton BS8 1BH
Plenary speakers: Professor Nick Groom (Exeter) and Tim Dee

The conference aims to explore the importance of the South West for Romantic writers, with a particular emphasis on the following topics: ecologically aware writing and protoenvironmental thought; the role of the South West in an era of scientific development and discovery; the South West as a centre for reform movements and radical politics, as well as a region connected to slavery and imperialism; Romantic afterlives in the South West.

To book visit http://shop.bris.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&deptid=224&catid=29&prodid=120

‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ - An exhibition of art works at Watchet

‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ - An exhibition of art works at Watchet
East Quay, Watchet, 18 June - 12 July
Open Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am - 4pm

If you live in Somerset or you are walking the Coleridge Way, make sure you include time to make a detour to the port of Watchet to see this outstanding exhibition.

It has been organised by the West Somerset arts service ARTlife in coodination with ‘contains art’, an innovative new arts venue on the quay at Watchet, in an exhibition space comprising three large shipping containers.

The exhibition features contemporary works inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most famous poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. It aims at highlighting the relevance of the verse for today’s audience using imagery as a counterpoint to Coleridge’s iconic text. A lavish soft-cover book containing the text of the poem and colour reproductions of the art works on show is available.



A short review of the exhibition will follow, together with an account of the official opening and Tom Mayberry’s readings from the poem.

ARTlife is an arts service run for and by the people of West Somerset, encouraging creativity by putting people in touch with each other and helping their ideas to flourish. It also supports projects with non-arts agencies including the Coleridge Way. Find out more by visiting www.artlife-somerset.co.uk

contains art
is a not-for-profit organisation providing flexible, affordable space for artists, designers and makers. It helps develop and showcase their work and connects with the creative and wider communities of Western Somerset. Find out more by visiting www.containsart.co.uk

Buy the book online at www.containsart.co.uk/rime.html

‘Mary Hays and Henry Crabb Robinson: Reconstructing a “Female Biography”’

'Mary Hays and Henry Crabb Robinson: Reconstructing a “Female Biography”’
Timothy Whelan (Georgia Southern)

Seminar in Dissenting Studies, The Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR.
Wednesday 17 June, 5.15pm to 6.45pm. All are welcome.

Mary Hays has received considerable attention in the past two decades, through an edition of her correspondence, new editions of her novels and other prose, and important biographical studies, including Gina Luria Walker’s Mary Hays (1759-1843): The Growth of a Woman’s Mind (2006). Hays was herself concerned to record the lives of gifted women. Yet her own life history has been unnecessarily truncated and inaccurately presented owing to the absence of one critical resource: the life writings of Henry Crabb Robinson. Robinson met Hays in 1799 and, despite the sixteen-year difference in their ages, the friendship continued until her death in 1843. Robinson’s diary makes over 170 references to Hays, of which only seven have been published. Together with a valuable letter on Hays by Robinson to Catherine Clarkson in early 1800 concerning Hays’s affair with Charles Lloyd, these references provide an extensive genealogical record of Hays’s family after 1800 and their important involvement with Baptists and Unitarians, as well as Hays’s introduction to a vibrant group of Dissenting women from Leicester and their connections in the West Country that intersected at the same time with Godwin and his circle. Though Walker has referred to Hays’s life after 1806 as “buried”, Robinson’s accounts reveal something quite different, a woman who viewed herself and her life from within the prism of religious Dissent; a woman devoted to her family and their connections through marriage with several prominent Dissenting families (all friends of Robinson); a woman who held to many of the same opinions on religion, politics, and women’s rights she had first espoused in the 1790s; and who passed these ideals on to her niece and namesake, Matilda Mary Hays (1820-97), feminist and translator of George Sand.

Timothy Whelan is Professor of English at Georgia Southern University. He is Senior Visiting Fellow of the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies, and currently Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. His monograph, Other British Voices: Women, Poetry, and Religion, 1766-1840, is in press with Palgrave. It builds on his 8-volume edition of Nonconformist Women Writers 1720-1840 (Pickering & Chatto, 2011). He has published many other critical editions and articles including, most recently, ‘Wilhelm Benecke, Crabb Robinson, and “rational faith”, 1819-1837’; he is general editor of the forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of the Reminiscences and Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson.

For more information about the Seminar in Dissenting Studies contact James Vigus (j.vigus@qmul.ac.uk) or see www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/current.html

Tom Poole interpretation panel installed in Nether Stowey

It is almost unheard of for a provincial, self-educated countryman to be remembered with respect and affection for over 200 years. Tom Poole, however, is immortal world-wide for his friendships with literary men of his time, and for his loyal friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In fact, without his support Coleridge and Wordsworth might never have written ‘Lyrical Ballads’. He is also immortal in Nether Stowey for his philanthropy and business acumen.

Terence Sackett of the Friends of Coleridge has written and designed an interpretation panel on Tom Poole for Nether Stowey Library – the land for the library building was given to the community by Poole for the founding of one of the very first free schools in England.

The panel measures over 4 ft by 4ft, and covers Tom Poole’s friendship with Coleridge and other literary figures of the day, his Castle Street and St Mary Street houses, his tannery business, his charitable work on behalf of the poor, and the founding of the Female Friendly Society, the Quantock Savings Bank, and the village school.

The printing of the panel was generously funded by the Friends of Nether Stowey Library. A substantial number of Stowey people gathered in the library for the official unveiling on Saturday 30th May. Everyone was delighted that the present Tom Poole came and said a few words about his ancestor. Tom Mayberry of the Friends of Coleridge gave a short insightful talk on Tom Poole’s life and legacy.

Terence is grateful to David Worthy for generously allowing the use of photographs from his extensive Quantock collection.

Click here to see a PDF of the panel.

Tom Mayberry and Arthur Smith at Ash Farm

'Kubla Khan' on the BBC One Show

Arthur Smith, in a short five-minute film on the BBC One Show, follows in Coleridge’s footsteps across the Quantocks and Exmoor to discover the source of ‘Kubla Khan’. He begins his journey at Coleridge Cottage, where he talks briefly to Rosemary Coleridge Middleton, then travels to Porlock and on to Ash Farm. Here he meets Tom Mayberry, who offers an explanation of the poem’s origins.

Too short to be penetrating, but well worth a watch. Click here to watch it on the BBC iPlayer.

Ian Enters at Coleridge Cottage

Ian Enters will be walking the Coleridge Way from the 19th to the 23rd June.

He will be visiting Coleridge Cottage in the afternoon of Saturday the 18th June, giving readings from Coleridge's poetry and notebooks, and from other Romantic texts.

Ian has recently organised and provided readings from his Anglo Saxon and medieval poetry reworkings/translations to highly appreciative and large audiences in Sheffield and at the British Museum. He has created a poetry sequence and film script based on Shelley's life, and an opera libretto linking themes from ‘The Ancient Mariner’.

He is passionate about bringing poetry, especially Coleridge and the Romantics, to a wider audience.

The National Trust will be delighted if you come along on the day.

Coleridge and Godwin

Pamela Clemit has published a piece on Coleridge and Godwin on the Wordsworth Trust Blog.

It explores their friendship from the winter of 1799 onwards, and draws on their correspondence, marginalia, and manuscript notes.

Godwin declared: ‘I feel myself a purer, a simpler, a more unreserved & natural being in your company than in that of almost any human creature.’ Coleridge attributed this to his ‘own ebullient Unreservedness’ and ‘the circumstance, that my affections are interested deeply in my opinions’…. Though they drifted apart in later years, each left a permanent imprint on the mind and the writings of the other.

Read the full piece at the Wordsworth Trust Blog. https://wordsworth.org.uk/blog/2015/05/19/coleridge-and-godwin-a-literary-friendship/

David Worthy's 'A Quantock Tragedy' now on Kindle

David Worthy's 'A Quantock Tragedy: The Walford Murder of 1789' is now available as a Kindle ebook for £4.99.

'A terrible record of rural immorality - too painful, I should almost think, for publication' wrote Elizabeth Sandford of the story of John Walford in her biography of Tom Poole in 1888.

Early in the morning of Sunday 7th July 1789, the body of a young woman, murdered with consid­erable violence, was discovered by the roadside at the village of Dodington, in the Quantock Hills in west Somerset. She was quickly recognised as Jane Walford, the bride of only three weeks of John Walford of Over Stowey. Beset by incriminating evidence, Walford was arrested for her murder, sentenced to death, and, after confessing at the foot of the gallows, executed and gibbeted on the hillside above Dodington.

The story of John Walford, still remembered in the Quantock villages, was to acquire wider, literary interest when it came to the attention of Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth in 1797. Dodington lies a mile to the west of Nether Stowey, the home of Thomas (Tom) Poole, the prosperous tanner with radical views and literary tastes, who befriended Coleridge, and arranged both a home and financial support for him during the three years from 1797, when he settled in the village and wrote the majority of his best poetry.

New research has added intriguing details to the old tale of the handsome and popular charcoal burner of Over Stowey, whose very human weaknesses led him into the loss of his great love, an unwanted marriage, and finally murder and execution.

The Duke of Gloucester visits Coleridge Cottage

On 30 April the Duke of Gloucester was on a tour of various agricultural charities and institutions in Somerset. He varied his duties with a visit to Coleridge Cottage.

He showed a particular interest in the display room, asking about the provenance of the Boulle inkstand that Coleridge was given at Highgate, and compared the different portraits of the poet on display. The National Trust volunteers were mostly in period costume, adding to the atmosphere.

Justin Shepherd, Chairman of the Friends of Coleridge, was present. The photograph shows him with the Duke of Gloucester.

The visit proved a great success, and is a tribute to the amount of detailed preparatory work carried out by National Trust staff, including curator Seamus Rogers and Visitor Services Manager Stephen Hayes.

Greg Leadbetter

Gregory Leadbetter at the Stratford Poetry Festival

Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry festival 2015
Independent Poetry Press Evening

17 July, 7.30pm - 9.00pm, The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW

Poetry in the UK is kept in good health by a glorious range of independent presses. Peter and Ann Sansom, editors of Smith / Doorstop, will introduce poets featured in their recent anthology 'Cast', including Midlands-based poet Gregory Leadbetter (committee member of the Friends of Coleridge) and Liz Berry, featured in the anothology 'Cast'. Emma Wright, founder of The Emma Press, will be sharing the work of some of their pamphlet poets, including Richard O’Brien, Rachel Piercey and Jacqueline Saphra. It promises to be a fascinating introduction to the poetry that will shape the coming decades.

Alliance of Literary Societies

The Annual General Meeting of the Alliance of Literary Societies (to which the Friends of Coleridge is a member) will be held at the King’s Manor, York, on Saturday 30th May 2015, at 1.45 pm.

academia.edu - Coleridge

Browse around sixty articles relating to Coleridge by signing up at www.academia.edu.

They include 'Allegory and the Supernatural in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', 'Kubla Khan and the Embodied Mind', 'Talking with Nature in This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison', and Coleridge's Philosophy of Nature.

http://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/Coleridge

British Library Coleridge's Walking Tour of Cumbria

The British Library Coleridge database

The British Library database has a Samuel Taylor Coleridge section containing a vast array of essays, articles and collection pages that should be of great interest to Coleridgeans, students and academics. It includes pages from his 'A Walking Tour of Cumbria (August 1802)' Explore the collection at: 
http://www.bl.uk/people/samuel-taylor-coleridge

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Birkbeck Arts Week

'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner': a performance

Tuesday 19 May, 6pm - 7:25pm, Room G04, 43 Gordon Square, London. Entrance free.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is about transgression and compulsion. A random, unmotivated act of destruction begets a compulsion to speak. This performance explores the poem’s handling of guilt in terms of speech and listening. It is staged in association with the Guilt Group.

Seats can be reserved here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner-a-performance-tickets-16596438394?aff=erellivorg

For more information about events put on by the Birkbeck Guilt Group, see http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/research/guilt-working-group/events

New Book: The Invisible World, Jonathan Wordsworth

The Invisible World: Lectures on British Romantic Poetry and the Romantic Imagination
Jonathan Wordsworth (Author), Richard Haynes (Editor)

314 pages 
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback: £14.99

The book originates from one of the great Romantic scholars of our time. The ten chapters are each transcriptions of a lecture given by Jonathan Wordsworth at the Wordsworth Summer Conference or Wordsworth Winter School which have been edited and annotated. There are detailed assessments of the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats with references to Shelley and Byron. Central 'Romantic' questions are addressed such as: What did Romanticism consist of? What was the Romantic Imagination? How did Wordsworth engage with the French Revolution? How did Wordsworth engage with women? What was the importance of Ossian and Burns? How does an eccentric writer like Blake fit into 'Romanticism'? What do the great Romantic poets have in common?

New Book: A Modern Coleridge: Cultivation, Addiction, Habits

New Book: A Modern Coleridge: Cultivation, Addiction, Habits
Andrea Timár

264 pages
Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN  9781137531452
Publication Date: June 2015

Hardcover £55. Also available as an ebook (EPUB), ebook (PDF)

A Modern Coleridge presents Coleridge as an eminently modern thinker, whose works stage the interrelatedness of the discourses of cultivation, addiction, and habit.

These, the book shows, all revolve around a post-Kantian idea of free will, essential to Coleridge's idea of the 'human'. Rather than being interested in opium, A Modern Coleridge focuses on the phenomenon of addiction as a disease of volition symptomatic of a civilization in excess, posing a threat to cultivation, to the unfolding of Coleridgean 'humanity'.

Habit is posited as a third term between cultivation and addiction, the human and the non-human; being constitutive parts of Coleridgean cultivation, good habits (as opposed to bad ones) turn the working of free will itself into an automatism. Engaging with philosophy, ethics, politics and poetics,

A Modern Coleridge reframes both prose and poetry, including The Ancient Mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan, Dejection: an Ode, or The Eolian Harp.

Conference: Dissent and the Representation of War

Conference: Dissent and the Representation of War

Saturday 16 May 2015, Dr Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square WC1H 0AR

The 11th annual one-day conference of the Centre focuses on Dissenters’ attitudes to war and peace in the period from the American Revolutionary War (c. 1775) to the Spanish Peninsular War (c. 1809). Please register by 1 May 2015. Details below.

9.45am
Registration and coffee

10.10am
Welcome

10.15–11.05am
Lecture 1: ‘Dissent and British Opposition to the War of American Independence’
Professor Stephen Conway (UCL)

11.10am–12.00pm
Lecture 2: ‘Quaker Pacifism, African Warfare, and the Case against the Slave Trade’
Professor Brycchan Carey (Kingston University)

12.05–1.05pm
Lecture 3: ‘War Versus Universal Benevolence: Richard Price and His Influence’
Dr Rémy Duthille (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)

2.15-3.05pm
Lecture 4: ‘“The energy of those principles that shake Europe to the centre”: The French Revolution and Welsh Dissent’
Dr Mary-Ann Constantine (University of Wales)

3.10-4.00pm
Lecture 5: ‘Our Man in Spain: Henry Crabb Robinson as War Correspondent for The Times during the Peninsular War (1808-1809)’
Professor Karen Racine (University of Guelph)

Conference fee: £10 (£4 students), payable on the door. Please register by 1 May 2015 by email to conference@dwlib.co.uk, stating any dietary requirements for the sandwich lunch.

Michael Raiger on Imagination as a Cognitive Power

Michael Raiger, "Cocteau, Opium, and Art: A Coleridgean Account of the Imagination as a Cognitive Power," in A Piercing Light: Beauty, Faith, and Human Transcendence, ed. James Jacobs (Washington, DC: Catholic University Press, 2015), 112-28.

The paper was originally given at the 2012 meeting of the American Maritain Association in Philadelphia, PA in October, 2012. The essay applies a Coleridgean account of the Imagination in aesthetic production to illuminate a series of letters between the French avant-garde artist Jean Cocteau and the French Thomist Jacques Maritain, in which the two discuss the relationship between opium visions and artistic creativity.

Howard Skepton’s setting of 'The Ancient Mariner'

The composer Howard Skepton is currently working on a setting of the Ancient Mariner for the singer Roderick Williams, together with string quartet, double bass and French horn. He would like to have set the entire text but has had to reduce it to about 57% of the whole. The first performance takes place in London later this year and he is keen to stay as close to the text as possible without repetition or undue musical distortion.

'The Ballad of Johny Walford' by Ralph Hoyte

Watch the poet and sculptor Ralph Hoyte's dramatic performance of his poem 'The Ballad of Johny Walford', which was made as part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanities. This notorious murder took place just ten years or so before Coleridge moved to Nether Stowey. Wordsworth wrote a fragment of a poem about it.

Visit https://vimeo.com/113942263

The British Association for Romantic Studies International Conference

The BARS International Conference has a long history of successful four-day events attended by eminent Romanticists and emerging scholars from Britain and abroad. The conferences are held biennially and showcase the new work being done in the field of Romantic studies through panel sessions and addresses by invited plenary speakers. Conference programmes also typically include trips to Romantic locations and provide plenty of opportunities for conviviality, networking and the sharing of enthusiasms.

The 14th International Conference, Romantic Imprints, will be held at Cardiff University, 16–19 July 2015. For more details visit www.bars2015.org

‘Lamb and Cambridge: Cambridge and Lamb’ - Lecture

Lecture by Dr. Adrian Barlow

Saturday 18 April, 2.30pm, Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1 2TH
For registration and payment details, click here or visit
www.charleslambsociety.com/events.html

Don't forget the Friends' AGM!

We look forward to seeing you at the Friends' Annual General Meeting. It will be held at 10.30am on Saturday 14th March at Coleridge Cottage, Nether Stowey.

The 10th Biennial Symbiosis 2015 Conference: Transatlantic Literary & Cultural Relations

Essex University, Colchester, Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th July 2015

Keynote Speakers:  Richard Gray (Essex University); Peter Hulme (Essex); Jahan Ramazani (Virginia). Guest speaker: t.b.a.

The headline conference theme is trauma, conflict, and reconciliations, although proposals on any topic relevant to any area of Transatlantic Studies are welcome. The event organizers invite submission of: 200 – 300 word abstracts for proposed 20-minute conference presentations; panel presentations comprising 3 presenters (please submit three 200 word abstracts & brief overall rationale)
Please send by email to both: philip.tew@brunel.ac.uk  / t.m.l.scott@reading.ac.uk

Accommodation can be booked on campus, in well-appointed rooms, minutes away from the conference centre and the Symbiosis event. A list of local hotels and guest houses, if preferred, can be provided.

Submit 200 – 300 word abstract with details of your academic affiliation and contact details in Microsoft Word attachments by Sunday 22nd March, 2015 to the Conference Directors, Prof. Philip Tew (Brunel) and Dr. Matthew Scott (Reading): Philip.tew@brunel.ac.uk / t.m.l.scott@reading.ac.uk.  Add ‘Symbiosis 2015 Proposal’ to the subject line of your message, an essential detail since they will be sorted automatically using this search term. 
Find out more by visiting;

http://www.symbiosistransatlantic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Glasgow-United-Kingdom/Symbiosis-a-Journal-of-Anglo-American-Literary-Relations/313163095816).

Does free will exist?

Does free will exist, and does it matter? A conversation with Maine de Biran (1766-1824) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). The French Department at UCL warmly invites you to the above research seminar, taking place on Thursday February 12 at 5pm in room 133 Foster Court, University College London. The seminar will be followed by drinks and further conversation.

For more details of the location please contact Roland-François Lack: r.lack@ucl.ac.uk.

The 14th Coleridge Summer Conference, 28 July-1 August 2014

What could possibly combine over fifty academic papers, poetry, one of the country’s great cathedrals, book launches, walking the Quantocks, Somersetshire food and drink, and maypole dancing?

There can be only one answer: the biennial Coleridge Summer Conference, this year in its fourteenth incarnation.

The convivial feel for which this conference is rightly known flowed from the moment of arrival, as our remarkable luck with the weather held once again: it’s always good to get things going with an open-air tipple. Even on that first afternoon, and even with the said tipple, we somehow fitted in nine very fine papers, followed by a drinks reception in the splendid walled garden of the Cannington campus of Bridgwater College. It didn’t stop there. After dinner, as the sun set, delegates were packed off to Cannington’s lovely church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in a goodly company, for a poetry reading by Polly Atkin and someone closely resembling me.

Tuesday saw a full morning programme of papers, followed by a trip to Wells, to view the Library and its Museum – complete with albatross – and the city’s magnificent cathedral, which, ancient as it is, somehow still looks new: it is clearly cherished. This also included a visit to the atmospheric cathedral library, where Purchas His Pilgrimage lay open at a certain page, still summoning Xanadu. Special thanks for the Wells expedition must go to Stuart Andrews and his wife, who conceived the plan and led the tour parties.

Wednesday included a full day of papers – though we still fitted in some punch and scones in the walled garden, for the book launches – capped off by the first plenary lecture of the conference, by Marjorie Levinson. With the parallels between poetry and the self-ordering systems of the mind still buzzing between our ears, it was time for another eddying descent upon the conference pub of choice, the Rose and Crown.

After a morning of papers on Thursday, Jim Mays delivered the conference’s second plenary lecture with typical grace and intellectual aplomb. After a quick change into our walking gear, the conference then came to Nether Stowey, for those who wished to visit Coleridge Cottage, while the walkers headed to the Quantock hills. Despite a spot of rain, it was a gorgeous day, with readings by Pamela Woof along the way that kindled thoughts of those other walkers on the hills, whose paths we followed.

This was the final night of the conference, and it passed off in style: a Somersetshire feast of venison and rabbit, together with an alarmingly easy-drinking cider. Primed by the music played through dinner, the maypole was raised and the tangled pleasures of the dance released – and they didn’t stop until the ribbons of that maypole were well and truly woven…

The final morning had the air of goodbyes about it, inevitably, but the quality of the papers was sustained to the end, with the final plenary lecturer, Damian Walford Davies, bringing proceedings to a close before lunch, when it really was time to say, ‘my friends! farewell’.

These things don’t just happen, and the Academic Director, Tim Fulford, and my colleagues on the organising committee worked very hard to bring it all together. The Conference Secretary, Kerri Andrews, deserves a special mention for doing so much behind the scenes throughout the conference to keep things running smoothly. Jane Wagner and our hosts at Bridgwater College looked after us very well, and I thank them on behalf of the committee.

The academic programme was, as ever, extraordinarily rich and varied: it wouldn’t do to single out stars within a beautiful constellation. So, most of all, we thank our delegates for making this conference such a pleasure and stimulus once again.

Gregory Leadbetter, Conference Organising Committee

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan – Walking with the Romantic Poets

Monday 11 August to Friday 15 August
Halsway Manor, near Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD
Tel 01984 618274

‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan’ is a week of guided walks, evening talks, performances and a visual arts exhibition, to celebrate the Romantic Poet’s time in West Somerset. There are daytime options to walk the Coleridge Way with Roger Conway, or to explore on foot the Quantock and Exmoor haunts of Coleridge and Wordsworth in the company of neo-Romantic poet (and Coleridge enthusiast!) Ralph Hoyte (pictured above). Evening performances include an illustrated talk and short film by artist and storyteller Frances Harrison, plus Ralph Hoyte’s epic completion of ‘Christabel’, complete with supper (or bring a picnic).

To find out more visit www.halswaymanor.org.uk

Artlife and Ralph Hoyte

Romantic Litscape: Ralph Hoyte

Romantic Litscape will release 'audio-ghosts' of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to talk and wander across the Quantock Hills of Somerset and North Exmoor. Bringing the lives of the Romantics to the world of the smart phone; by walking specific routes in this beautiful landscape you will eavesdrop on fragments of re-imagined monologues and conversations.

This will be an entirely original work of literary fiction taking as its basis the journals and writings of the Romantic poets, particularly relating to West Somerset. The work will also be available on-line via a web-based mapping application.

This exciting project, currently in development, is being arranged by ARTlifeLAND, as a response to the major changes affecting the landscape around the Hinkley C development site. It is part of a range of projects helping to mitigate the impact of these changes and their effect on local communities and tourism in the area.

Read more by visiting http://www.artlife-somerset.co.uk

Coleridge Way extension

A 15-mile extension to the Coleridge Way opened this week.  Rosemary Coleridge Middleton was there to officiate at the opening.

She said: 'He wrote Kubla Khan at Ash Farm above Porlock – and it is right that the route should pass there. He had a party of people with him, but he fell ill – so he left the others behind and recuperated for a couple of days at Ash Farm. And I think he’d probably had a couple of drops of laudanum to help him with his stomach, as it were – and that helped him have this dream, or reverie, which enable him to write Kubla Khan ... Walking actually concentrates the mind, soothes the soul and helps sort out problems. It is a healer of the mind, body and spirit and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, my great great great Grandfather, knew this. I’m very proud to say that it is indeed the Coleridge way of doing things! Keep moving, love thinking, do praying, keep talking, just toddle, but if possible do walk.'

Click here to read more.