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 (

Sign up today at

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.


"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:

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.

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