LA Times: “Lord Byron letters sell for a record $459,000”

Lord Byron letters sell for a record $459,000

October 29, 2009 |  3:57 pm

Today in London, a collection of letters from British poet Lord George Byron sold at auction for $459,110.67, exceeding the highest pre-sale estimates by more than $160,000 and selling for more than any other letters or manuscript by a British Romantic poet. Although the letters were written to a clergyman, they were — in keeping with Lord Byron’s reputation — somewhat scandalous.

In the letters — more than 71 handwritten pages — Byron mocks fellow Romantic poet Wordsworth, a rival, calling him “Turdsworth” and, according to the Guardian, pens “details of a squalid affair with a serving girl, fruity remarks about foreigners and literary vitriol.”

Sotheby’s specialist Gabriel Heaton told the Guardian, “Byron clearly enjoyed writing slightly outrageous things to a clergyman, but you do also get a very strong sense of the depth of friendship they had. There’s a real intimacy.”

Born poor and with a club foot in 1788, Byron grew up to be legendary lover of both women and men, to inherit a Lordship and then overspend his wealth. And, also, to write “Don Juan” and “She Walks in Beauty.” The Poetry Foundation gushes:

He created an immensely popular Romantic hero—defiant, melancholy, haunted by secret guilt—for which, to many, he seemed the model. He is also a Romantic paradox: a leader of the era’s poetic revolution, he named Alexander Pope as his master; a worshiper of the ideal, he never lost touch with reality; a deist and freethinker, he retained from his youth a Calvinist sense of original sin; a peer of the realm, he championed liberty in his works and deeds, giving money, time, energy, and finally his life to the Greek war of independence…. In his dynamism, sexuality, self-revelation, and demands for freedom for oppressed people everywhere, Byron captivated the Western mind and heart as few writers have, stamping upon nineteenth-century letters, arts, politics, even clothing styles, his image and name as the embodiment of Romanticism.

Lord Byron remains one of the most dynamically faceted and colorful figures in English letters, one who has been studied up and down. About 15% of the letters have never been published, and remain unstudied. No doubt scholars would love to get their hands on this set of letters, which has been owned by a single family since 1855 — but so far, the buyer’s name remains under wraps.

— Carolyn Kellogg

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Romanticism 15:3 (October 2009): “Winged Words” Now Available

The latest issue of the journal Romanticism, published by the University of Edinburgh, is now available.

Icarian Romanticism – The Motif of Soaring and Falling in British Romantic Poetry
Norbert Lennartz
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 213-224.

‘With certain grand Cottleisms’: Joseph Cottle, Robert Southey and the
1803 Works of Thomas Chatterton
Nick Groom
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 225-238.

Madame de Stael and Scotland: Corinne, Ossian and the Science of Nations
Catherine Jones
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 239-253.

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra: Promethean Pretensions and Romantic Dialectics
Francesca Cauchi
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 254-264.

The Minute Particular in the Immensity of the Internet: What Coleridge, Hartley and Blake can teach us about Digital Editing
Paige Morgan
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 265-275.

Review Essay: Coleridge, Symbol, Scepticism,
Nicholas Halmi, The Genealogy of the Romantic Symbol (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. x + 206. £49.00 hardback. 978-0-19-921241-5. Ben Brice, Coleridge and Scepticism (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. x + 229. £56.00 hardback. 9780199290253.
David Vallins
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 276-281.

Review Essay: Winged Words
Susan Manly, Language, Custom and Nation in the 1790s: Locke, Tooke, Wordsworth, Edgeworth (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), pp. viii + 204. £50.00 hardback. 9780754658320. James M. Garrett, Wordsworth and the Writing of the Nation (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), pp. x + 214. £55.00 hardback. 9780754657835.
Tom Duggett
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 282-287.

Christa Knellwolf and Jane Goodall (eds.), Frankenstein’s Science:
Experimentation and Discovery in Romantic Culture, 1780-1830 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008), pp. 225 +xi. £50.00 hardback. 9780754654476.
Sharon Ruston
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 288-289.

Andrew Keanie, Hartley Coleridge: A Reassessment of His Life and Work (New York and Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 196. £40.00 hardback. 978140397472.
Nicola Healey
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 289-292.

David Paton-Williams, Katterfelto: Prince of Puff (Leicester: Matador, 2008), pp. xii + 195.£9.99 paperback. 9781906510916.
Paul Cheshire
Romanticism, Vol. 15, No. 3: 292-293.

CFP: VISAWUS: “Oceania and the East in the Victorian Imagination,” Honolulu 2010

The 15th Annual Conference of the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies
Association of the Western United States (Visawus)
will be held in Honolulu,
Hawaii, October 28-30, 2010

Conference theme: “Oceania and the East in the Victorian Imagination”

The conference will focus on the complex relationships between the
Victorians and the East, including India and China, Malaya and the East
Indies, Australia and New Zealand, and the South Sea Islands.  This
international conference will bring together specialists in Asian and
Victorian art history, literature, gender studies, science, history,
literature, politics, and biographical studies, among others, to explore how
the Victorians perceived the East, and how they were perceived in the East.
We invite paper proposals (300 word abstract plus 1-page CV) on political,
cultural, social, religious, artistic, scientific, economic, agrarian, and
other aspects of this rich interaction.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

Investors and the East                          Indigenous Women and English

Australia in literature                             Art and the South Seas

South Seas and Paradise                      The marketing of Australia

Malays and the Anthropologists             The East and the Crystal Palace

The East and the Military                      Clash of Cultures and
Ecological Destruction

Settling in the South Seas                     The South Seas and World
Naval Politics

Cannibals and Paradise                         The Empire in Australian

Sex and the Sailor                                 Imperial Vision of the

Island Kings and the British Empress    Women Travelers in Oceania and the

Robert Louis Stevenson and Hawaii       The Scots in the Islands

For a complete CFP and more information about the conference and visawus,
please see our web site at

Deadline for abstracts to be emailed to Richard Fulton at
is March 19, 2010.

CFP: “Nature and the Long 19th-Century” Postgraduate Conference, Univ. of Edinburgh

Nature and the long nineteenth century is a one-day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference exploring intersections of the natural world with nineteenth-century literature and culture.

University of Edinburgh, Saturday, 6 February 2010.

Keynote speakers:
Dr Martin Willis, University of Glamorgan,
Dr Christine Ferguson, University of Glasgow,
Professor Nick Daly, University College Dublin

In the twenty-first century, environmentalism and the impacts of climate change form a nexus of intense debates about relationship between human culture and the natural world. However, the centrality of the natural world to the nineteenth century imagination has long been acknowledged by scholars, way-marked by Lynn Merrill’s The Romance of Victorian Natural History (1989) for example, while Mike Davis’s Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (2002) demonstrates the relevance of nineteenth-century research to the modern world.

This conference probes the significance of nature to the long nineteenth century and to our study of its literature, history, science, art, and other media. How did the natural world influence people in the nineteenth century?and how did nineteenth-century culture shape attitudes to the natural world? Have twenty-first century questions over nature, climate, and the environment changed the way we view and study the cultural products of the nineteenth century, or offered new avenues for research, especially interdisciplinary research?

Postgraduate and early-career researchers are invited to submit 300 word proposals for 20 minute papers or proposals for panels to by 16 November 2009. Please include a brief biog with your abstract.

For further information including the full call for papers and registration details, see:

Conference organisers:
Claire McKechnie, University of Edinburgh and Dr Emily Alder, Edinburgh Napier University.

CFP: 12th Coleridge Summer Conference, 21-28 July 2010


Please go to our website for full details:

‘The Genius of Coleridge’

— with a  genial emphasis, of course…

21-28 July 2010

Plenary Lecturers:   Paul Cheshire, David Fairer, Marilyn Gaull, Noel Jackson, Kiyoshi Nishiyama,  and Alan Vardy.

The 12th Coleridge Summer Conference will be held at the beautiful Clifford Hall at Cannington continuing our long established residence in Coleridge’s Somerset at the foot of the Quantock Hills. STC 2010 will present a full and stimulating programme of lectures, papers, walks, excursions, and convivial social gatherings.  The Conference tradition of avoiding ‘parallel sessions’ of papers continues in 2010.  The College’s extensive garden grounds will be available for all participants, and there are a variety of walks in the village and across the levels towards the River Parrett. Join us  for Coleridgean conversation and drinks under the stars on long balmy summer evenings.

The Conference Excursion in 2010 will be to Coleridge’s Clevedon by way of the National Trust property of Tyntesfield House. Alternatively, join guide Peter Larkin on a walk up to Cadbury Camp and along wooded ridges into the heart of Clevedon through byways Coleridge would have known to finish at the Victorian Pier.  It is hoped to call first at Brockley Coombe where there will be a reading of the poem.

Alex Alec-Smith will be present with her Romantics bookstall for academics, collectors, students and general readers.

Conference Format

STC 2010 will start on Wednesday 21 July with a 6:30 pm reception; the conference will close after breakfast on Wednesday 28 July.  For those coming to the conference for the first time, our outline programme on our web site ( sets out the format.


For STC 2010 we have kept the increase in fees to a minimum, just £50 more than STC 2008. The cost of attending the conference, including accommodation with ensuite bathroom and meals, will be £600 per person (£1100 for shared double accommodation), or £425 non-residential.

Call for Papers

Our Conference theme for 2010 is ‘The Genius of Coleridge’ and we  invite papers on all aspects of  Coleridge’s achievements.  We also welcome proposals for papers on poems by others in the Coleridge Circle.  As in previous Coleridge Conferences, the theme is non-exclusive, a suggested guideline only, and we will be pleased to see proposals for papers on all aspects of Coleridge and British Romanticism.

Proposals should be in the form of an abstract, not less than 200 and not more than 250 words in length, sent in the first instance as an e-mail attached document to the Academic Director, Nicholas Roe at, not later than 15 March 2010.  Confirmations will be sent by e-mail prior to 1 April 2010. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL AND POSTAL ADDRESSES ON THE ABSTRACT ITSELF.  Those wanting confirmation before that date for funding purposes will be given a conditional response upon request.  A committee of the Conference organisers will consider all proposals.


We are committed to enabling graduate students, who would not otherwise be able to finance the cost of the conference, to come to this essential Coleridgean event, and are delighted to announce that Bursaries will be available for 2010. Two of our bursary awards for 2010 are generously funded by the Charles Lamb Society.  At STC 2008, Scholarships and Bursaries were awarded to ten graduate students, thanks to the generosity of the Charles Lamb Society and our other donors, especially the authors of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Sciences of Life (OUP, 2001) who started the conference bursary fund by donating their royalties. For up to date information and news about STC 2010, including bursaries and online registration forms, please visit and return to the Friends of Coleridge Website at

and click on the ‘Conference’ button. We look forward to welcoming you to Cannington next summer.

Nicholas Roe, Academic Director

Graham Davidson, Conference Secretary

Paul Cheshire, Hon. Treasurer, The Friends of Coleridge

New Books in 19th-Century Studies: Wilson, M. Sanders, V. Sanders, Thornton, Malton, Schoenfield, Gubar, Waldman

Some notable new books in the field have recently been reviewed at NBOL-19: Nineteenth-century Books OnLine:

Cheryl A. Wilson

(Cambridge, 2009) vii + 202 pp.
Reviewed by Alisa Clapp-Itnyre on 2009-09-18.

Mike Sanders

(Cambridge, 2009). ix + 299 pp.
Reviewed by John Plotz on 2009-10-16.

Sara Thornton

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), xi + 214 pp.
Reviewed by Nicholas Mason on 2009-09-25.

Sara Malton

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) x + 187 pp.
Reviewed by Leeann D. Hunter on 2009-10-15.

Valerie Sanders

(Cambridge, 2009) xii + 246 pp.
Reviewed by Eileen Gillooly on 2009-09-25.

Marah Gubar

(Oxford, 2009) xiv + 264 pp.
Reviewed by James Eli Adams on 2009-09-01.

Mark Schoenfield

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) viii + 296 pp.
Reviewed by Nikki Hessell on 2009-09-01.

Suzanne B. Waldman

(Ohio, 2009) 211 pp.
Reviewed by Kathleen O’Neill Sims on 2009-09-01.

CFP: 2010 British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) Conference: “Victorian Forms and Formations”

CFP:  British Association for Victorian Studies 2010 Conference :

‘Victorian Forms and Formations’

2-4 September 2010

University of Glasgow

The 2010 BAVS conference seeks to address the question of ‘form’, in all its varied meanings, in Victorian culture. We invite papers that address the topic of literary form, and that engage with current debates in the field over the return to form in literary criticism, but also wish to broaden the topic to encompass forms and formations in other disciplines, including but not limited to art history, science, architecture, politics, religion and history of the book. Papers might consider the role of different social and political groupings and institutions in the Victorian period, or the formation of a particular idea or discipline. They might deal with wide-ranging debates over varied attempts at reform in the nineteenth century, or could focus on the formation or reformation of the individual. Papers considering material forms, including the fashioning of the body in medical and other discourse, are welcome, as are papers on the physical features of the Victorian landscape: urban and rural spaces, natural forms and the built environment. We also invite papers that are concerned with the reworking of Victorian forms in twentieth and twenty-first century literature and culture.

Plenary speakers:

James Eli Adams
Matthew Campbell
Margaret Macdonald
Catherine Robson

A number of postgraduate bursaries will be available for postgraduate students presenting a paper at the conference or acting as a conference reporter. Please check this site in spring 2010 for details of how to apply.

Deadline for submission of abstract: 15 March 2010.  Please send a 200-word abstract to

Suggested topics for consideration:
Poetic form* Narrative form* Generic formation* Neoformalism*  Political formations* Social reform* Educational reform* Scientific formations* Geological forms*  Religious formations* Imperial formations* Urban forms* Architectural form* Sculptural form* Domestic design* Intellectual formations* Forms of publication* Bodily formations* Gendered forms* Forms of conduct* Forming identities*  Moral forms*Neovictorian forms*