- The International Byron Societies 2018
THE BYRON SOCIETY
The year 2017 was a great year for the Byron Society, with a host of events across the country, in addition to the various international conferences which we gave grants to.
In March, we enjoyed an evening of wine and poetry readings, which was such a great success we hope to make it a regular part of our event calendar. The popularity of this evening inspired us to invite an actor to our annual Christmas lunch, who declaimed an excellent series of poems chosen by our Chairman, Kenneth Robbie, to wild applause.
Meanwhile we've had a host of Byron Society Lectures at our usual venue of the Art Workers Guild. These included insightful talks by Dr Anna Camillieri on Byron's Heroism and Daniele Sarrat on the influence which Byron's life and works had on the French Romantic Art movement; a typically thoughtful talk from Professor Michael O'Neill on beauty, freedom and the function of form in Byron's poems; and Dr Joselyn Almeida-Beveridge's exploration of the rivalry of Byron and Southey's eponymous heroes Don Juan and Roderick in Don Juan and Roderick Last of the Goths.
Our annual collaborative event with Keats House was particularly popular, with Mr Bernard Beatty stepping into the breach at the last minute, owing to the unfortunate cancellation of our initial speaker, providing new insights into the reception and perception of Byron in the twenty-first century. This event was complemented by our public lecture, later in the year, in which Professor Rolf Lessenich placed Byron within his contemporary context, at the crux of the debate between Platonists and sceptics in the early-nineteenth century.
We also took our members on various day trips, including the ever-popular visit to Harrow School with a talk on Byron and his school years, a trip to Newstead Abbey with a talk from Robin, Lord Byron, and a visit to Manchester with a lecture by Dr Alan Rawes on Byron and Venice.
2017 also included the two annual international Byron conferences, both of which receive grants from the Society. The 44th International Conference in Yerevan, Armenia, produced a brilliant range of papers on 'Byron, Time and Space' and we hosted a drinks reception during the conference. Earlier in the year, the 12th International Student Byron Conference in Messolonghi explored the theme of 'Byron and Nature', and our grant allowed delegates to go on various expeditions to explore nearby archaeological sites.
We started 2018 with a bang, with the two-day symposium, 'Byron Amongst the Poets', which we jointly sponsored with All Souls College, Oxford. This event produced a rich series of papers, ranging widely over the topic of Byron's connectivity, exploring what other poets meant to him and what he meant to those who came after. Our Byron Society [End Page 93] Lectures have been similarly diverse, culminating in a particularly brilliant talk from Stephen Minta on Byron and the mal du siècle.
The remainder of our 2018 programme of events is packed with lectures, book readings, trips and conferences, and we have some exciting plans for 2019 and beyond. For more details of events over the next twelve months, please look at our Events Calendar: http://www.thebyronsociety.com/events.
Dr Emily Paterson-Morgan
IRISH BYRON SOCIETY
The Irish Byron Society held its Annual General Meeting in the United Arts Club, (founded in 1907 by Ellie Duncan, Count Casimir and Countess Constance Markievicz) Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin on 27th January, 2017. The meeting saw the departure of the society's previous Chairman and the election of a new committee. Unfortunately, the role of Chairperson was not filled but Dr Gerald Morgan (Trinity) offered to caretake the role until a new Chairperson could be elected.
After the meeting of the new committee in February, Eileen Morgan-Browne (Secretary) began to organise a series of monthly, social, cultural and academic events. After a literary lunch in the Stephen's Green Club, a talk by Dr Morgan on 'Byron's Women' was given at the United Arts Club. This was much appreciated by the membership as Dr Morgan's research interests are in...