Our second CRECS event will focus on the centrality of travel, topography and landscape in the Romantic period. Landscape is perhaps the paradigmatic conceit of the Romantic moment, permeating every aspect of the literature, art and music of the era. It features as more than just a setting, but conveys a complex set of ideas, moods and associations that are underpinned by a distinct philosophical perspective. Landscape comes to register the expansive imagination in a multitude of works, ranging from the sublime gothic landscape to the picturesque haunts of sentimental writers, from the famous peregrinations of Jane Austen’s heroines to the rustic pathways of the Lake Poets.
Travel can be multinational and globetrotting, echoing the significance of the Grand Tour as an essential part of an elite education, bringing together nature and culture in complex and didactic ways. It can also be rather more delimited, so that the highways and byways of village life come to trace the circulatory system of a domestic ideology that enshrined, for the first time, a meaningful conception of ‘Britishness’ in the context of the Napoleonic wars.
On the evening of the 23rd of November, come along to learn more about geography, travel and tourism in the Romantic era from our two speakers:
- Dr Jamie Castell, of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, will talk about the importance of Romantic wandering, building on his own research into Wordsworth, Romantic poetry and the natural world.
- Our guest speaker Dr Mary Ann Constantine, based in the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at the University of Wales, will draw upon material in her work on the Curious Travellers: Thomas Pennant and the Welsh and Scottish Tour 1760–1820 project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council .
- We’ll then have time for more general discussion among participants, who might wish to think more generally about the importance of travel, topography and landscape in their own readings of Romantic writing.
- The evening will finish with a drinks and snacks reception.
This event ties in with two projects based in the National Museum of Wales: Reading the Rocks: The Remarkable Maps of William Smith, an exhibition curated by Tom Sharpe, and a series of lectures scheduled to take place on 27 November 2015, entitled Layered Landscapes: Geology and Travel in Romantic-Era Britain.
Owing to the popularity of previous sessions, we have had to relocate CRECS from its original home in the Special Collections and Archives to the John Percival Building—Romantic travel indeed! So, join us on 23 November 2015, in Lecture Theatre 0.36 in the John Percival Building. The event will start at 5.15pm and will be followed by refreshments, as usual.