The Poet and the Vampyre
by Andrew McConnell Stott
Publication Date: 2014-09-15
In the spring of 1816, Lord Byron was the greatest poet of his generation and the most famous man in Britain, but his personal life was about to erupt. Fleeing his celebrity, notoriety, and debts, he sought refuge in Europe, taking his young doctor with him. As an inexperienced medic with literary aspirations of his own, Doctor John Polidori could not believe his luck.That summer another literary star also arrived in Geneva. With Percy Bysshe Shelley came his lover, Mary, and her step-sister, Claire Clairmont. For the next three months, this party of young bohemians shared their lives, charged with sexual and artistic tensions. It was a period of extraordinary creativity: Mary Shelley started writing Frankenstein, the gothic masterpiece of Romantic fiction; Byron completed Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, his epic poem; and Polidori would begin The Vampyre, the first great vampire novel.It was also a time of remarkable drama and emotional turmoil. For Byron and the Shelleys, their stay by the lake would serve to immortalize them in the annals of literary history. But for Claire and Polidori, the Swiss sojourn would scar them forever.
Seeing Suffering in Women's Literature of the Romantic Era
by Elizabeth Dolan
Publication Date: 2008-08-28
Arguing that vision was the dominant mode for understanding suffering in the Romantic era, Elizabeth Dolan shows that Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith and Mary Shelley experimented with aesthetic and scientific visual methods in order to expose the social structures underlying suffering.
The Age of Wonder
by Richard Holmes
Publication Date: 2009-07-14
A riveting history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science. When young Joseph Banks stepped onto a Tahitian beach in 1769, he hoped to discover Paradise. Inspired by the scientific ferment sweeping through Britain, the botanist had sailed with Captain Cook on his first Endeavour voyage in search of new worlds. Other voyages of discovery—astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical—swiftly follow in Richard Holmes’s original evocation of what truly emerges as an Age of Wonder. Brilliantly conceived as a relay of scientific stories, The Age of Wonder investigates the earliest ideas of deep time and space, and the explorers of “dynamic science,” of an infinite, mysterious Nature waiting to be discovered. Three lives dominate the book: William Herschel and his sister Caroline, whose dedication to the study of the stars forever changed the public conception of the solar system, the Milky Way, and the meaning of the universe; and Humphry Davy, who, with only a grammar school education stunned the scientific community with his near-suicidal gas experiments that led to the invention of the miners’ lamp and established British chemistry as the leading professional science in Europe. This age of exploration extended to great writers and poets as well as scientists, all creators relishing in moments of high exhilaration, boundary-pushing and discovery. Holmes’s extraordinary evocation of this age of wonder shows how great ideas and experiments—both successes and failures—were born of singular and often lonely dedication, and how religious faith and scientific truth collide. He has written a book breathtaking in its originality, its storytelling energy, and its intellectual significance.
Films on Demand-Streaming Video Database
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After the chaos of the French Revolution, the concept of liberty became associated with nature rather than political events. This program analyzes the Romantic fascination and identification with the power of the natural world. Shedding light on William Blake’s early childhood experiences in the countryside, the film also explores the work of John Clare—conveying how both poets revered the sublime power of the earth’s environment and exalted a rural way of life rapidly yielding to urbanization and the Industrial Revolution. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is also featured—highlighting its cautions against science, technology, and the exploitation of nature’s wild innocence.
A lover’s delight lay in the words of Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley as they caressed the English language with their poetic phrases. British actress Jean Marsh (Upstairs, Downstairs) complements a wonderful ensemble of actors in this essential collection of Romantic poetry.
iewing life in strictly corporeal terms was abhorrent to Romantic sensibility. This program examines attempts by Romantic poets to transcend the physical world and expand the limits of human imagination—presaging 20th-century notions of the unconscious. Illustrating how the idea of transcendence effectively became the religion of Romanticism, the film reflects on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opium-inspired composition of Kubla Khan, Lord Byron’s defiance of social and sexual mores in pursuit of inner truth, John Keats’s worldly fragility and literary immortality, and Percy Shelley’s legendary incarnation, in death, as the ultimate Romantic symbol—a disembodied heart.