Call for papers: Byron and 1817: Between Worlds, Between Works

Byron and 1817: Between Worlds, Between Works
Poetic Transitions and Continuities

Newstead Abbey
Friday & Saturday 28-29 April 2017



Plenary Speakers

Michael O’Neill (Durham)
Alan Rawes (Manchester)


1817 saw Byron bring one stage of his poetic career to an end (with the final canto of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage) while almost simultaneously opening another (with Beppo). The Spenserian stanza gave way to ottava rima; gloomy, rootless ‘Byronic’ wandering gave way to comic and satiric cosmopolitanism; the ‘ruin amidst ruins’ became the ‘broken dandy’; the English milord became the Italian exile as his rhetoric shifted from ‘high’ to ‘low’. And yet, across this transition from one kind of Byron to another, continuities abound. The author of Cain is manifestly the author of Manfred (also finished in 1817); the Byronic hero of the early tales lives on in Marino Faliero and The Island; the champion of liberty is readily seen in the libertine; the satirist of English Bards and Scotch Reviews surfaces again in The Age of Bronze and Don Juan. This conference is interested in both the transitions that mark Byron’s writing in 1817 and the continuities that cross those transitions, and invites papers on the rifts and bridges between works that lie within and either side of this annus mirabilis.