Call for papers: Excess and Exhaustion: Byron in 1818

Excess and Exhaustion: Byron in 1818

Newstead Abbey

Friday & Saturday, 27-28 April 2018


Plenary: Jonathon Shears (Keele)

1818 saw Byron both exhilarated and exhausted by the Venetian carnival. It saw him publish Beppo but also write ‘Ode on Venice’. The excitements of Italian politics lay ahead, but so did the idea that Europe was an ‘exhausted portion of the globe’. In 1818, poised between an idealised Venice and disillusionment with Venetians, Byron is also poised between comic and tragic imaginings, personal/sexual cynicism and his ‘last attachment’, past crisis and future glory, the Byronic Hero and Don Juan, epic and satire. All of these contrasting influences speak of excess and exhaustion at one moment in Byron’s life – personal, literary, political – but also point to the holding together of opposites that is definitive of so much of Byron’s poetics, of the ‘hot and cold’ admixture of the contrary, the contradictory, the irreconcilable that marks so many of Byron’s poems and letters.

Please send abstracts of approximately 300 words to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 February 2018.
The conference will start at 1 p.m. on Friday with lunch at Newstead Abbey, followed by afternoon sessions, and dinner.
On Saturday, the conference will run from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.