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Wordsworth’s Anglo-French Pamphlet: Public and Private Codes in A Letter to the Bishop of Llandaff


Tuesday 7 May 2019, 6.00PM

Speaker(s): Professor David Duff (Queen Mary, University of London)

Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies 
Annual Stephen Copley Lecture 

David's lecture will examine Wordsworth’s ultra-radical Letter to the Bishop of Llandaff (1793), an unpublished contribution to the pamphlet war in which he declares himself to be a republican, an egalitarian, and – a few weeks after the execution of Louis XVI – a defender of regicide. Analysing Wordsworth’s public self-fashioning as a French Revolutionary eyewitness entering the fray of British political debate, the lecture will also reveal coded references to his scandalous private life as he resumed his English life separated from his French mistress Annette Vallon and their new-born love-child.

David Duff is Professor of Romanticism at Queen Mary, University of London. He studied English at York, where he also took the Romantics MA and wrote a PhD under the supervision of Timothy Webb and John Birtwhistle. He then taught in Poland for three years at the universities of Torun and Gdansk before moving back to the UK as a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen. He has also taught at the College of William and Mary in the USA and in 2015 was a professor invité at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. In 2016, he founded the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar, an international research forum with monthly seminars in London and a biennial symposium in Paris.

He is the author of Romance and Revolution: Shelley and the Politics of a Genre (1994) and Romanticism and the Uses of Genre (2009), which won the ESSE Book Award for Literatures in the English Language. He has also published a widely used anthology, Modern Genre Theory (2000), and a co-edited volume, Scotland, Ireland, and the Romantic Aesthetic (2007), which contributed to the development of a ‘Four Nations’ approach to Romanticism. His most recent book is The Oxford Handbook of British Romanticism (2018), a collection of 46 specially commissioned essays which offers unprecedented coverage of the different national strands in the British Romantic movement and the political and cultural forces that shaped it.

The annual Copley lecture is in commemoration of Stephen Copley, one of the Centre's founding members. 

Location: King's Manor K/133

Admission: All Welcome!