Rosenberg's war: "Iron, honey, gold"
FR Leavis Lecture
Jean Liddiard was taught at Cambridge by both FR and QD Leavis. She is a former Press Officer of the National Portrait Gallery and is an Associate of Newnham College Cambridge. She is the author of Isaac Rosenberg: The Half Used Life. In her lecture, she will draw out the relationship between Rosenberg's poems and his comments on them in his letters. She will refer to Leavis's experiences during the First World War* and discuss his admiration for Rosenberg and that of his student and later colleague on the board of Scrutiny, DW Harding, one of Rosenberg’s early editors.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception sponsored by the Centre for Modern Studies and the Department of English & Related Literature.
The Selected Poems and Letters of Isaac Rosenberg, edited by Jean Liddiard will be available for purchase at the event and at Waterstone’s bookshop.
* FR Leavis (1895-1978) joined the Friends’ Ambulance Unit in 1915 while an undergraduate at Cambridge. He underwent training as a nursing orderly at a Rowntree Hospital in York. From there he went out to France and took part (100 years ago) in what he would later call the ‘Bloody Somme’. The memories of those times would remain seared upon him and he left harrowing accounts of them towards the end of his life. He was one of the early champions of Rosenberg’s work.
Dr Leavis returned to York as a Visiting Professor after his retirement from Cambridge, an association marked by the inauguration in 2010 of the FR Leavis Room.
The lecture inaugurates the conference on ‘Leavis and the Confrontation with Modernity’ which will continue the following day. For details, please refer to the Leavis Society website.