When Daniel Defoe rode through the Lake District in the early 18th century, he described the area as ‘the wildest, most barren and frightful of any that I have passed over in England.’ But for Victorians such as Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin, the Lakes offered a landscape of supreme beauty. How did this change come about?
Jonathan Bate will follow in the footsteps of the 18th-century inventors of the ‘picturesque’ and show how Wordsworth shaped the vision of his native region, leading to the foundation of the National Trust and the idea of a National Park.
No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture
Professor Bate was Gresham Professor of Rhetoric from 2017-19. He is a British academic, biographer, critic, broadcaster, novelist and scholar. He specialises in Shakespeare, Romanticism and Ecocriticism. He is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford, and Honorary Fellow of Creativity at Warwick Business School.
Professor Bate began his tenure as Gresham Professor of Rhetoric with a series on Shakespeare. The topic for his second lecture series was Wordsworth and the Romantics.
All of Jonathan's Gresham Lectures can be accessed here