Literature and Humanities

Cystocoleus, Raccodiu etc.
Lepraria etc.
Alepisauriformes family
Ammonoidea family


The Great War: Responses and Reactions – A Symposium of Nine Talks and an Exhibition


17 - 19 October 2014


Lord Kitchener says:

“Men, materials and money are the immediate necessities. Does the call of duty find no response in you until reinforced… Let us rather say superseded by the wall of compulsion? ENLIST TODAY”

The Music of Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)


David Halpin and Robert Blackburn

15 September 2014


Brahms and the Piano


Dr Robert Blackburn, former Principal Lecturer in Music, Bath Spa University

16th July 2014


Who’s Who: Biography and Biographer


Adrian Tinniswood, Freelance author and historian

17 February 2014


Georgette Heyer and The ‘Regency’ Novel


Kirsten Elliott, Bath writer and literary historian

20 January 2014


Anthony Burgess (1917-1993): Not Just a Clockwork Orange


Dr Rob Spence, Associate Head of Department, History and English, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire

9 December 2013


Recollections of the Holocaust 1939-1945: Some Memoirs and a Diary


Expanded version of a talk given by Dr Robert Blackburn, FRSA

18 November 2013



  1. Introduction
  2. Elie Wiesel
  3. Jean Amery
  4. Mary Berg
  5. Tadeusz Borowski
  6. Charlotte Delbo
  7. Lawrence Langer’s Holocaust Testimonies
  8. Heda Margolius Kovaly
  9. Stella Muller-Madej
  10. Hugo Gryn
  11. Ruth Kluger
  12. Primo Levi



Katherine Mansfield and The Bloomsbury Group


Dr Gerri Kimber, Department of English, University of Northampton

18 March 2013


The World of Publishing and Bookselling


Robert Topping, Bath bookseller

18 February 2013


Charles Dickens (1812-1870): The Journalism and the Novels


John Chambers M.A., former Head of English, King Edward School, Bath

20 November 2012


First phase: the brilliant upstart of the 1830s

1832-34: The Mirror of Parliament

1834-36: The Morning Chronicle - occasional pieces for the Evening Chronicle

Extract 1: Remembering life as a reporter in the 1830s

1836: Sketches by Boz illustrated by George Craikshank.

Extract 2: A Visit to Newgate

1836-37: Revives serialisation/completes first novel Pickwick Papers

Shelley’s Spiritual Quest


Dr Ann Wroe, Obituaries Editor, The Economist, London

21 October 2012


A talk by Dr Ann Wroe, obituaries editor at The Economist, given as part of the weekend symposium on European Romanticism, on 21 October 2012. What follows is a short summary.

Some Modern American Writers (post-1950)


Professor Gavin Cologne-Brookes, Bath Spa University

18 September 2012


The following summary is a greatly expanded version of this talk, with much new material, by Dr Robert Blackburn.  The section on Roth, particularly, is brand new.


“Who would be a man must be a nonconformist.” R.W. Emerson

“Reading is a form of friendship.” Marcel Proust

“We do not go, we are driven.” Montaigne; On the Inconstancy of our Actions

“I am nobody. Who is you?” Emily Dickinson

D.H. Lawrence and Modernism


Dr Andrew Harrison, University of Nottingham

17 July 2012


This talk sought to contextualise the early writings of D.H. Lawrence in the literary culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It began by showing how Lawrence drew upon and transformed the writings of his great Victorian predecessors (especially Thomas Hardy and George Eliot), before moving on to consider his engagement with modernist aesthetics and experimentalism (concentrating on the poems he published in the Imagist anthologies from 1915).

The Final Keyboard Trilogy: Beethoven’s Last Three Piano Sonatas and their Background


Dr Robert Blackburn, former Principal Lecturer in Music, School of Music and Performing Arts, Bath Spa University

17 April 2012

Composing Music In Today’s World


Nick Atkinson, MMus, Bath Spa University

7 March 2012


Literature and Landscape: Some Perspectives



Dr Stephen H. Gregg, Bath Spa University

21 February 2012


I run the MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment at Bath Spa University, and when I was asked to talk at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute on the topic of literature and landscape, I wanted to present an unfamiliar picture of British fiction and argue how that fiction has sought to make familiar landscapes unfamiliar.

Dickens: Social Class and Early Victorian Medicine


Elizabeth Negus M.A., Barking and Dagenham F.E. College, Essex

17 January 2012


The year 2012 marks the bicentenary of Charles Dickens’ birth.  The time which shaped him and catapulted him to greatness is so far behind us, as to have become a matter of historical study for this generation.  We can regard Dickens from the standpoint of posterity; to consider his career, to review his literary work, and to estimate his total activity, as belonging to an age clearly distinguishable from our own.

The Art of the Piano Transcription: Richard Strauss and Others


Dr Charles Wiffen, Head of the Music Department, Bath Spa University

22 November 2011

Raymond Williams (1921-1987): His Life, Work and Intellectual Background


Dr. Derek Tatton, Wedgwood Memorial College

October 18 2011

Orhan Pamuk: Art, Politics and Translation


Professor Maureen Freely, Warwick University

20 September 2011

A Portrait of Franz Liszt (1811-1886)


Dr Robert Blackburn, former Principal Lecturer in Music, Bath Spa University

19 July 2011   

László Moholy-Nagy: The New Bauhaus and America


Dr Harry Charrington, University of Bath

17 May 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright: American Architect


Robert Marshall, Architectural Historian

6 April 2011


Elliott Carter: Euro-centric or American Modernist?


Professor Roger Heaton, Bath Spa University

8 March 2011

As I write this Carter (b. 1908) is just about to celebrate his 103rd birthday with three world premieres. As busy as ever Carter came of age musically in the modernist ferment of 1920s New York fascinated by the avant-garde composers working there, Varèse, Cowell and Ruggles, as well as studying scores from Europe by Schoenberg, Webern, Berg and Bartók.

The Fruitlands Fiasco: Bronson Alcott’s Massachusetts ‘Utopia’ of 1843


Professor Richard Francis, Bath Spa University

15 February 2011

Richard Francis gave a talk exploring the cross-fertilisation of ideas that took place between a utopian experiment at Ham Common in surrey and the famous Fruitlands community in Massachusetts, founded by Bronson Alcott, father of the much-loved American author, Louisa May Alcott.

Henry James and the American Novel


Professor David Timms, former VC Bath Spa University

12 January 2011

Tolstoy and the Russian Mind


Dr Ruth Coates, Department of Russian, University of Bristol

13 December 2010 - Victor Suchar Memorial Lecture 2010


1.             Introduction/Overview

Tolstoy’s centenary: Why this Lecture is being given?

Gibbon in Bath


Brian W. Young, Christ Church, University of Oxford

16 November 2010