A Regency Christmas: Dickens, Austen, Byron, Wordsworth, Keats and More

December 15, 2020

 

If you are already missing the festive feel of Christmas then this is for you.  In this recording of a live online lecture Professor Robert Morrison, author of “The Regency Revolution: Jane Austen, Napoleon, Lord Byron and the Making of the Modern World”, (shortlisted for the HWA Non-Fiction Crown Award and one of The Economist’s Books of the Year in 2019) looks at Christmas in the Regency (1811-1820) as experienced by some of its most notable figures, including the poets John Keats and Lord Byron, the politician Lord Castlereagh, the clergyman Sydney Smith, and the novelists Walter Scott, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. The holidays of 1819 were perhaps the most remarkable of the decade. The Duke and Duchess of Kent vacationed in Devon with their infant daughter Princess Victoria, the future Queen. Dorothy Wordsworth reported ‘intense frost and deep snow’ in the Lake District and worried that her brother William’s children were planning to cram themselves far too full of ‘Beefsteak & mince pies’. Seven-year-old Charles Dickens traveled to London to behold ‘the splendour of Christmas Pantomimes’. The evening deepened Dickens’s fascination with actors, audiences, theatrical spectacles, and comic performances – to say nothing of his belief in the magic of Christmas. Hosted by Professor John Strachan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Bath Spa University.

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