Monday 21 December
6 PM GMT
7 PM CET
With Professor Gregory Dowling
10% of ticket proceeds will be donated to the Keats-Shelley House museum in Rome.
Percy Bysshe Shelley spent the last four years of his life in Italy (1818-1822, and it was in these years that most of his greatest poetry was written. This lecture will provide an overview of these highly productive years, examining his often troubled but always stimulating relationship with Lord Byron.
We will focus on one major poem, “Ode to the West Wind”, seeing it within the context of his personal and family life, and also against the political upheavals of the time. We will also see how this poem is related to Shelley’s greatest long work, Prometheus Unbound, much of which was written in Rome, in the Baths of Caracalla – a circumstance that spurred the artist Joseph Severn, after Shelley’s death, to compose his well-known painting of the poet at work in the ruins.