One of the most atmospheric public-engagement activities associated with the AHRC-funded research project based here at Silting, Writing Britain’s Ruins, 1700–1850: The Architectural Imagination, is a public lecture series. The six lectures, detailed below, will take place in the largest and most imposing room in Horace Walpole’s ‘Little Gothic Castle’, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham (TW1 4ST) — the Gallery, or State Apartment. Although now mostly devoid of its tirelessly curated collection of paintings and objects, as recorded here in a watercolour (1781) by Thomas Sandby, this lecture series will arouse all of the room’s ideas, associations and ‘gloomth’ — to use Walpole’s word — that embody the Gothic Revival across the arts (including literature, painting, architecture, interiors, furniture and so on). Experts will deliver talks on various facets of the Gothic, in the watchful surroundings of Walpole’s house.
Registration for students and concessions is completely free for each lecture, and the waged are asked to contribute £5. This donation will go directly to the continued restoration and exciting reconstructive developments at Horace Walpole’s house. Each lecture starts at 19.30, and registration can be made by contacting Strawberry Hill directly: www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/events.
Lecture 1: Thursday 5 May: Dale Townshend and Peter Lindfield
Introduction to ‘Writing Britain’s Ruins’ in the Eighteenth Century
Lecture 2: Thursday 12 May: Christopher Woodward
‘‘Time’s Shipwreck’: Ruins and Rescue in the Eighteenth-Century Imagination’
Lecture 3: Thursday 19 May: Dale Townshend, Jim Watt and Nicola Watson
‘Poetic Fragments: Writing the Abbeys at Tintern, Melrose and Netley’
Lecture 4: Thursday 26 May: Marion Harney
‘Place-Making for the Imagination: Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill’
Lecture 5: Thursday 2 June: Oliver Cox
‘Forgetting Horace Walpole’
Lecture 6: Thursday 9 June 2016: John Goodall
‘The Time-Wracked Castle’
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