‘Do go; these are very special occasions.’ Bridport Review
‘Outstanding’ – John T
‘Byron lived fast and died young. Graham brings the poet to life again for one extraordinary evening of politics, poetry and adventure. It’s wonderful.’ – Lucy Moys-Thomas
Byron: life and poems
Talk with Readings by Graham Fawcett
Thursday 7 June 2018, 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 or £25 with dinner from 6pm before the talk
Please phone 01308 459511 to book now!
“There are but two sentiments to which I am constant”, Byron said shortly before he died aged 36, “a strong love of liberty and a detestation of cant”. By then he had drunk both of them to the dregs with fierce energy both on the page and in his bull-in-a-china-shop private life.
Byron, as the whole world used to know, died of rheumatic fever at Missolonghi in Western Greece, while supporting the Greeks in their struggle for independence. On hearing the news of his death, the 14-year-old Tennyson, who had had Byron’s poem ‘The Prisoner of Chillon’ read to him when still a boy by his grandmother, carved the words ‘Byron is dead’ upon a rock, and said “the whole world seemed darkened to me”.
In the intervening almost 200 years since Byron died in 1824 here have been, and still are, those who get Byron and those who just don’t get him or are incapacitated by envy for the man, and some of those have got at him instead. But few have felt indifferent to a man who so knows his own mind and acts it out with such a stylish independence that William Hazlitt is inspired to quote Shakespeare’s Coriolanus of him, one who stands
As if a man were author of himself,
And owned no other kin.
Gifted with one of the greatest poetic ears English poetry has ever heard, Byron’s was an unstoppably hungry philosophy of existence and of art.
‘I was royally entertained’ Annie Freud
‘Thank you for your wonderful talk on Byron. I found myself gripped and enthralled and am so pleased to have finally understood why my late mother was so besotted with Byron. Thank you for revealing why and how his work should be approached. Can’t wait, now, for some time to sit down and enjoy what I’ve missed all these years!’ – Jane Lees
GRAHAM FAWCETT has lectured or led workshops at literary festivals throughout Britain on reading and writing poetry. A highly entertaining lecturer, writer and educator, he has been a tutor for The Poetry School since 1997, devising and teaching new courses on poetry past and present from around the world. Previous to that he wrote and presented radio programmes about literature and music on BBC Radio 3 for many years.
Graham Fawcett’s talks explore leading poets, their lives, the political and cultural environment in which they wrote and, most of all, their work. The programme is two 45 minute halves with an interval. To complete the evening, why not enjoy a pre-lecture dinner served by the celebrated and award-winning Café Sladers. The £15 buys a full main course from a choice of seafood, free-range meat or vegetarian dishes. A wonderful selection of wines, desserts and cheese are available à la carte.
Please phone 01308 459511 to book your tickets now.
A wonderful review of Graham Fawcett’s Coleridge Talk: John Pownall
A review of Graham Fawcett’s fascinating lecture on John Donne can be found here.
“We [the audience] were more than happy to stay the course, stunned and astonished in equal measure. Stunned by the breadth and depth of Fawcett’s criticism, astonished at our luck to be living miles from a university yet participating in what, to all intents and purposes, was a post-graduate lecture, presented with immaculate complexity by a master of ceremonies par-excellence.”
Elaine Beckett, Bridport Review