The day of Lear’s 200th birthday is approaching and there will be events for all tastes.
But first, registration is now open for the September Edward Lear Conference at Jesus College, Oxford: here you can find the details and register.
Meanwhile, in Cambridge, the Institute of Continuing Education has a week-end course on Nonsense literature, 11-13 May.
Charles Lewsen will be giving an illustrated talk on Lear’s epilepsy in the Conference Centre of the British Library at 1 pm on 11 May.
There will be several events in London on Saturday, 12 May:
- At 11.30 am, a Westminster City Council Green Plaque will be unveiled at 15 Stratford Place, London W.1, the site of the house that was Edward Lear’s London base in the 1860s. Stratford Place is on the north side of Oxford Street, opposite the entrances to Bond Street underground station.
- 1 pm, a few short speeches about Lear and to acknowledge the late Vivien Noakes’ contribution to Lear studies at The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London W.1 where, from 10 am to 5 pm works by Lear will be on display, as will books and exhibition catalogues. Download the invitation.
- At 3.30 pm there will be a ceremony in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey, at which readers will include Roger McGough, President of the Poetry Society. Please go to the Great West Doors of the Abbey (by the bookshop) no later than 3.20 pm and inform the marshals that you are attending the Lear ceremony.
Several zoos around the country will be celebrating too, among them the Knowsley Safari Park (watch the video), ZSL London Zoo, Edinburgh, Newquay, and the Camperdown Wildlife Centre, Dundee.
Also, do not forget that the OED‘s Words of the Day around 12 May will be Lear-related, and that a further event will be held at the British Library on 13 May, 14.30-16.00: guests include Michael Rosen and Roger McGough.
If, like me, you cannot travel to any of these, here is some consolation in the form of two reviews of Houghton Library’s exhibition on Lear’s zoological work: Audubon Magazine, and Nature (restricted).
David Quantick writes on Lear’s influence on later nonsense in The Independent.
Vanessa Remington wrote a paper for the 2010 Victoria & Albert: Art & Love symposium, “Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their Relations with Artists,” which also mentions Edward Lear. It is available as a pdf file at The Royal Collection website.
In Thames, New Zealand (on the coast of Coromandel), we are celebrating with recitals, performances and dances at 11am and 2pm at Brew Cafe on May 12th. All welcome. Free bookmark provided by the Thames Library.