The Death of Peter Cochran

It is with great sadness and fond memories that the Byron Society of America recognizes the death of Peter Cochran, one of the most visible and influential Byron scholars of the past decades. The author and editor of numerous books on Byron and his circle, Peter was also a generous supporter of younger scholars, a formidable interlocutor on all matters of Regency life and letters, a loyal attendee of the International Byron Conferences, and a great storyteller, singer, and actor. He will be sorely missed by all of us.

peter.cochran.1

 

A Letter from Peter’s Daughters, Abi and Emily:

 May 21, 2015

Dear Loved ones and Friends of Peter,

Our adorable dad Peter sadly but quite wonderfully died last night. It was as though he’d written and directed the whole scene in advance.

He had a brain hemorrhage on Monday morning, the Doctors said he’d probably just last a few hours. 60 hours later he finally expired.

He was unresponsive and barely moving apart from a labored breath, it seemed unlikely he could hear us or was aware of anything. We stayed with him almost the whole time and talked to him occasionally regardless. We played him poetry and music that we knew he loved.

On Wednesday evening we were exhausted and distressed. After a day of playing him the Ring Cycle (his favourite 9 hour opera) we decided to read him highlights from the large pile of messages and cards he’d been sent over the past couple of weeks. We told him how much he was appreciated and loved, how many people had been grateful for all his work, teachings, writing and help over the years – signs of a life well lived. That all the people he’d inspired with his love of drama and literature would go on to inspire others, that he’d live on in all his writing and his grandchildren who loved him too.

We put his headphones back on and noticed his eyes had welled up.
We told him again how much he was loved, that it was ok to let go now, not to worry about anything, that we’d look after each other and take care of his work. Just a moment later his breathing slowed dramatically and then stopped.

We are still stunned and the strength of his spirit, to hold on so long, and to let go at will. We’ve been deeply grateful for the messages sent from all over the world in these past days – it has been a great comfort to all of us to know how loved he was.

Feel free to share your memories of him, we’ll be adding photos and recent work to his website. Please feel free to share this message with friends of Peter.

We’ll be planning a memorial service in the coming months.

Thanks and Warm wishes,

Abi and Emily Cochran

A Lost Portrait of the Young Lord Byron

The Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at the NYPL has recently acquired a photograph of a lost painting of the young Lord Byron, allegedly painted by the well-known portraitist Sir Henry Raeburn in 1805, when the poet at 17 years old.

The painting was seen briefly in the 1890s and was sold for $2000 in the early twentieth century to an anonymous buyer (via the dealer William Clausen, in the Salvador de Mendonca sale). It has since disappeared from view. This photograph, which was discovered in an album of Byroniana acquired by the Pforzheimer in 2014, is now our best witness to this compelling lost portrait of Lord Byron.

When he sat for this portrait, Byron would have just finished his term at Harrow or perhaps begun his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge.  He had become Lord Byron in 1798, but his poetic career was still ahead of him at this point. One sees the recognizable high forehead, curly hair, and wide collar that would become part of the signature Byronic look.

Some have cast doubt on the authenticity of the painting, as no record of Byron sitting for Raeburn seems to exist. However, Raeburn did paint a picture of the wife of Byron’s godfather, Mrs. Robert Duff, around this time.  Anyone with more information about the painting is encouraged to contact us.

Byron.Raeburn.photo1

 

 

 

 

A rather poor copy of the painting was published in Byron the Poet, ed. Walter A. Briscoe (London, 1924):

 

 

Raeburn.Byron.repro

 

It was also imperfectly copied for Munsey’s Magazine 17 (p. 332), as part of a report on the Mendonca sale of Byron relics.

Byron.Raeburn.Munseys

 

Reminder: Student Travel Grants (March 1 deadline)

Each year, the BSA underwrites a travel grants program for graduate students with scholarly interests in Byron. The Society offers up to four small grants to help students attend conferences at which they will deliver papers on Byron, with priority given to students presenting at the International Byron Conference, followed by students presenting at the International Student Byron Conference in Messolonghi, Greece. Although preference will be given to citizens of the United States and Canada, citizens of other countries who are enrolled in universities in the United States or Canada are also eligible to apply. A student who receives an offer of funding must be a member of the Byron Society of America before the grant will be awarded.

Click HERE for more information.

BSA @ NASSR 2015: “Byron and Rights”

CALL FOR PAPERS

Special Byron Society of America session at the 2015 NASSR Conference:

Alexander Grammatikos, organizer:

“Lord Byron and Rights”
Description: Special Session Sponsored by The Byron Society of America
Lord Byron was a passionate and life-long defender of people’s rights. In the House of Lords he argued for the right of Catholics to be represented in parliament; in his personal correspondence he supported writers’ claims to copyright over their own works; and in a decision that led to his death, he travelled to Greece to help the Greeks realize their right to become an independent nation. His preoccupation with rights extended to his poetic works, too. For example, in Sardanapalus, the misguided but well-meaning titular leader laments “To me war is no glory—conquest no / Renown. To be forced thus to uphold my right / Sits heavier on my heart than all the wrongs / These men would bow me down with” (4.1.5.505-8). Here, in but just one example from Byron’s oeuvre, the poet demonstrates his keen understanding of the often relative nature of “rights” (for a king to retain his, he required war and conquest) and the personal price one had to pay to uphold them.

Complementing NASSR’s broader theme of “Romanticism and Rights,” we invite proposals that consider Byron’s engagement with “rights.” Submissions may include, but are not limited to:

Byron and the right to freedom of religion
Byron and the right to national independence
Byron and animal rights
Byron and authorial rights
Byron and the right to sexual and gender expression
Byron and the right to freedom of speech
Byron and the rights of the disenfranchised and poor
Byron and Eastern rights
Byron and female rights

Deadline for all submissions: January 17, 2015.

Please send all proposals, including those to be considered by the leaders of special sessions, a brief CV, and direct questions to the NASSR 2015 conference organizers, Peter Melville (The University of Winnipeg) and Michelle Faubert (University of Manitoba) at nassr15@umanitoba.ca.

CFP: 2015 International Byron Conference in Gdansk, Poland

The 2015 International Byron Conference will be held in Gdansk, Poland on July 1-6. This year’s theme is “Reality, Fiction, and Madness,” and paper proposals are being accepted now until January 1, 2015.

Professor Mirka Modrzewska has sent this information:

http://fil.ug.edu.pl/dzialalnosc_naukowa/konferencje/konferencja_byronowska

Our team are currently working on the provisional price list and we are considering the conference fee of 150 euro which will cover:

  • opening banquet (July 1st, 2015)
  • 5 lunches
  • 8 coffee breakes
  • 2 concerts

Other costs, optional, would be:

  1. A trip to Malbork, Teutonic Castle plus dinner 40 euro (July 3rd, after lunch)
  2. Old City of Gdansk sightseeing tour plus Solidarity Museum 12 euro (July 5th, after lunch)
  3. Gala Dinner in Sopot Grand Hotel 35 euro (July 6th)
  4. A choice of 3 optional trips on July 7th after the conference: Kashubian Lake District, Elblag Canal ship voyage along a system of unique locks powered by water placed at different levels – an engeneering wonder unique in the world ( see  https://www.google.pl/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=bJeIU_6uF4Sa_wbC94CgCg#q=kana%C5%82+elbl%C4%85ski ), or Stuthoff Concentration Camp Museum if people wish to see it – costs still need to be calculated).

If you wish to participate in the optional trip on July 7th, please book your hotel till the next day (July 8th).

Prof. UG, dr hab. Mirosława Modrzewska
Uniwersytet Gdański
Instytut Anglistyki i Amerykanistyki
ul. Wita Stwosza 55
80-952 Gdańsk Oliwa
Poland

BSA at SAMLA: “Creating and Sustaining Byron” (November 8th, Atlanta)

The BSA is sponsoring the follow panel at the annual South Atlantic Modern Language Association convention in Atlanta Georgia (with thanks to Lindsey Eckert at Georgia State University for organizing!):

“CREATING AND SUSTAINING BYRON”

Saturday, November 8th  – 8:00 AM
Chair: Lindsey Eckert, Georgia State University

1. From the Ashes: Byron’s Memoirs and Moore’s Reconstruction of Byron – Jeffery Vail, Boston University

2. Evolving Attitudes Toward the Byronic Hero: From Childe Harold to Rochester – Samantha Crain, San Jose State University

3. Creating Modern Adventure: The Byronic Hero in the Romance Revival of the 1880s – Michael Jones, University of Connecticut

CFP: “Byron and Italy,” The Byron Centre, Manchester UK (Dec. 4-5, 2014)

Call for papers

 ‘Byron and Italy’

 

The Byron Centre

University of Manchester

Thursday 4 – Friday 5 December 2014 

 

The Byron Centre at the University of Manchester, in collaboration with the Centro Interuniversitario per lo Studio del Romanticismo at the University of Parma, invites paper proposals for an interdisciplinary conference on the topic of ‘Byron and Italy’, to be held at the University of Manchester, 4-5 December 2014. Papers are welcome from any disciplinary perspective that opens up new approaches to, or offers new insights into, any aspect of the conference theme, including, for example:

 

  • Byron and the Italian poets (Dante, Tasso, Ariosto, Pulci, Casti …);
  • Byron and Alfieri;
  • Byron and Rome / Venice / Ravenna / Pisa / Milan …;
  • Byron and the idea of Italy;
  • Byron and Italian landscapes/cityscapes;
  • Byron’s (self-)Italianisation;
  • Byron’s relationships with Italians;
  • Byron and Catholicism;
  • Byron and the Carbonari / the Risorgimento / Italy as a nation;
  • Byron and the Austrians in Italy;
  • Byron and Italian art;
  • Byron and Italian history;
  • Byron and the dialectics of Italian antiquity and modernity;
  • Byron’s relation to other British/continental writers on Italy;
  • Byron’s Italianised relations with Britain;
  • Byron and the Italian language;
  • Byron’s influence on Italian culture.

 

 

Please email abstracts of 250 words maximum to The Byron Centre’s Director, Dr Alan Rawes (alan.rawes@manchester.ac.uk), by 15 September 2014.

BSA at MLA 2015

As an Allied Organization of the Modern Language Association, the Byron Society of America sponsors a Byron session at the annual convention of the MLA, held annually in January (previously December) of each year.  If you like, read a 40-year history of the BSA at the MLA convention.

MLA Convention Session 2015

BYRON NOW

Vancouver, B.C.

Saturday, 10 January5:15–6:30 p.m., 112, VCC West

Presiding: Matthew Borushko (Stonehill College)

1. Jerome McGann (University of Virginia), “Lyric Writing in a Byronic Perspective”

2. Evan Gottlieb (Oregon State University), “George Gordon Lord Network

3. Gary Dyer (Cleveland State University), “Byron’s Posterity”

CFP: “Creating and Sustaining Byron,” SAMLA 2014

Below please see the CFP for the Byron Society of America’s affiliated panel at the South Atlantic MLA Conference, November 7-9, 2014. SAMLA is know for being a particularly vibrant regional MLA conference and takes place in Atlanta. This year’s conference theme is “Sustainability and the Humanities.” More information about the conference can be found here: https://samla.memberclicks.net/conference

 

 

CFP: “Creating and Sustaining Byron” hosted by the Byron Society of America, SAMLA Conference 2014

This panel seeks papers that address the creating and sustaining of “Byron” throughout the nineteenth century. Especially welcome are proposals addressing fictional representations ofByron and Byronic figures in works such as Glenarvon and The Vampyre, memoirs about Byron by figures like Lady Blessington or Thomas Medwin, piracies and satires of Byron’s work, the circulation of images of Byron in prints and portraits, and the editing of Byron’s works. By June 15, 2014, please send a 300-word abstract, a one-page CV, and A.V requirements to Lindsey Eckert, Georgia State University, LEckert@gsu.edu

Two New Reviews of Interest to Byronists

Two reviews that might interest Byronists;

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/05/the-volcano-that-rewrote-history.html — on a new book on the eruption of Tambora in 1815 [and its effect on that Geneva Summer of 1816]

 

http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1405325.ece

 

Review of Andrew McConnell Stott
THE VAMPYRE FAMILY
Passion, envy and the curse of Byron
464pp. Canongate. £25.
978 1 84767 871 3

Geoffrey Bond
LORD BYRON’S BEST FRIENDS
From bulldogs to Boatswain and beyond
120pp. Nick Hugh McCann. £25.
978 0 9516891 1 8