Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: Chilliwack, Winter 2014

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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know: original display

It's back again! In keeping with Valentine's Day and UFV theatre's production of "Romeo and Juliet," we've put Romantic poetry under the spotlight in the Chilliwack campus library. We've added a few fun, different books to the display, like "Shelley's first love," about Harriet Grove, who was Shelley's wife and pregnant with their child when Shelley took up with Mary Wollstonecroft Shelley, and "Claire Clairemont and the Shelleys," about Mary's step-sister, who came along with Shelley and Mary when they ran away from England.

"Mad, bad and dangerous to know." That's what Lady Caroline Lamb had to say about 18th century poet Lord Byron. It was also the theme for the February 11, 2011 library, theatre and English department poetry slam. Click here for more details. Click here to see photos from the event: Poetry Slam 2011.


   

Lord Byron
1788-1824

Stalked by early paparazzi, claiming hundreds of lovers, both male and female, poet Byron was the ultimate 19th century rock star. Recognized as a Greek national hero when he died of a cold while fighting for Greek independence, it was Byron who discovered Percy Bysshe Shelley’s drowned body, with a copy of John Keats’s Lamia in a pocket, near the Gulf of Spezia and burned Shelley on the beach. Byron’s heart is buried in Greece. (Sources: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 143, 208 and 209 and The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.)

George Gordon, Lord Byron
1788-1824

     
   

Mary Shelley
1797-1851

Daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley when she was 17 and he was married to another woman—Harriet—who was pregnant with the second child of their marriage. Mary wrote Frankenstein one dark and stormy night when sharing a cottage in Geneva, Switzerland, with Shelley, Byron, and Dr. John Polidori, all of whom also attempted ghost stories. By age 21 Mary had written Frankenstein, and given birth to and buried three children. By 25 she was a widow and raising her one surviving child—also named Percy. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 117, 145, 194 and 209.)

 

Mary Shelley
1797-1851

     
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822

Poet, philanderer and pyromaniac, he eloped with his future wife Mary Shelley and her step-sister Claire Clairmont, leaving behind his wife Harriet who was pregnant with their second child. A hypochondriac, Shelley suffered from sometimes violent and disturbing hallucinations. He drowned in the Gulf of Spezia, with a copy of Keats’s Lamia in his pocket, after falling from his boat (named Don Juan after Byron’s epic verse). Shelley’s heart is buried in England. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 141, 142, 148, 206, 208 and 209.)

Percy Bysshe Shelley
1792-1822

     
    John Keats
1797-1799

A literary giant among the Romantic poets, Keats was remarkably well behaved. He belongs with the Romantics for his genius, but not for his reputation. In love with Fanny Brawne, who he could not marry because of his poverty, subject of the recent movie Bright Star, Keats died of tuberculosis at 25. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 168 and 176.)

John Keats
1797-1799

     
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1772-1834

Famous as one of the Lake Poets and a founder of the Romantic movement, gambler, alcoholic and opium addict, Coleridge first took laudanum—a mixture of alcohol and opium—for rheumatic fever while still at school and struggled with it for the rest of his life. Coleridge and William Wordsworth started a poetry revolution, writing Lyrical Ballads together. Once a brilliant poet, later in his life he became worn from drugs and considered checking into Bedlam. (Sources: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 24, 40, 68 and 69 and The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, p. 1806.)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1772-1834

     
    William Wordsworth
1770-1850

Famous as one of the Lake Poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge started a revolution in poetry, writing Lyrical Ballads together. A founder of the Romantic Movement, he outlived Coleridge and other Romantics and was poet laureate of England at his death. (Sources: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 243 and The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, p. 1806.)

William Wordsworth
1770-1850

     
    Mary Wollstonecraft
1759-1797

Writer, feminist and mother of Mary Shelley, Wollstonecraft tried to kill herself over her affair with Gilbert Imlay, who rejected her after she gave birth to their child—Fanny. Wollstonecraft had had a previous affair with artist Henry Fuseli. She married William Godwin when they discovered she was pregnant with his child. Wollstonecraft died shortly after giving birth to Mary. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 112 to 114.)

Mary Wollstonecraft
1759-1797

     
   

William Godwin
1756-1836

Philosopher, writer, book seller and father of Mary Shelley: Godwin, a proponent of free love, married Mary Wollstonecraft when they discovered she was pregnant with his child. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 111 and 112.) 

William Godwin
1756-1836

     
    Claire Clairmont

Mary Shelley’s step-sister, who had run away from England with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, pursuing Byron, eventually becoming obsessed with him and bearing him a daughter—Allegra. (Sources: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 119 and The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.)

Claire Clairmont

     
   

Augusta Ada Byron

Byron’s daughter with Annabella Milbanke, who along with Charles Babbage, invented the Difference Engine—a kind of early computer. (Source: The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.

Augusta Ada Byron

     
    Annabella Milbanke Byron

Byron’s first wife, who he married in 1815 and separated from a year later and with whom he had a daughter: Augusta Ada. Annabella fled the marriage after Byron pointed a gun at her and told her (while she was in labour) that he hoped she and their baby would die. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, pp. 130 to 133.)

Annabella Milbanke Byron

     
http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portraitLarge/mw03712/Lady-Caroline-Lamb     Lady Caroline Lamb
1785-1828

Caroline Lamb wrote about her 1812 affair with Byron in her book Glenarvon. Obsessed with him, it was she who declared Byron “mad, bad and dangerous to know.” (Sources: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 124 and The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.)

Lady Caroline Lamb
1785-1828

     
    Augusta Leigh

Byron’s half sister with whom he may have had an affair in 1813 and whose daughter Elizabeth Madora may have been Byron’s child. (Sources: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 126 and The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.)

Augusta Leigh

     
     Jane Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford

Had an affair with Byron in 1812-1813. (Source: The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.)

Jane Elizabeth

     
    Countess Teresa Guiccioli

Byron’s last great love was married to another man when she began her affair with him and eventually left her husband for him. (Source: The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824.)

Countess Teresa Guiccioli

     


Fanny Godwin
(not pictured) Mary Shelley’s half sister, alone and single, killed herself with an overdose of opium in a hotel room. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 147.)

Harriet Westbrook Shelley
(not pictured) Percy Shelley’s first wife, whom he left for Mary while Harriet was pregnant with their second child, committed suicide. Her body was found floating in the Serpentine River, by then pregnant with another man’s child. (Source: Wildly Romantic: The English Romantic Poets, p. 148.)


Sources:

Andronik, Catherine M. Wildly romantic : the English Romantic poets--the mad, the bad, and the dangerous. New York: Henry Holt and Co, 2007.
ArtStor: http://www.artstor.org/index.shtml
Cox, Michael. The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
The Life and Work of Lord Byron 1788-1824: A Collection of Resources Dedicated to the Second Generation Romantic Poet: http://englishhistory.net/byron/contents.html
Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/


Library Resources:

Abrams, Meyer Howard. English Romantic poets [electronic resource] : modern essays in criticism. London : Oxford University Press, 1975. Call number: E-Book on the Internet (Website)

Andronik, Catherine M. Wildly romantic : the English Romantic poets--the mad, the bad, and the dangerous. New York : Henry Holt and Co., c2007. Call number: PR 590 A53 2007 (Chilliwack)

Blanco, Jodee. English romantic poets : modern essays in criticism. London : Oxford University Press, c1975. Call number: PR 590 A2 1975 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Bloom, Harold. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. New York : Bloom's Literary Criticism, c2009. Call number: PR 5398 M253 2009(Abbotsford)

Bloom, Harold. The visionary company : a reading of English romantic poetry. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1971. Call number: PR 590 B39 1971 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron. Don Juan. Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1982. Call number: PR 4359 A1 1982 (Chilliwack)

Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron.'Famous in my time' : Byron's letters and journals. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1973. Call number: PR 4381 A3 M63 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Claridge, Laura P. Romantic potency : the paradox of desire. Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1992. Call number: PR 590 C54 1992 (Abbotsford)

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Biographia literaria. [electronic resource]. Volume 1 . London : Electric Book Co., c2001. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Coleridge's notebooks [electronic resource] : a selection. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Coleridge's poetry and prose : authoritative texts, criticism. New York : W. W. Norton, c2004. Call number: PR 4472 H35 2004 (Website)

Douglass, Paul. Lady Caroline Lamb [electronic resource]. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Essinger, James. Jacquard's web [electronic resource] : how a hand-loom led to the birth of the informatio n age. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2004 (2007 printing). Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Gittings, Robert. Claire Clairmont and the Shelleys 1798-1879. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c1992. Call number: PR 5398 G58 1992 (Chilliwack)

Godwin, William. Enquiry concerning political justice [electronic resource]. Kitchener, Ont. : Batoche, 2001. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Goldberg, Brian. The Lake poets and professional identity [electronic resource]. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Gordon, Lyndall. Vindication : a life of Mary Wollstonecraft. New York : Harper Perennial, 2006,c2005. Call number: PR 5841 W8 Z717 2006 (Abbotsford)

Hawkins, Desmond. Shelley's first love. London : Kyle Cathie ; Hamden, Connecticut : Archon Books, 1992. Call number: PR 5431 H39 1992 (Chilliwack)

Keats, John. John Keats [sound recording]. [Franklin, TN] : Naxos Audiobooks c2007. Call number: PR 4832 2007 CD (Abbotsford)

Kucich, Greg. Keats, Shelley, and romantic Spenserianism. University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c1991. Call number: PR 590 K83 1990 (Abbotsford)

Scheye, Thomas. A Life of allegory [videorecording]. [Owings Mills, MD] : Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting, 1978 ; Vancouver, B.C. : Image Media [distributor]. Call number: PR 83 S872 no.9 (Chilliwack)

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein [electronic resource] : or, The Modern Prometheus. London : Electric Book Co., c2001. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET(Website)

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. The journals of Mary Shelley, 1814-1844. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. Call number: PR 5398 A34 1995 (Abbotsford, Chilliwack)

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley [videorecording] : Frankenstein, the making of the monster. Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities, c1994. Call number: PR 5397 F7 1994 (Chilliwack)

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Note books of Percy Bysshe Shelley : from the originals in the library of W. K. Bixby. New York : Phaeton Press, 1968. Call number: PR 5436 F6 1968 (Abbotsford)

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. Shelley's poetry and prose : authoritative texts, criticism. New York : Norton, c2002. Call number: PR 5403 R45 2002 (Abbotsford)

Stauffer, Andrew M. Anger, revolution, and romanticism [electronic resource]. Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge Univeristy Press, c2005. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

St. Clair, William. The Godwins and the Shelleys : the biography of a family. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. Call number: PR 4723 S7 1991 (Abbotsford)

Taylor, Anya. Erotic Coleridge [electronic resource] : women, love, and the law against divorce. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, c2005. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Wollstonecraft, Mary. A vindication of the rights of woman : an authoritative text backgrounds and contexts criticism. New York : W.W. Norton, c2009. Call number: EHQ 1596 W6 2009 (Abbotsford)

Woodman, Ross Greig. Sanity, madness, transformation [electronic resource] : the psyche in Romanticism. Toronto, Ont. : University of Toronto Press, c2005. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Wordsworth, William. The collected letters of the Wordsworths [electronic resource]. Charlottesville, Va.: InteLex Corporation, 2002. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical ballads [electronic resource]. London ; New York : Routledge, 1991. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

Wunder, Jennifer N. Keats, hermeticism, and the secret societies [electronic resource]. Alershot, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, c2008. Call number: E-BOOK ON THE INTERNET (Website)

last updated February 11, 2014, lm

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