We host a year-round programme of meetings and events – many of which are open to everyone.
The nineteenth century witnessed a surge of enthusiasm for visiting places associated with authors and their works, and a related interest in the preservation and consecration of authors’ houses. In 1847 one of the world’s most famous sites of literary tourism, the birthplace of William Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon, was purchased and established by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, while the first blue plaque was introduced in 1867 to mark the birthplace of Lord Byron. This conference – alongside the Postcard Project and blog – explores questions of what visitors to literary graves, houses and landscapes were seeking, and how these engagements were mediated by the spaces themselves. It is particularly interested in how writers’ houses ‘place’ the author: canonically, within a particular space and time, and in the promotion of a carefully curated image of the author.
The day-long conference features keynote speakers Professor Helen Rees Leahy and Professor Nicola J. Watson. The full programme is available here.