A University of St Andrews academic will deliver a prestigious British Academy lecture tonight (Thursday 20 October 2005).
Dr Jane Stabler, Reader in the School of English, will give the Chatterton lecture on ‘Byron, Conversation and Discord’.
Established in 1954 under the will of E H W Meyerstein of Gray’s Inn, the lecture is always given by a lecturer under 40 years of age on the life and work of a deceased poet writing in English. It is a great accolade for a young academic to be chosen.
Previous Chatterton lecturers include the Nobel-prize winning poet Seamus Heaney and poet laureate Andrew Motion. They also include Professor Robert Crawford who, like Dr Stabler, teaches in the School of English at St Andrews, and who delivered his lecture in 1994.
Dr Stabler joined the staff of the School of English at St Andrews in 2004, having previously worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee. She is a specialist in literature of the Romantic period and has published on a variety of topics including Byron, Jane Austen and the influence of Italy in early 19th century literature. In 2003, she received the British Academy’s prestigious Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for her monograph, ‘Byron, Poetics and History’.
Her book shared the prize, which is awarded for outstanding published works by women, with Claire Tomalin’s biography of Samuel Pepys. Her most recent work focuses on poetical conversation and, in particular, how the conversations of the Byron-Shelley circle in Italy were carried on by later 19th century writers.
Before delivering her lecture in London, Dr Stabler commented, “It is a great privilege to have been chosen to give this year’s Chatterton lecture. For forty years, nobody has given a Chatterton lecture on Byron, so I think he deserves his turn. The anticipation is rather nerve- racking, but I’m looking forward to being able to sit down afterwards and say that I did it. It isn’t an opportunity anyone will ever have more than once”.
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