Registration Open: Comic Verse of the Nineteenth Century, 20 July 2022

Registration is open for ‘Comic Verse of the Long Nineteenth Century: Power, Politics, Poetics’: a one-day conference on Wednesday 20 July 2022 at Grove House, University of Roehampton, London.

“A servant write verses!” says Madam Du Bloom;
“Pray what is the subject? — a mop, or a broom?”
(Elizabeth Hands)


Literary critics have increasingly argued for poetics as an especially fecund space for social comedy and criticism. Gillian Beer, for example, demonstrates rhyme as “dialogue, quarrel and undersong…with the helpless excess of possibility that poises it always on the brink of comedy.” As a period in which nonsense, nursery rhyme and light verse flourished, it is clear that the long nineteenth century took humorous poetry seriously. ‘Humour has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of the poetic genius,’ wrote Thomas Carlyle in 1831. That this period was one of eclectic formal experimentation puts its verse and the comic into even more distinctive and exciting relation.

We are delighted to present this one-day conference exploring the rousing and radical partnership between comedy and verse throughout the long 19th century. Speakers and panellists include Margaret Higonnet, Margaret Stetz, Brian Maidment, James Williams, Kirstie Blair, and Matthew Bevis. Please see below for the conference programme.

Registration link: https://estore.roehampton.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/conferences/comic-verse

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