Turner, Wordsworth and the Lake District

A Study Day or Lecture Exploring the Literary & Artistic Heritage of the Lakes

For centuries the Lake District’s rolling hills, wild countryside and vast waters have been an inspiration to writers and artists. This talk will cover the period from the stories of the border wars to the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge. It will chart the history of great houses such as Levens Hall, Sizergh Castle and Dalemain. It will also compare the Lakeland poets’ interpretation of the sublime and the picturesque to the work of painters such as Philip de Loutherbourg, Girtin and Turner.

A second talk will take as its starting point Wordsworth’s description of the Lakes as ‘a sort of national property’. It describes the efforts of influential residents such as Wordsworth, Ruskin and later the Reverend Rawnsley and Beatrix Potter to conserve the area in ways that helped to inspire the eventual formation of the National Trust. The talk covers the period from the advent of the railways to the building of great Edwardian houses such as Blackwell and the eventual creation of the National Park.


Related Talks:
I offer a separate talk about ‘Turner and Wordsworth’ and a third talk about ‘The Art of JMW Turner.’