Rodney Stenning Edgecombe’s A Reader’s Guide to the Narrative and Lyric Poetry of Thomas Lovell Beddoes has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. In this book Dr. Edgecombe, who is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Cape Town, argues that Beddoes had a greater gift for poetry than for drama. Edgecombe provides detailed commentaries on Beddoes’ individual poems, and the arrangement of the commentaries follows that of the texts in H.W. Donner’s 1935 The Works of Thomas Lovell Beddoes, making this an excellent companion volume to Donner’s edition.
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Beddoes’ youthful work of fiction, Scaroni, or The Mysterious Cave, has been added to the Text section of the website. H.W. Donner writes, “As the sub-title, The Mysterious Cave, betrays, it is an offspring of the terror school” and employs “all the apparatus of an early nineteenth-century thriller: the complicated misfortunes, mysterious assemblies, murders and ghosts, inhuman wickedness punished, children and parents found and happiness restored…the midnight scenes, the chambers ‘strewed plentifully with bones,’ the ghosts and walking skeletons are common to all the novels of terror, but the taste for them was to remain with Beddoes” (Thomas Lovell Beddoes: The Making of a Poet).
Jim Clark has a created another wonderful Beddoes animation, this time for the Beddoes poem “The Oviparous Tailor” (also known as “Wee, Wee Tailor”). There is a link to it on our Video page.
The amazing Jim Clark has created a new Beddoes animation, “Ode to Shelley,” which features Alan Halsey reading Beddoes’ “Lines written in a Blank Leaf of the ‘Prometheus Unbound.’” You’ll find a link to it on our Video page.
David M. Baulch, professor of English at the University of West Florida, has published the article “Romantic Madness and the Playwright/Psychoanalyst: Dr. Thomas Beddoes’s Hygëia (1802) and Thomas Lovell Beddoes’s The Brides’ Tragedy (1822)” in European Romantic Review (v.25, n.2., 2014, pp.139-159). From the abstract: “This essay examines both medical considerations of madness and the stakes in its dramatic representation in Dr. Thomas Beddoes’s medical self-help book Hygëia and Thomas Lovell Beddoes’s play The Brides’ Tragedy. Separated by twenty years, these texts show a father and son challenging Enlightenment nosology and exploring the limits of associational psychology. Both find in the playwright and his productions the model for a nascent Romantic psychoanalysis. While Hygëia identifies madness as a national crisis because of the influence its representations have upon the British populace, it sees Shakespeare as the model diagnostician of madness. The Brides’ Tragedy moves beyond the associational model that dominates Hygëia, to expose madness as part of a fundamental condition akin to Sigmund Freud’s death drive. Read together, Hygëia and The Brides’ Tragedy suggest the transformation of madness from an epistemological discourse to a science of the psyche capable of addressing ontological questions.”
Cambridge University Press has reissued Thomas Lovell Beddoes: An Anthology, edited by F.L. Lucas. The anthology was originally published in 1932, and includes selections from Beddoes’ letters, poetry and dramas.
Alan Halsey’s The Ghost of a Skeleton Key has been added to the Criticism page of the website. The Ghost of a Skeleton Key presents a reading of Death’s Jest-Book’s alchemical and largely Paracelsian themes, arguing that its structure depends more upon an ‘as above so below’ schema than conventional narrative or plot. The argument draws on alchemical practice, mandrake lore, Erasmus Darwin’s poems, the anatomy debate, artificial creatures in fiction and political theory, the ‘last man’ in Romantic writing and Beddoes’ prefiguration of the Theatre of Cruelty.
Brief biographies of the editorial staff at Phantom-Wooer have been added to the Contact Us page of the website.
Rodney Stenning Edgecombe has just published a new article about Thomas Lovell Beddoes’ youthful poem, “The Comet.” The article appears in the April 2013 issue of The Keats-Shelley Review. For additional information about the article, including an abstract and ordering details, visit the Keats-Shelley Review website.
One of the world’s leading experts on Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Alan Halsey, presents an introduction to the great 19th century poet and dramatist, best known for his ‘Dithyrambic in the florid Gothic style’ Death’s Jest-Book.
The Meeting Room, Lancaster Library
Friday 19 October 1.00pm
For additional information on Lancaster’s literary festival, visit http://www.litfest.org.