Edward Lear’s Happiness

Please join us for a lecture by Matthew Bevis, “Edward Lear’s Happiness”

“I had a bad fit or attack after I wrote last, and fell—happily—in my garden, remaining insensible for some time.” Thus wrote Edward Lear to Lord Carlingford in 1883. This lecture explores some possible connections between poetry and happiness by focusing on Lear’s work, and by considering it in relation both to other nonsense writing and to the Romantic poets from whom he took his bearings. It wonders, just as Lear did, about whether poetry can or should make us happy, and about what happiness might or might not be.

Matthew Bevis is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of English, University of Oxford. He is author of The Art of Eloquence, Comedy: A Very Short Introduction, and other books. His essays have appeared in The London Review of Books, Harper’s, and Poetry.

Edison & Newman Room

The room, its programs, and its exhibitions are supported by the generosity of the Edison and Newman families (Bernard A. Edison AB 1949, MBA 1951; Julian I. Edison AB 1951, MBA 1953; Andrew E. Newman AB 1966, MBA 1968). Located on the first floor of Houghton Library, this room serves as a location for a variety of public programs.

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