‘Industrious but Eccentric’: Algernon Charles Swinburne at Balliol
12 & 13 September 2015, 12.00-4.00pm
Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UH
Algernon Charles Swinburne may not be a household name today, but in the past he was infamous for his shockingly republican and sexual poetry, was introduced to children as a standard author at school, and was so highly regarded by his fellow writers that he was repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. This exhibition uses manuscripts, archives, printed books, and artworks from Balliol College’s collections to demonstrate the influence of his student days and the friends he made. He met the Pre-Raphaelites while they painted the Oxford Union mural, and the lifelong friendships he formed with the Rossetti brothers, Holman-Hunt, and Morris are all explored. One of the centrepieces will be the pairing of William Bell Scott’s portrait of Swinburne with the poem Swinburne wrote ‘To William Bell Scott’, as well as the Kelmscott Press edition of Swinburne’s masterpiece, ‘Atalanta in Calydon’.
Admission free. Illustrated exhibition guide, £4.50.
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