16-17 May 2014

The Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London

Presented by the British Association for Romantic Studies, with the Institute of English Studies, Roehampton University and the Open University.

On the bicentenary of the first defeat of Napoleon in 1814 and the arrival of ‘peace’ in Britain and Europe, we are delighted to announce a two-day event conference devoted to an exploration of the cultural impact and significance of this momentous year.

Click here for a blog posting by Dr Karen Attar (Senate House Library) on special collections items relating to the year 1814.


£15.00 per day

£25.00 for both days

includes lunch and wine reception both days.


The Peninsular War: Triumphalism and Betrayal in Text and Image

The end of the bloody six-year Peninsular War in early 1814 seemed to mark the beginning of the end for Napoleon’s domination of Europe. The expulsion of the French from Spain was hailed as a supreme example of Britain’s military and moral superiority, but such national self-glorification jarred with the political settlement in Spain. For enthusiasts of Spanish liberty, the restoration of Bourbon autocracy – no matter how popular within Spain - seemed like an act of betrayal. In this colloquium we will take a fresh look at the conflicted construction of ‘free’ Spain in British culture: drawing on a wide range of literary, artistic and historical sources, we will investigate how events in Iberia and the Spanish-speaking world provided a sounding board for a new phase of discursive conflict over the meanings of liberty, power and national identity in Regency England.

Speakers: Diego Saglia (Parma), Ian Haywood (Roehampton), Alicia Laspra Rodríguez (Oviedo), Agustín Coletes Blanco (Oviedo), Graciela Iglesias Rogers (Oxford), Susan Valladares (Oxford). Respondent: Philip Shaw (Leicester)

Programme (Friday 16 May):

10:00 Registration
10:20 Welcome from the new 'Hispanic Horizons' network 
10:30 Graciela Iglesias Rogers (Oxford): ‘A never-ending war: the events of 1814 from a Transatlantic perspective’
11:15 Coffee
11:30 Alicia Laspra Rodríguez (Oviedo): ‘From victory to retaliation: Echoes of Great Britain and Lord Wellington in Spanish poetry, 1813-1814’
12:15 Agustín Coletes Blanco (Oviedo): ‘A sour victory: British poetical responses to the end of the Peninsular War (1813-1814)'
13:00 Lunch; visit the free display of prints at the British Museum Prints & Drawings Room
14:30 Susan Valladares (Oxford): ‘The Edinburgh vs the Quarterly: the ‘Spanish’ debate six years on’
15:15 Ian Haywood (Roehampton): ‘ “Sad, sad reverse”: radical and caricature responses to the Peninsular victory’
16:00 Coffee
16:15 Diego Saglia (Parma): ‘Southey’s Scripting of Spain and the Shape of Europe in 1814’
17:00 Respondent: Philip Shaw
17:20 Final word from Sr. Fidel López Álvarez, Minister Counsellor for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, Spanish Embassy, London
17:30 Wine reception/Vino español

1814: War, Peace and Publication

Co-organised by Nicola Watson (Open University) and Ian Haywood (Centre for Research in Romanticism, University of Roehampton), and supported by the British Association for Romantic Studies, this anniversary event will examine the cultural moment of 1814, the year in which Napoleon was exiled to Elba and ‘peace’ came to Europe. In those months, some major Romantic texts appeared: Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Byron’s The Corsair, Walter Scott’s Waverley, Wordsworth’s The Excursion, and Frances Burney’s last novel, The Wanderer.

Our distinguished panel of speakers, who will be exploring the interconnections and inter-reactions between these events, include:

• Professor Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster),
• Professor Emma Clery (Southampton)
• Professor Paul Hamilton (QMUL)
• William St Clair (IES)
• Professor Philip Shaw (Leicester)
• Professor Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford).

There will also be a free display of related prints at the British Museum (only 5 minutes’ walk away) for delegates to visit in the lunch hour, and a wine reception.

Programme (Saturday 17 May):

10:00 Registration
10:20 Welcome
10:30 Philip Shaw (Leicester): 'Between Two Deaths: Napoleon on Elba'
11:15 Coffee
11:30 Emma Clery (Southampton): 'Speculation in 1814: The Gamble of Mansfield Park and the Economics of Defeating Napoleon’
12:15 Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford): ‘Inhabiting the ruins: Austen, Scott, Burney’
13:00 Lunch and visit to British Museum Prints & Drawings
14:30 Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster): ‘Excursions in 1814’
15:15 William St Clair (IES): '1814. Romantic Byronism goes visual'
Byronism is often assumed to have begun in March 1812, with the publication of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, A Romaunt, when Byron 'woke up and found himself famous'. However, it was not until late 1814 that a visual Byronism was first produced, both for the author and for the works. William St Clair will describe how in 1814 the Byron brand was carefully created, controlled, and marketed, within the political economic conditions of the time, with such success that it is still instantly recognisable today. Besides images in powerpoint, William St Clair will display actual contemporary examples.
16:00 Coffee
16:15 Discussion on ‘War and Peace in 1814’ led by Nicola Watson and Ian Haywood
17:00 Wine reception