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Associate Professor Guy Cuthbertson delivers Chatterton Lecture

image of a student lecture

Associate Professor Guy Cuthbertson received the prestigious honour of being invited to give the Chatterton Lecture at the British Academy.

The Chatterton Lecture is given by an early career scholar, on the life and works of a deceased poet who had written in the English Language. The first was delivered in 1955.

British Academy Fellow Professor Robert Crawford of St Andrews introduced Associate Professor Cuthbertson, who delivered a lecture on Edward Thomas (1878 – 1917).

Talking about the event, Liverpool Hope’s Head of English said: “To be invited to give the Chatterton Lecture is one of the greatest honours one could receive as an English Literature academic. The British Academy, located in St James's in London, is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, and to quote the Academy, 'For over 100 years the British Academy’s public lectures have communicated the best scholarship in the humanities and social sciences to both specialists and general audiences’.

“The list of previous Chatterton Lecturers includes many famous names and scholars who have gone on to be leading figures in the field, such as Nobel-winning poet Seamus Heaney, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, former Professor of Poetry at Oxford Sir Christopher Ricks, and so many professors at Oxford and Cambridge and other well-known universities. I was the 60th Chatterton Lecturer, and it was an honour to be asked.”

Edward Thomas has not been the subject of a Chatterton Lecture before, and it was his interest in simplicity that Associate Professor Cuthbertson focused on. The scholar looked at how as a critic Thomas greatly admired simplicity, and how after his death this affected his reputation and presented a challenge to universities, who responded by trying to make his poetry difficult.  

The audio of the lecture will be available soon and the lecture will be published by the British Academy.  

Published on 03/12/2018