Reissue of The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallett

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Reissue of The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallett

Postby Cath » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:04 pm

While innocently leafing through The Independent at the weekend I noticed that The Immortal Dinner has been re-issued and is being re-reviewed:

On 28 December, 1817, the painter Robert Haydon held a dinner party at which the guests included Keats, Wordsworth, Charles Lamb and the explorer Joseph Ritchie. Hughes-Hallett's enjoyable history of this one evening, with its poetry readings, discussion of the merits of Homer, Shakespeare and Milton, debate about art and science, tipsiness, mockery and nonsense, also gives a wider picture of Regency society, with digressions into the acquisition of the Elgin Marbles, the career of Humphrey Davy, the politics of the Royal Academy, and the genesis of Frankenstein. A memorable evening, memorably evoked. I wonder if the drama critic John Reynolds, who was invited but didn't turn up, kicked himself afterwards.

Why "Robert Haydon"? He was called Benjamin Robert Haydon!! Stanley Plumly made this slip in Posthumous Keats, too.

The story of the new cover is here:
"Why should we be owls, when we can be Eagles?" (Keats to Reynolds, 3 February 1818)
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Re: Reissue of The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallet

Postby Saturn » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:04 pm

Excellent news, I missed getting it when it was first published and always regretted it.
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Re: Reissue of The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallet

Postby Cybele » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:14 am

The Immortal Dinner is certainly a good read. I hadn't realized it had gone out of print!
I had a nice talk about the book with the librarian at the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mt St Mary's seminary where Haydon's giant painting currently lives. (It's had some adventures through the years, and appears to be loved and protected where it is now.)

The digressions were among the things I liked best about the book, another favorite bit was the peek into the social habits of the era. (In other words, cheap time travel! :) )
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Re: Reissue of The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallet

Postby Raphael » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:19 pm

Time greatest wish....!! I long for it every day. did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Reissue of The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallet

Postby BrokenLyre » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:03 am

Thanks for the link - enjoyed seeing the process of the cover.
I love B. R. Haydon's quote about Keats in that book!

I was gone on vacation the past few weeks....daughter is married now... glad to be back reading this site again
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