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The Byron Festival at Trinity

April 19 to April 20

Trinity College Cambridge will host a two-day Festival to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron’s death on 19 April 1824, in Missolonghi, Greece. Byron was a student at Trinity College and is one of its most celebrated alumni.

While enrolled as an undergraduate, Byron published his collection of poetry, Hours of Idleness, and began the satirical poem that would become English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, a scathing provocation of the literary  establishment.

Described by the College’s Senior Tutor of the time as a ‘young man of tumultuous passions’, Byron became one of the most controversial, celebrated, and influential poets of his age. When Westminster Abbey declined to accept the magnificent statue of Byron, created after his death by the Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen, Trinity gave it a home in the  Wren Library, where the poet still stands — an impressive presence for students, scholars and visitors.

But what kinds of presence does Byron have now? This question is the focus of an exciting programme of talks, readings, music and exhibited work, which will address, and mediate, the legacy and status of Byron now, within the contexts of today’s culture and scholarship.

The Byron Festival Conference programme includes talks about Byron, by academics and writers including Bernard Beatty, Drummond Bone, Clare Bucknell, Will Bowers, Christine Kenyon Jones, Mathelinda Nabugodi, Seamus Perry, Diego Saglia, Dan Sperrin, Jane Stabler, Fiona Stafford, A.E. Stallings, Andrew Stauffer, Corin Throsby, Clara Tuite, Ross Wilson.

The conference is free to members of Trinity, £10 for one day or £15 for two days.

Free events open to the public:

The Byron Festival Recital, Friday 19 April, 5:30pm-6:45pm, Chapel

A recital featuring settings of Byron’s poems by Schumann, Wolf and others including Hugh Wood, and a newly commissioned piece composed by Judith Weir, the Master of the King’s Music and Honorary Fellow of Trinity. Book the Recital.

The Byron Festival Poetry Readings, Saturday 20 April, 4pm-5.15pm, Antechapel

Readings of newly-commissioned work by various writers. Book the Poetry Readings.

The Byrencore, Saturday 20 April, 9pm-10:30pm, Antechapel

A recital of Byron’s poetry by Trinity Fellows, staff and students. Book the Byrencore.

The Byron Festival Exhibition, from Saturday 20 April, Wren Library

An exhibition centred around Trinity College’s extensive Byron collection, including original manuscripts, letters and first editions of works by Byron and his circle, plus new art responding to Byron. Wren Library Opening Times.

For any further information or queries please email


April 19
April 20


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