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Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, ISBN 1 The summer of is somewhat legendary among Romanticists. The idea of Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley and Lord Byron visiting, travelling and sharing ideas against the backdrop of the picturesque Swiss mountains and unseasonably cold weather has captured the imagination of scholars and fans alike. In Byron in Geneva: That Summer of , however, David Ellis shifts the focus of the familiar collective narrative on to Byron alone.
Byron in Geneva: That Summer of by David Ellis
In painting his sympathetic portrait of Byron, Ellis maintains his focus on interpersonal relationships. In describing the travelling patterns of Hobhouse and Byron during their trip to the Jungfrau, Ellis notes how Hobhouse, who preferred walking, would set out several Access options available:. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. During the summer of , the most scandalous group descended from England in the wake of the devilishly handsome year-old poet Lord Byron. For four months, Byron rented a villa by the electric-blue waters of Lake Geneva, where he hosted animated soirees. The result was doubtless the most artistically productive vacation of the century.
The summer of was also noteworthy for a startling event in meteorological lore.
The Romantic writers were delighted by the unspoiled vistas of Lake Geneva and its surrounding snow-capped mountains. If you look closely, you can see the map was made using a method called Hachuring. Using this technique, the cartographer introduces an artificial light source, typically from the northwest, that represents slope, with small lines accumulating to create the illusion of light and shadow playing on the sides of mountains.
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The hachures, as the lines are called, run perpendicular to the elevation contours typically seen on topographic maps today. In that way, they beautifully represent the topographic nuances and intricacies of the mountains and do a very nice job of differentiating among flat land, walled and fortified cities, villages, small castles, and the landed estates of the nobility. The atlas is a spectacular work of cartographic art. The multiple pages, each roughly two feet by three feet, are meant to be removed from the binding and put back together as a composite map to create a grand cartographic tapestry of Switzerland.
Just about the only place such an expansive map could fit would be on the walls of a castle — which also suggests the audience for this map. Byron had left England earlier in , fleeing scandal: an ignominious divorce and gossip about his relationship with his half sister Augusta.
With its rich literary associations as the former home of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, and Edward Gibbon, Lake Geneva was an obvious choice for the dashing young sybarite to spend the summer. The young Romantics were bewitched by the Swiss landscape.
The croissant-shaped Lake Geneva is the largest and deepest of the Swiss lakes. In Cologny, Byron settled into the luxurious Villa Diodati, which featured commanding views of Lake Geneva, while the Shelleys took up residence in the more humble Maison Chapuis, set by the water just below. Wine flowed copiously, as did laudanum, a form of liquefied opium.
Today, Cologny is one of the most exclusive residential addresses in Europe. Divided into magnificent estates, it serves as home to bankers, sheiks, and European celebrities. The salmon-pink Villa Diodati is still in private hands. Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati, ca.