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Coleridge research explored at BU lecture

Professor Barry Hough BU Professor Barry Hough will discuss his research into great poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge at an open lecture on 25 February.

Members of the public are invited to attend the BU Professorial Inaugural Lecture being delivered by English Law Professor Barry Hough, at BU’s Talbot Campus.

Professor Hough will talk about his research into the laws and public notices put in place by romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge while the poet was acting as public secretary in Malta.

Coleridge, who founded the Romantic Movement with his close friend Wordsworth, went to Malta to escape the wet climate of the Lake District, and to cure his opium addiction.

He arrived there in May 1804 and by January the following year had been appointed Public Secretary – a close aide to the governor, whose role was to advise on and implement new laws, and head the civil service.

Documents show that Coleridge – famous for writing 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and 'Kubla Khan' – prepared to manipulate Maltese public opinion in order to promote British Imperial goals.

He was an influential political journalist, whose fierce criticism of the administration of William Pitt the Younger is believed to have brought down that administration.

Papers uncovered by Professor Hough show that Coleridge’s time on the island was blighted with incompetence and ineffectiveness.

Hough’s team found that as well as drafting and implementing laws, Coleridge was behind a propaganda campaign of misleading information fed to the local population to help maintain order.

Where: Shelley Lecture Theatre, Talbot Campus.
When: Wednesday 25 February 2009, 5.15pm (refreshments), 6pm (lecture).
Further information and bookings: Refreshments will be available in The Atrium, Poole House. Please telephone 01202 961684 or email the BU Lecture booking service.

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