The 46th Wordsworth Summer Conference, 2017

Monday 7 August to Thursday 17 August at Rydal Hall, Cumbria



Keynote Lectures, 2017

Matthew Bevis  Jeff Cowton  James Engell   

   Bruce Graver    Richard Gravil   

Meiko O’Halloran  Nicholas  Halmi

Alexandra Harris  Felicity James   Michael O’Neill

Fiona Robertson   Fiona Stafford   

Heidi Thomson   Kasahara Yorimichi

View the Full Programme of Events

Wordsworth Summer Conference 2017 Blog:



The Wordsworth Summer Conference, founded by Richard Wordsworth in 1970, remains the least utilitarian, most congenial, most conversational, and least sedentary conference in the academic world. It offers a unique blend of events: keynote lectures, two-paper panels, with generous discussion time, and a significant experience of Grasmere and Lakeland.

Key Features

        • The conference is in two parts, of five nights each, with a changeover day
        • 7 excursions, 7 fell-walks, and some lower level walks
        • 13 keynote lectures and 30-34 papers (View programme)
        • Either 4 or 9 full days in Rydal 
        • Excursions to places of Wordsworthian connections or general cultural interest
        • Up to seventy miles of fell walking

Format and Costs: The conference is in two parts of 4 full days each, with a changeover day on Saturday 12 August. Because the conference has a unique culture of conversation and participation, those wishing to present a paper usually register for the whole conference, and must register for at least one full part. The resident registration fee, which includes up to seven excursions, offers exceptional value at £250 for ten days (£175 for five days). Full Board at Rydal Hall Diocesan Conference Centre is available, and at Rydal Hall Youth Centre on the same site. Non-resident rates and  a day rate are also offered. For costings, please click on 'WSC Tariff' above. 

By courtesy of the Wordsworth Trust, our opening night will include a reception in the Wordsworth Museum followed by a candle light visit to Dove Cottage. In 2017 our excursions  will include historic Ambleside and old  Wordsworthshire. High points for energetic fell walkers will be ascents of Nab Scar, Heron Pike and Great Rigg; Carl Side and Skiddaw; Scafell by Bowfell and Esk Pike; and  Pike o'Blisco.  There will be an opportunity to explore the treasures of the Wordsworth Trust’s collections with the curator Jeff Cowton, and an evening  visit to  Wordsworth's Rydal Mount and  garden with a glass of wine.

Our keynote lecturers are listed above. The Call for Papers for the 2017 conference was issued on 27 February 2017. Proposals: 250 word proposals for papers of no more than 2750 words, together with a brief autobiographical paragraph, unformatted, should occupy no more than 2 sides of A4 in MS Word format. Please do include your name, institution and e-mail address on the abstract. Please do not send proposals  as a pdf file as they will be copied into a composite document. Proposals should be e-mailed by 15 April 2017 to

All other enquiries should  be e-mailed to the Conference Administrator Carrie Taylor at

Click on "WSC Bursaries" button above  for details of Bursaries to be awarded in 2017

Conference Director: Nicholas Roe
Conference Administrator: Carrie Taylor, Fellside, Keswick Road, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9QY.


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