The 47th Wordsworth Summer Conference, 2018

Monday 6 August to Thursday 16 August at Rydal Hall, Cumbria



Keynote Lectures, 2018

Gillian Beer   Madeleine Callaghan   Philip Connell

 Jeff Cowton  David Duff  Jessica Fay   Mina Gorji  

Theresa M. Kelley   Stacey McDowell 

  Julian North   Kimiyo Ogawa 

Seamus Perry   Adam Potkay  

Charles Rzepka   Michael Rossington

Professor John Beer, FBA,  Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse and distinguished scholar of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, died on 10 December 2017, aged 91 years. Since the 1970s  his lectures were keenly anticipated highlights of the Wordsworth Summer Conference, and we mark his passing with great sorrow.   

View the Full 2017 Programme of Events

Wordsworth Summer Conference 2018 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 over the full programme
        • 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 11 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 over ten days 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 2018 our excursions  will include historic Ambleside and old  Wordsworthshire. High points for energetic fell walkers will be  Nab Scar and other  dizzying ascents.  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 2018 conference will be  posted on this page  early in the new year.

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

Click on "WSC Bursaries" button above  for details of Bursaries that we  awarded in 2017

Conference Director: Nicholas Roe
Conference Administrator: Carrie Taylor, The Barn, Pavement End, Red Bank Road, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9PT.


Please ensure that you have read  our Terms and Conditions