The 46th Wordsworth Summer Conference, 2017

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



Keynote Lectures, 2017

Gillian Beer   Matthew Bevis   James Engell

Nick Halmi    Meiko O’Halloran   Alexandra Harris  

Felicity James  Michael O'Neill  Fiona Robertson

Fiona Stafford   Heidi Thomson   Kasahara Yorimichi

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
        • 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

Please note that the prospectus offered here is for example only, and reflects aspects of our   2016 programme. Further details for 2017 will be provided in due course. 

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 2016 our excursions  included historic Ambleside, Piel Castle, Alston and Roman Whitley Castle in the heart of the Pennines. High points for energetic fell walkers were ascents of Pike o'Blisco,  Great Gable, and an all day romp along The Dodds - the massive fells extending  from Threlkeld southwards to Helvellyn. We anticipate similarly stratospheric ascents in 2017. 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 will be issued 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 to be awarded in 2016

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


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