Past Lectures & Conferences

Lectures and Conferences

Lewis Walpole Library-Farmington Public Library joint evening talks

Lectures and Conferences

The Limits of Free Speech: Gillray, The Royals and Censorship (2024)

Print Philanthrophy in the Age of Horace Walpole (2022)

Black Bodies and Neoclassical Whiteness in the Age of Undress (2020) 

Fashionable Enemies:  Glamour as Argument, 1770-1830 (2020)

Robinson Crusoe at 300 Mini-Conference (2019)

Van Sinderen Lecture (2019)

Trial by Media Mini-Conference (2019)

Scholarly Editing of Literary Texts (2019)

The Lewis Walpole Library at ISECS Congress  (2019)

Mysterious Mother Mini-Conference (2018)

Global Encounters and the Archives Conference (2018)

A Literary Walpole Weekend (2017)

The Many Lives of Horace Walpole Lecture (2017)

Talk with Edward Koren (2016)

The art of observational satire  (2016)

Strawberry Hill Restored: The Past, Present, and Future of Horace Walpole’s Little Gothic Castle (2015)

Lewis Walpole Library-Farmington Libraries joint evening talks

Curating the Caricature Collection at the Lewis Walpole Library

Horace Walpole and Philanthropy in Eighteenth-Century England (2022)

Annie Burr Lewis’s Legacy of Philanthropy and Service in Farmington and Beyond (2021)

Rescuing Horace Walpole and Re-Discovering W.S. Lewis (2019)

Global Encounters and the Archives Public Talk (2017)

The Land without Music Public Talk (2017)

Eating People Public Talk (2016)

Bawdy Bodies: Satires of Unruly Women Public Talk (2015)

Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain Public Talk (2014)

Emma Hamilton Dancing Public Talk (2013)

“In the Midst of the Jovial Crowd”: Young James Boswell in London, 1762–1763 Public Talk (2013)

Dancing on a Sunny Plain: The Life of Annie Burr Auchincloss Lewis Public Talk (2012)


Joint Lewis Walpole Library - Farmington Libraries Talk

b/w photo of Annie Burr Lewis and Wimarth Sheldon Lewis seated together at a desk with a bookcase behind them

Curating the Caricature Collection at the Lewis Walpole Library

February 4, 2024

2:00 pm

The Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main Street, Farmington, CT 06032

Cynthia Roman, Curator of the current exhibition “Is It Any Good? Prints, Drawings, and Paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library  will speak at the Library on Sunday afternoon. The afternoon will include an opportunity to view the exhibition. 

Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings and Paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library will present the story of the library’s internationally recognized print collection. Often in W.S. Lewis’s own words, this talk will explore the commitment that he and Annie Burr Lewis shared to “make more use of political and personal caricatures” when building a research collection for eighteenth century studies that included Annie Burr’s celebrated chronological and subject-based card catalog. Reflecting on more than twenty years of stewarding the print collection, Roman will present both the Lewises’ vision of caricature as archival documents and subsequent curatorial initiatives to acquire prints that more deliberately embrace material, technical, and aesthetic considerations; circumstances of production, marketing and circulation including prolific practices of copying; as well as the legacy of caricature today. 
Cynthia E. Roman, PhD, is Curator of Prints, Drawings and Paintings at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University. Her research focuses on eighteenth-century British art, particularly prints. She has published essays on graphic satire, collecting history and ‘amateur’ artists, and has edited and coedited collected volumes including Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Collection with Michael Snodin (2009-10), Hogarth’s Legacy (2016), Staging ‘The Mysterious Mother’ with Jill Campbell (Yale University Press, 2024) and Female Printmakers, Printsellers, and Print Publishers in the Eighteenth Century:  The Imprint of Women, c. 1700 – 1830, with Cristina S. Martinez, (Cambridge University Press, 2024).

The Limits of Free Speech: Gillray, The Royals and Censorship by Tim Clayton

With a panel discussion with Martin Rowson and Steve Bell

May 9, 2024 Humanities Quadrangle Lecture Hall, L01, 320 York Street, New Haven, CT

For a decade between 1785 and 1795 George III and Queen Charlotte were the most prominent faces in Gillray’s satire, and the scandalous love lives of their children added piquancy to a print culture that was distinctly libertine in tone. But the license of printsellers provoked a backlash from the conservative wing of the establishment, especially after the French Revolution, and in late 1795 it became illegal to caricature the King. It is often claimed that caricaturists were immune to legal action, but some printsellers were punished and many prints were altered, suppressed or destroyed at this time. In this talk I shall discuss some of the liberties that caricaturists took and some of the penalties they came to face as they tested the extent of the freedom of the press – a burning issue then that remains highly relevant today.

Tim Clayton is a historian with special expertise in printed images of the long eighteenth century. The English Print 1688-1802 (1997) remains a standard guide to print production and consumption. Recently he has focused on caricature and the manipulation of public opinion in Bonaparte and the British (2015) and This Dark Business (2018). His latest book James Gillray: a Revolution in Satire won the Apollo Art Book of the Year award for 2023 and the Berger Prize for the best book on British Art.

Steve Bell studied art and qualified as a teacher before taking a sideways leap into cartooning full time in 1977. His original strip Maggie’s Farm appeared in Time Out and City Limits magazines from 1979 through to 1987 and, for 40 years from 1981 he wrote and drew the If… strip in the Guardian, covering every war since the Falklands crisis of 1982. From 1990 until his abrupt an unexplained sacking in 2023, he produced nearly 5000 large free-standing cartoons on the leader pages of the Guardian, from 2005 in full colour. He created the memorable image of John Major with his underpants worn outside his trousers and of Tony Blair with Margaret Thatcher’s rogue eyeball, and of George W Bush as a chimpanzee. His work has been published all over the world and he’s won numerous awards, including the What the Papers Say Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, the British Press Awards Cartoonist of the Year in 2002 and the Cartoon Arts Trust Award more times than he can remember. With Bob Godfrey he made a number of animated cartoons for TV, including a cartoon biography, Margaret Thatcher – Where Am I Now? Broadcast on Channel 4.

Martin Rowson is a multi award winning political cartoonist, illustrator, graphic novelist, writer, performer and poet. Over the past 41 years he has been published regularly in almost every British publication you can think of apart from The Sun & Private Eye, and is currently to be found on the pages of The Guardian, Byline Times, The New European & The Morning Star.

His books include comic book adaptations of The Waste Land, Tristram Shandy, Gulliver’s Travels and The Communist Manifesto, and his 2006 memoir about clearing his parents’ house, “Stuff”, was long listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. He is currently working on an updated version of The Dunciad, or “A Conversation With Alexander Pope”, due for publication in December 2024.


Print Philanthropy in the Age of Horace Walpole

Online Lecture

28 October 2022, 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Dr. Andrew Rudd, Senior Lecturer, English Department, University of Exeter

Eighteenth-century England witnessed a remarkable flowering of philanthropic activity as society wrestled with problems such as poverty, disease, mental illness, vice and suffering caused by war. Walpole boasted in 1760 of what he called ‘our noble national charity’. While many aspects of philanthropy remain similar today, this lecture will explore how the print culture of Walpole’s era was central in driving charitable behaviour, particularly in terms of creating philanthropic networks and framing relationships between donors and beneficiaries. The talk will showcase the sheer range of printed text and images (fundraising prospectuses, sermons, topographical views of hospitals, tickets to benefit concerts and dinners, and celebratory odes) mobilised in service of good causes during this period, as well as highlight examples of Walpole’s own support for, and portrayals of, philanthropic causes during his lifetime.

View a recording of the lecture on Yale Library’s YouTube channel 

Horace Walpole and Philanthropy in Eighteenth-Century England

Engraved cartouche enclosing two female figures on either side of a shield. The shield is surmounted by a lamb and has a baby and two stars and a moon on the shield. below reads "Horace Walpole and Philanthropy in Eighteenth-Century England"

September 20, 2022 7:00 PM

Andrew Rudd, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter

Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main Street, Farmington

In this talk, Dr Andrew Rudd (University of Exeter, UK) will explore the rich and exciting world of philanthropy in eighteenth-century England. The talk will focus on the collector and man of letters Horace Walpole (1717-1797), who was a generous, if sometimes eccentric, supporter of the era’s good causes. Walpole’s giving habits illuminate a thriving culture of charitable relief which still finds echoes in philanthropy today.

View a recording of the lecture on Yale Library’s YouTube channel 

This talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries

Black and white headshot of Andrew Rudd, a smiling white man with dark hair and rectangular eyeglasses, wearing a suit jacket, white shirt, and necktieAndrew Rudd researches and teaches British literature of the eighteenth century and Romantic period. His monograph, Sympathy and India in British Literature 1770-1830 (Palgrave Macmillan), was published in 2011, and he is currently writing a cultural history of charity in the eighteenth century. This builds on experience he acquired as Parliamentary Manager at the Charity Commission for England and Wales before joining Exeter in 2013. Dr. Rudd holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and he has studied at the University of Durham, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Yale University. He has held numerous fellowships (most recently at Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library and the School of Advanced Studies in English, University of Jadavpur) and speaks regularly at conferences, seminars and public events. Since 2015, he has been a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Review College.

Annie Burr Lewis’s Legacy of Philanthropy and Service in Farmington and Beyond

Susan Odell Walker, Head of Public Services, the Lewis Walpole Library

September 10, 2021, online

Recording of Lecture

Sue Walker of the Lewis Walpole Library will deliver a talk on Annie Burr Lewis and her contributions to organizations involved in education, historic preservation, and nursing, in Farmington, at Yale University, and beyond.

Annie Burr Lewis is perhaps best remembered as the first president of the Miss Porter’s School Alumnae Association, long-time Farmington resident, and co-founder of the Lewis Walpole Library at 154 Main Street. She followed a path in life laid out for her by family and societal tradition, that led to pivotal roles in philanthropic endeavors and service to causes about which she cared deeply. Drawing upon archival collections at the Lewis Walpole Library, the current online exhibition “Doing Good by Stealth: The Philanthropy and Service of Annie Burr Lewis” and this talk explore the enduring impact of her legacy more than sixty years after her death.

Black Bodies and Neoclassical Whiteness in the Age of Undress

Dr. Amelia Rauser, Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College

June 24, 2020, 1 p.m. EDT

Women who wore the high-waisted, white muslin dress fashionable in the 1790s strove to participate in the elevated aesthetics of neoclassicism and to construe themselves as living statues, Pygmalions to their own Galatea. The dress articulated an anti-fashion stance that created space for women’s artistic expression. But neoclassical dress was also enmeshed with emergent concepts of race in the 1790s– not via a simple mapping of whiteness onto classicism, but rather, and perhaps unexpectedly, by invoking the plantation culture of the West Indies. In this talk, Dr. Rauser will argue that several elements of the neoclassical ensemble, including gold earrings, madras-cloth accessories, headwraps, and especially the materiality of muslin itself, specifically articulated the wearer’s racialized whiteness. Yet at the same time, the idea of metamorphosis inherent in the living statue undermined racial binaries and provided space to explore a spectrum of embodiment.

Amelia Rauser will be introduced by Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Theater, Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University.

Panel discussants Dr. Carolyn Day, Associate Professor of History, Furman University, and Dr. Jennifer Germann, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Art History, Ithaca College, will lead a Q&A. Registered attendees will be invited to submit questions and comments through chat.

This lecture is presented in connection with the exhibition Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770-1830 which was co-curated by Laura Engel, Professor of English, Duquesne University, and Amelia Rauser. Other related online content includes:

Dr. Rauser’s new book, The Age of Undress, is now available from Yale University Press.

Fashionable Enemies:  Glamour as Argument, 1770-1830

A Keynote Lecture by Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Theater and Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University

February 6, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Yale Center for British Art

Joseph Roach will deliver a keynote lecture in association with the opening of the exhibition Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770-1830, on view February 6 to May 22, 2020 at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, CT. The exhibition is co-curated by Laura Engel, Professor of English, Duquesne University, and Amelia Rauser, Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College.

Between 1770 and 1830, both fashionable dress and theatrical practice underwent dramatic changes in an attempt to become more “natural.” And yet this desire was widely recognized as paradoxical, since both fashion and the theater were longstanding tropes of artifice. In this exhibition, we examine this paradox of “artful nature” through the changing conception of theatricality during these decades, as mirrored and expressed in fashionable dress. Theater and performance practices in the late eighteenth-century, including the vogue for private theatricals, reinforced the blurred lines between the theater and everyday life. Classical sculpture became a reference point for women, as its artistic excellence was acclaimed precisely because it seemed so “natural.” But when actresses, dancers, painters, or just regular fashionistas posed themselves as classical statues come to life, they acted as both Pygmalion and Galatea, both the genius artist and the living artwork. “Artful Nature” refers simultaneously to the theatricality and deception typically attributed to fashionable women in the late eighteenth century, and at the same time to the potential survival strategies employed by women artists, authors, and actresses to craft their own parts.

The Keynote Lecture was recorded and is available to view on  the Yale University YouTube Channel: Fashionable Enemies: Glamour as Argument, 1770-1830 

Under the direction of Laura Engel, a performance based on Mary Berry’s Fashionable Friends, acted as an amateur theatrical at Strawberry Hill in November 1801, is planned for May 15, 2020 in the newly restored eighteenth-century Cowles House on the campus of The Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.

Robinson Crusoe at 300 Mini-Conference

Friday, November 8th - Saturday, November 9th

The Lewis Walpole Library, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the English Department of Yale University, are pleased to host this mini-conference, led by Jonathan Kramnick, Maynard Mack Professor of English, focusing on the Defoe / Robinson Crusoe tercentenary and the 18th-century novel.   

Symposium:  Robinson Crusoe at 300
Friday, Nov 8, 2019, 9:30 – 4:30
Beinecke Rare Book Library, Room 38/39
Reception to follow

• David Alff, SUNY University at Buffalo
• Dwight Codr, University of Connecticut, Storrs
• Margaret Cohen, Stanford University
• Lynn Festa, Rutgers University
• Heather Keenleyside, University of Chicago
• Thomas Keymer, University of Toronto
• Jayne E. Lewis, University of California, Irvine
• Ramesh Mallipeddi, University of Colorado, Boulder

Roundtable discussionThe Eighteenth-Century Novel, led by Jonathan Kramnick
Saturday, Nov 9, 2019, 9:30 – 12:30
Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 319

Van Sinderen Lecture: “Lefty Lewis” and the Waldegraves: Collecting, Obsession, and Friendship 

Stephen Clarke

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 4:30 to 5:30 PM

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL)
121 Wall StreetBooks owned by Waldegraves
New Haven, CT 06511

Clarke, a Successor Manager on the Board of Managers of the Lewis Walpole Library, will speak on “’Lefty’ Lewis and the Waldegraves: Collecting, Obsession, and Friendship” in the 2019 Adrian Van Sinderen Lecture. 

This event is open to the public. 

More information about the 2019 Van Sinderen Lecture

by Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool

Rescuing Horace Walpole and Re-Discovering W.S. Lewis: a Collector Revealed

Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool

Monday, October 28, 2019, 7 pm

Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main St. Farmington, CT

To mark the fortieth anniversary of the gift of W.S. Lewis’s house on Main Street and his collection to Yale University, the Lewis Walpole Library has mounted an exhibition Rescuing Horace Walpole: the Achievement of W.S. Lewis’. On Monday October 28 the exhibition’s curator, Stephen Clarke, will give a talk on the story of Lewis’s collecting; how it was driven, the skills he deployed, and the web of friendships, archives, scholars, and acquisitions that converted a young bibliophile Farmington resident into an internationally recognized figure, and permanently linked Farmington to Yale University.

The talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries.  Space is limited and registration is required. 

Mini-Conference Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair

Friday, October 4, 2019

1:30 to 5:15 pm

Yale Law School, Room 121
127 Wall Street
New Haven, Connecticut

Presented in connection with the Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair exhibition on view at the Lillian Goldman Law Library.

Conference Schedule

1:30 to 3:00

Panel: Law, Lawyers and the Queen Caroline Trial
Cristina S. Martinez, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, chair

Simon Stern, Professor of Law and English; Co-Director, Centre for Innovation Law & Policy, University of Toronto
John Bull, Public Sentiment and the Reasonable Man

Mark L. Schoenfield, Professor of English, Director of Undergraduate Studies, English Department Vanderbilt University
Henry Brougham Per(for)ming the Defense

Ryan Martins, Third Year Law Student, Rare Book Fellow, Yale Law School
The Legal Legacy of Queen Caroline’s Trial

3:00 to 3:45
Coffee Break and Exhibition Viewing

3:45 to 5:15
Panel: Media, Public Opinion and the Queen Caroline Affair
Janice Carlisle, Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University, chair

William Anthony Hay, Professor of History, Mississippi State University, and 2019-20 Garwood Visiting Fellow, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Department of Politics, Princeton University.
Perfect Storm: What Made the Queen Caroline Affair a Scandal that Shook the Realm?

Kristin F. Samuelian, Associate Professor, Department of English, Coordinator, English Honors Program, George Mason University
Engaging Ambiguity: Allusion and Intertext in Queen Caroline Prints

Jennifer Tucker, Associate Professor of History, Wesleyan University
Queen Caroline and the Sexual Politics of Popular Culture and the Law in Georgian England

Scholarly Editing of Literary Texts from the Long Eighteenth Century

morning session videorecording

afternoon session videorecording

Saturday, September 21, 2019 

Manuscript letter from Fanny Burney at NYPL with many corrections

9:15 am to 3:00 pm

The Graduate Club
155 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06511

This program has emerged from the preparation of the forthcoming exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: the Achievement of W.S. Lewis, which will be on view at the Lewis Walpole Library September 2019 – January 2020. The exhibition addresses the scope and function of Lewis’s collecting and the way it fed into the editorial project of The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (1937–83), of which he was General Editor. Given Yale’s association with the recently completed edition of the works of Samuel Johnson (1958–2018) and the ongoing work of The Yale Edition of the Private Papers of James Boswell (1950―), it is an appropriate venue for a symposium on the editorial issues and the future of scholarly editions of the collected works and correspondences of British writers from the long eighteenth century.

The impact of digital resources, issues of funding and readership, and the fact that there are several major editions just reaching completion and a number just commencing, make this a fitting time to reflect on the history, present state and future prospects of these editions.  The edition of the journals and letters of Frances Burney, for example, which had to battle with manuscripts such as that here illustrated (courtesy of the Berg Collection, New York Public Library) has been completed this year. Approaches to use of copy text, attribution, normalization of text, levels of annotation and comprehensiveness of indexing, have varied over time and between (and in some cases within) editions. New editions are being planned making use of digital technology that was never available to the Yale Walpole, and only became available to more recent editions for their later volumes. The editions now being planned for the Cambridge Aphra Behn and the Oxford Pope will have these resources available to them from their inception.

Scholarly editions are fundamental to the development of scholarship for their respective authors, and their shelf-life is far longer than for many other academic texts. They provide the authoritative and annotated text to which readers and scholars ultimately refer, and the research required to produce them often results in the discovery of additional manuscript material or other bibliographical evidence, and the reconsideration of questions of attribution. This symposium will provide an opportunity to consider their past achievements, current issues in methodology and production, and their future prospects.

The program will consist of two panels of three speakers each; all but one of whom are General Editors of their respective editions. The speakers will prepare presentations of 25 minutes each, leaving the remaining 30 minutes of each panel session for questions and answers and discussion.


Misty Anderson,  James R. Cox Professor, University of Tennessee


Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool (The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence

Robert DeMaria Jr., Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English, Vassar College (The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson)

Elaine Hobby, Professor of Seventeenth-Century Studies, University of Loughborough (Editing Aphra Behn in the Digital Age
Peter Sabor, Canada Research Chair, Director of the Burney Centre, Professor of English, McGill University (Editing Frances Burney’s Journals and Letters, 1972-2019)
Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Director of Rare Book School, Professor of English, University Professor, University of Virginia (The Collected Works of Alexander Pope)
Gordon Turnbull, General Editor of The Yale Editions of the Private Papers of James Boswell (Yale Boswell Editions)

Registration is requested for catering and space-planning purposes.

The Lewis Walpole Library at ISECS Congress 2019, Edinburgh

The Lewis Walpole Library is delighted to support the ISECS Congress 2019, being held Sunday, July 14 through Friday, July 19 in Edinburgh. The Library is sponsoring the grand reception and two panels. Look for us also at the Publishers’ Showcase in McEwan Hall where we will have a table along with Yale University Press who will be featuring the publications from the Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History. See you in Edinburgh!

The Grand Receptionlink to catalog record

Monday, July 15, 6:30 PM to 8 PM

All congress attendees are invited to the Grand Reception in the stunning Grand Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the university. Doors open at 6 pm and wine and canapes will be served to the accompaniment of traditional Scottish pipers. 


Conference Programme

Session 5, Panel 133 - Gothic Horrors, Catholic link to catalog recordUndertones, and Political Caricature: Archival Riches of the Lewis Walpole Library

Tuesday, July 16, 10 - 11:45 am

Room G.07 Meadows Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School

Chair: Stephen Clarke (University of Liverpool)
Dale Townshend (Manchester Metropolitan University) Catholicism and the early Gothic Revival
Misty Anderson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Staging The Mysterious Mother
Elizabeth Denlinger (Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and his Circle, New York Public Library) The Half-Extinguished Light: Looking to Gothic Art to Illuminate Frankenstein
Claire Grogan (Bishop’s University) The Challenges of Political Caricature: Identifying the women in Contrasted Opinions of Paine’s Pamphlet (May 26 1791)

Session 15, Panel 476 Visual and Literary Topography

Friday, July 19,  2 - 3:45 pm

Room 2.14, Appleton TowerCastle on a hill

Chair: Cynthia Roman (The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University)
Dana Arnold (Art History, Art History and World Art Studies, The University of East Anglia) “Through a Glass Darkly:” the Visual and Verbal Topographies of a Sensory Aesthetic
Stephen Bending (Director, Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Director MA Programmes, English Department, University of Southampton) Walpole’s Pleasures: Topography and
fantasy at Strawberry Hill
Matthew Sangster (Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Material Culture, University of Glasgow) Collaborative Versions of the British Metropolis
Jennifer Johnson (Junior Research Fellow, St John’s College, Oxford) William Gilpin’s Picturesque Composition and Twentieth-Century Abstraction

Horace Walpole’s Mysterious Mother: A Mini-Conference

Organized by Jill Campbell, Professor of English, Yale University
Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
Thursday, May 3, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
The Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
Session 1, 10:15 am—12:15 pm: Reading The Mysterious Mother

Chair: Jill Campbell

Dale Townshend, Professor of Gothic Literature, Manchester Metropolitan University, “The Mystery of The Mysterious Mother: Textual Lives and Afterlives”

Matthew Reeve, Associate Professor, Art History, Queen’s University, “The Mysterious Mother and Crypto-Catholicism in the Circle of Horace Walpole”

Nicole Garret, Lecturer, Department of English, SUNY Stony Brook, “Mis-reading in The Mysterious Mother

Cheryl Nixon, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston, ”The Mysterious Orphan: Dramatizing the Betrayal of the Child”

 Nicole Wright, Assistant Professor of English, University of Colorado, Boulder, “ ‘Kindest Laws’: Intimate Adjudication in The Mysterious Mother


Session II, 2—4 pm:    Staging The Mysterious Mother

Chair: Misty Anderson, Lindsay Young Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of Theater and Religious Studies, University of Tennessee

Marcie Frank, Professor of English, Concordia University, ”Wilful Walpole: Performing Publication and The Mysterious Mother” 

Jean Marsden, Professor of English, University of Connecticut, ”Family Dramas:  The Mysterious Mother and the Eighteenth-Century Incest Play”

Al Coppola, Associate Professor of English, John Jay College, CUNY, “Spectacles of Science and Superstition”

Judith Hawley, Professor of English, Royal Holloway, University of London, “’the beautiful negligence of a gentleman’: Horace Walpole and Amateur Theatricals”

David Worrall, Professor Emeritus, Nottingham Trent University, “ ‘I beg you would keep it under lock and key:’ the Mystery of the 1821 Mysterious Mother performances”

A Literary Walpole Weekend

November 9 - November 11, 2017

As part of our celebration of Horace Walpole’s tercentenary this fall, the Library hosted a mini-conference on Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto”. Organized by Jonathan Kramnick, LWL Faculty Director and Maynard Mack Professor of English at Yale, the program consisted of short paper presentations by panelists led by a moderator followed by lively discussion with an audience of other panelists, faculty, and graduate students.

The mini-conference was video-recorded, and the recordings are available on the Yale University Library Youtube channel: Morning and Afternoon.

list of participants 


  • Jonathan Kramnick, Yale University


  • Joseph Roach, Yale University
  • Ruth Yeazell , Yale University 

Invited Panelists:

  • John Bender, Stanford University
  • Sophie Gee, Princeton University
  • Sarah Kareem, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Wendy Ann Lee, New York University 
  • Sandra Macpherson, Ohio State University
  • Jesse Marti Molesworth, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Sean Silver, University of Michigan
  • Courtney Weiss Smith, Wesleyan University
  • Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
  • Eugenia Zuroski, McMaster University

Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century

Friday, February 9 - Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Graduate Club, New Haven

As part of the Lewis Walpole Library’s celebration of Horace Walpole’s tercentenary and the 100th anniversary of W.S. Lewis’s Yale class of 1918, the library is working with Steve Pincus, Bradford Durfee Professor of History, Yale University, to organize a two-day conference on Friday and Saturday, February 9 and 10, 2018, to consider how current multi-disciplinary methodologies invite creative research in archival and special collections at the Lewis Walpole Library and beyond. Planned thematic sessions include “What is Empire?,” “Conceptualizing Political Economy,” “Slavery,” “Indigenous Peoples,” “Diplomacy,” and “Material Culture.” This conference is organized in association with the exhibition, Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire during the Age of Horace Walpole

The conference will be held at The Graduate Club, 155 Elm Street, New Haven Connecticut 06511. For directions to the club and parking information, please see their website


Lecture: Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Age of Horace Walpole

Wednesday November 1, 2017

7:00 PM until 9:00 PM

Lewis Walpole Library

Justin Brooks, Doctoral Candidate in History, Yale University, will speak on the the Lewis Walpole Library’s exhibition “Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Age of Horace Walpole.” The exhibition, which looks at aspects of the global British Empire in the long eighteenth century, takes full advantage of the diverse range of archival resources held by the Library and which Mr. Brooks co-curated, including manuscripts, printed texts, graphic images, and objects. Interrelated themes include political economy, diplomacy, indigeneity, and slavery. The talk, exhibition, and other related programs celebrate the broad pre-disciplinary collecting activities of Horace Walpole (1717-1797) and W.S. Lewis (1895-1979) and will explore how current multi-disciplinary methodologies invite creative research in the Library’s archival collections. Mr. Brooks’s talk is offered as part of a year’s worth of events celebrating the 300th anniversary of Horace Walpole’s birth.

This Lewis Walpole Library lecture is held in partnership with the Farmington Libraries.

Space is limited. Registration required: .

Lecture: The Many Lives of Horace Walpole

George E. Haggerty, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of English, University of California, Riverside  

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 5:30 pm

"Horace Walpole Youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford" in 49 3582

Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall

1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

In his charming biography of Horace Walpole, R.W. Ketton-Cremer makes the point that “one of the difficulties which confront a biographer of Walpole is his remarkable versatility.  He was active in many fields—in politics, social life, literature, architecture, antiquarianism, printing, virtú; and it is not easy to include them all in the compass of a single volume.”  George Haggerty, who is currently writing a new biography of Horace Walpole, will take up this challenge in his lecture with and through Walpole’s letters. Haggerty asserts that Walpole writes himself into his experience by means of his epistolary imagination. 

Professor Haggerty’s talk will be streamed live from the Yale Center for British Art at:

The Land without Music: Satirizing Song in Eighteenth Century England Evening Public Talk

Amy Dunagin

Thursday, May 18th, 7pm

The Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main St. Farmington CT 06032

Evening public talk by Amy Dunagin, Postdoctoral Associate, European Studies Council, Yale University, and Managing Editor, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and curator of the exhibition “The Land without Music: Satirizing Song in Eighteenth-Century England” at the Lewis Walpole Library. The talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries.

Talk with Edward Koren

Edward Koren
Cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Edward Koren’s iconic images record the comedy of manners in society and politics that have captured his attention for decades. In this talk, he will reflect on his career as a New Yorker artist, and on the many and diverse influences that have contributed to the development of his thinking and drawing.  

“In my cartoon drawings, I like getting things right… What captures my attention is all the human theater around me. I can never quite believe my luck in stumbling upon riveting minidramas taking place within earshot (and eyeshot), a comedy of manners that seem inexhaustible. And to be always undercover makes my practice of deep noticing more delicious. I can take in all the details as long as I appear inattentive – false moustache and dark glasses in place. All kinds of wonderful moments of comedy happen right under my nose…”
On Cartooning, by Edward Koren

The art of observational satire: a conversation with Rachel Brownstein and Edward Koren

Moderated by Cynthia Roman

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Room 38-39
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
121 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511

Edward Koren, a long-time cartoonist for The New Yorker, and Rachel Brownstein, a literary scholar, will reflect on the enduring tradition of social satire.

Public Talk: Eating People

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rachel Brownstein
Professor Emerita, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Offered in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries. 


Strawberry Hill Restored: The Past, Present, and Future of Horace Walpole’s Little Gothic Castle

Michael Snodin, Chairman of the Strawberry Hill Trust and former head of the Designs section of the Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London

September 24, 2015

The Barney Library, Farmington