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Lectures held on the night of the full moon

November 2023

Lunar Lecture – The Poetics of Romantic Ecology: Erasmus Darwin and Percy Bysshe Shelley by Dr Amanda Blake Davis

27th November 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Erasmus Darwin House, Erasmus Darwin House Beacon St
Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7AD United Kingdom
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£6.00

In a well-known botanical poem, The Sensitive-Plant, the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley draws upon the eroticised, emotive plants of Erasmus Darwin's Loves of the Plants, where Darwin's 'chaste mimosa' gives rise to Shelley's loveless 'sensitive-plant'. In the lesser known 'Unfinished Drama', a mysterious 'magic plant' grows, snake-like, muddling the categories of plant and animal. Centring on these two poems, this talk will explore Shelley's ecological poetics through his interrelationship with Darwin.   Tickets available here

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January 2024

Lunar Lecture – Erasmus Darwin’s ‘Commonplace Book’ and the Enlightenment Organisation of Knowledge

January 25 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Erasmus Darwin House, Erasmus Darwin House Beacon St
Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7AD United Kingdom
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£8

by Joanna C. Yates NWCDTP AHRC-Funded PhD Candidate, Keele University Joanne Yates will consider the relationship between Erasmus Darwin’s ‘Commonplace Book’ and his philosophical position as reflected in his published works. The entries Darwin recorded within this object can be divided relatively evenly into three general categories: Medical Practice, Natural History (including science and weather), and Engineering (designs and inventions). The first category contains entries that detail medical case histories, describe treatments founded in contemporary medicine, and posit the application of…

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February 2024

The Lunar Society and the Industrial Enlightenment: Origins and Significance by Dr Malcom Dick

February 22 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Erasmus Darwin House, Erasmus Darwin House Beacon St
Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7AD United Kingdom
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£8.00

Why did the Lunar Society emerge in the West Midlands in the 1760s and in what ways can we assess its importance besides exploring the lives of key individuals? This talk looks at the context in which the Lunar Men operated and suggests some agendas for future research.   Dr Malcolm Dick is Honorary Associate Professor of History at the University of Birmingham after serving as Director of the Centre for West Midlands at the University for many years. He…

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April 2024

Lunar Lecture – ‘For all our people’:the establishment of a public library service in Victorian Birmingham.by Steve Hewett

April 25 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Erasmus Darwin House, Erasmus Darwin House Beacon St
Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7AD United Kingdom
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£8.00

‘For all our people’: the establishment of a public library service in Victorian Birmingham. Steve Hewett is a retired university librarian with an interest in local and regional history. He is in his final year of doctoral research for a PhD, investigating the development of civic culture in Birmingham during the late eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries, in particular looking at the campaign for a free library service which began in the 1850s. Book tickets here

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May 2024

Lunar Lecture – An Evening with John Smedley by Jane Middleton Smith

May 23 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
£8.00

The talk will outline the history of a remarkable, family-owned company which this year celebrates its 240th birthday. Producers of fine gauge, luxury yarns and knitwear from the late 18th century, John Smedley garments have a reputation for style, quality and longevity: attributes well-attuned to today's emphasis on sustainability. Based at Lea Mills, near Matlock since 1784 and sold in the company's London shops as well as exported to over 46 countries world-wide. John Smedley's garments have earned two Royal Warrants and…

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