The Immortal Dinner: A Famous Evening of Genius and Laughter in Literary London 1817

The Immortal Dinner: A Famous Evening of Genius and Laughter in Literary London 1817

by PenelopeHughes-Hallett (Author)


This text celebrates this unique gathering, setting it against a backdrop of change, reflected in the preoccupations of the diners as they sat on that memorable winter's evening drinking toasts, and expatiating on their deepest convictions. This was a time when the contemporary world of literary London society was to be seen at its extraordinary gifted best. The Elgin Marbles controversy still raged; Mrs Siddons performed Lady Macbeth in her drawing room to a distinguished audience; Humphry Davy, great electro-chemist, composed passable verse, and Joseph Ritchie, young physician and would-be poet, prepared to explore the river Niger with a copy of Keats' Endymion in his pocket. A compelling and immediate picture emerges of these rare spirits, much of it in their own words, taken from their letters and diaries and those of their friends. The author takes us straight into the rich world of the immortal dinner and reveals gusts who are not merely figures from history, but are startlingly modern, earthly and sympathetic.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Edition: New edition
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published: 27 Sep 2001

ISBN 10: 0140273697
ISBN 13: 9780140273694

Media Reviews
'The biographical equivalent of a world in a grain of sand... [an] erudite account of a wonderful evening' - Peter Ackroyd
Author Bio
Penelope Hughes-Hallett was brought up in Jane Austen's Steventon. She has written on Jane Austen's letters, Wordsworth and Coleridge in the Lakes and has also edited an anthology of childhood. She lives on the Gloucestershire border.