Teaching and Reading Byron in Context
Digitization of manuscripts and letters composed when Byron was resident at Burgage Manor, Nottinghamshire, including pedagogic tools and resources to facilitate their study in historical, literary and editorial contexts
This project produced an interactive website containing a set of learning materials focusing on letters from Byron to the Pigot family and manuscripts of several short poems written by him during his residence at Burgage Manor during the winter of 1806/07. These materials, held locally in the Newstead Abbey Archive, have been digitized by the project holders and made publicly available via a website hosted by the Centre for the Study of Byron and Romanticism (CSBR) and Newstead Abbey. The digitized materials provide crucial insight into a formative period of the poet’s life, in the aftermath of ‘Fugitive Pieces’ and in preparation for his subsequent publications. The project website not only facilitates student perception of the physical alterations and revisions that can occur during the process of literary composition, but also illuminates – and in a classroom environment can be used to illustrate – the connections between literary works and the social and material conditions out of which they emerge.
Byron as a literary figure continues to receive considerable attention from area specialists, students and members of the general public, both in the UK and abroad. The work of this project is closely linked to the work of the Centre for the Study of Byron and Romanticism (CSBR) at the University of Nottingham, which plays a key role in Byron research.
The project website, The Nottingham Byron Web Archive, provides free global access to a historically and critically interesting group of manuscripts and letters held locally in Byron’s ancestral home: an internally coherent group of letters to the Pigot family, as well as poems written during the same period. Users can view and download high-resolution, colour facsimiles of these materials, along with transcriptions. These primary materials are complemented by a comprehensive set of resources to support and enhance teaching and learning across a range of levels and in a variety of environments. These include introductory and explanatory material (making the resource accessible to general readers), as well as more detailed material highlighting issues of relevance for literary, cultural and historical studies. This, more detailed, material is also useful for teachers and learners in the 6th form, as well as at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The supporting materials are integrated into the existing online provision offered by the Centre for the Study of Byron and Romanticism (CSBR), which includes essays on Byron and his milieu, a timeline, bibliography and regularly updated links to other online resources.
Dr. Matt Green
University of Nottingham
Haidee Jackson, Curator, Newstead Abbey
Dr. Sylvia Bordoni, University of Nottingham
Dr. Lynda Pratt, University of Nottingham
Dr. Sean Matthews, University of Nottingham
Project completed May 2009.