The 50th Anniversary Wordsworth Summer Conference

Monday 10 August to Thursday 20 August at Rydal Hall, Cumbria





The Keynote Lecturers in 2020


Simon Bainbridge

Gillian Beer

Jamie Castell

Will Christie

Jeff Cowton

Jeffrey Cox

Stephen Gill

Kenneth Johnston

Norbert Lennartz

Lucy Newlyn

Tilottama Rajan

Saeko Yoshikawa



Wordsworth Summer Conference Blog


   Key Features


  • The conference is in two parts, of five nights each, with a changeover day
  • 7 fell-walks, 6 excursions, Local Walks
  • 10 keynote lectures and over 40 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


The 2020 Wordsworth Summer Conference at elegant Rydal Hall will be the 50th anniversary conference since Richard Wordsworth’s inaugural conference gathering in 1970. We will  continue the format pioneered by Richard, mingling lectures, papers and lively academic debate with energetic fell walking, picturesque rambles, and excursions to places of Wordsworthian and Romantic interest. 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. In 2020 our excursions are likely to include an all-day visit to Malham Cove and Gordale Scar - two sublime landscapes repeatedly visited by William and Dorothy Wordsworth.  High points for energetic fell walkers will include ascents of celebrated peaks in the Lake District - further details to follow soon. 


Format and Costs


The conference is in two parts of 4 full days each, with a changeover day on Saturday 15 August. Because the conference has a unique culture of conversation and participation, those wishing to present a paper must register for at least one full part, and many register for the whole event. The resident registration fee, which includes all excursions, offers exceptional value at £290 for ten nights (£210 for five nights). Full Board at the Rydal Hall Diocesan Conference Centre is available at prices likely to range from £880 to £1160 (for ten nights), and at Rydal Hall Youth Centre for £550 or £600. Details of these prices and non-resident rates are set out on the Tariff page, and are subject to confirmation for 2020. 




We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers on all aspects of William Wordsworth, his contemporaries and the Romantic period. 250-word proposals for papers of no more than 2750 words, together with a brief autobiographical paragraph, unformatted, should occupy no more than 2 sides of A4.  Please do include your name, institution and e-mail address on the abstract. Please do not send it as a PDF, as proposals will be copied into a composite file. Proposals should be e-mailed by 25 April 2020 to:




Click on the "Bursaries" button for details of Bursaries to be awarded in 2020. 


Conference Director: Nicholas Roe
Conference Administrator: Irm Hollenbach

Postgraduate Representative: Inês Rosa


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