St. David’s Day, March 1st – London launch of Coleridge in Wales: a walk from Primrose Hill to Parliament
At 7.00 am on Tuesday March 1st (St. David’s Day) Richard Parry and I will mark this summer’s 80-day exploration of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his connections to Wales, by walking from the William Blake and Iolo Morganwg monuments on Primrose Hill to the Houses of Parliament, where we will attend the Parliamentary annual St David’s Day service. Richard will speak in St Margaret’s, Westminster at 2.30pm. I will be absorbing ideas and finding images to illustrate and promote the Coleridge festival, exploring the counterpoint between walking and drawing, wondering when cultural forgery and flight become a necessity, and what dark shards of light emanate from William Blake’s verse at 7 in the morning. Will we be attended by angels?
Our two hour walk will visit the Royal Institution in Albermarle Street, W1, where a young Coleridge, at the invitation of his friend and collaborator Humphrey Davey, gave Royal Institution lectures in 1807. The walk will also pass through Chancery Lane where Coleridge, in a fit of despair at a hopeless love affair and mounting student debts, signed up to the 15th Light Dragoons under a false name in 1793.
Coleridge dropped out of Cambridge in 1794 and walked around Wales. The venture commissioned him as an artist, and on May 15th this year Richard Parry will follow Coleridge’s routes for 80 days in search of the missing Coleridge and his widely neglected artistic, political and philosophical legacy. At least pre-GPS it was possible to get lost. We’ll give it our best shot.