VICTORIAN VISIONARIES ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT
AN INSCAPE RETREAT
FRIDAY 23 TO MONDAY 26 JUNE 2017
At intervals during the years 1817-1819 the lyrical poet John Keats found inspiration for some of his finest poetry, including ’Endymion’ and ‘On the Sea’ on the Isle of Wight. A generation on, in 1853, Emily and Alfred Tennyson found their summer home in the village of Freshwater. Tennyson spent his last forty years of life there. By 1845 Prince Albert and Queen Victoria began building their rambling Italianate palace, Osborne House, as the site for the Royal Family summer holidays. Elsewhere on the island, Swinburne spent his childhood, Dickens wrote David Copperfield, and mother of six Julia Margaret Cameron established photography as an art form in its own right. Distinguished friends paying visits to her house at Freshwater, Dimbola Lodge, were persuaded to sit interminably for unique portrait sessions. They included her neighbours the Tennysons, the Liddells, Lewis Carroll, who wrote part of Alice in Wonderland here; the painter G. F. Watts; the poets Robert Browning and Henry Taylor; scientists Charles Darwin and Sir John Herschel; and the historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle. Life-long disciple of Ruskin, John Whitehouse established the avant- garde Bembridge School on Ruskinian principles in 1919.
In order to conjure up the spirits of creativity endemic to certain circles during the 19c.-20c, we have planned a rich and satisfying cultural study experience on the Isle of Wight. We treat ourselves to a harbourside Inscape Retreat with the very comfortable 17c George Hotel on the water’s edge between castle and pier as our base of operations. Morning lectures by Nicholas will be followed by optional afternoon excursions including a private curator’s tour at Osborne House and Julia Margaret Cameron’s Dimbola Lodge; a private visit to Tennyson’s Farringford House, now a literary centre, and, hosted by the former headmaster Dr James Dearden, a private visit to Bembridge School.
COST £1595 Members, £1645 non-Members, £95 single room supplement, £250 deposit, includes three nights accommodation with breakfast, two coffees, four lunches with wine, four dinners with wine, lectures and readings by Nicholas Friend, all private curators tours and visits and all travel during the tour, VAT, tips and service. Excludes travel to and from the Isle of Wight.