2014 to 2017 events

Summer 2017
Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, Clwyd, North Wales.
June 17-18 Gladstone’s Library is a research and conference centre within reach of St Beuno’s and Holywell, where Hopkins trained in the 1870s, and which we visited. Our speakers were a panel of top Hopkins scholars, including Kelsey Thornton, Lesley Higgins and Noel Barber.

Autumn 2016
We met at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, the Jesuit boarding school where Hopkins taught in 1878 and 1882-3. We held our AGM; had an excellent lecture from Fr Joe Sweeney, Parish Priest of Rochdale, on Hopkins and Duns Scotus, the medieval philosopher whose influential writings he discovered at Stonyhurst; had a tour of the school; and heard the five poems that Hopkins wrote at Stonyhurst.

Spring 2016
In the 19th century Roehampton was a village in Surrey where the Jesuits had a seminary at Manresa House. Gerard Manley Hopkins studied there twice, for his novitiate and his tertianship (stages of preparation for priesthood). He also taught rhetoric there for a year. We try to hold Hopkins Days at places associated with him, and this was our first visit to Roehampton for many years. Today the house is the home of Whitelands College, part of the University of Roehampton in the suburbs of South-West London.This event was organised jointly by the Hopkins Society and Whitelands College and spread over two days. On the Thursday evening David Harsent, the University’s Professor of Creative Writing, gave their annual ‘Hopkins Lecture’ on ‘The Raw Truth of Poetry’. This was followed by a Hopkins Society dinner at which our President, Michael Burgess, told amusing stories of eccentric clerics. On the Friday Gilly King, the University’s archivist, gave us a historical tour of the building; Fr Noel Barber SJ, editor of the forthcoming OUP volume of Hopkins’ sermons and devotional writings, told us the history of Hopkins’ times at Manresa; and Lance Pierson of the Society’s Steering Group gave us a virtual tour of the other places in London where Hopkins lived at different periods of his life.

Autumn 2015
The Society’s 25th annual meeting was at  Balliol College, Oxford where as an undergraduate Hopkins read classics and was acclaimed as ‘The star of Balliol.’ We met  for a tour of College, a reading of his undergraduate poems  and a viewing of the manuscript of Binsey  Poplars. After dinner in College, annual Hopkins lecture was given by  Prof Lesley J Higgins of York University, co-editor of the current Oxford University Press publication of Hopkins’s Complete Works; her subject ‘Please not to read’ – Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Private Texts. 
We finished with a visit to St Aloysius’ Church where Hopkins ministered, and heard more of his Oxford poems read.

Spring Workshop 2015
Julia Wilson Dickson the celebrated voice coach was unfortunately unable to be with us because of other commitments. So we coached each other in reading favourite Hopkins poems. Then we went on a short walk celebrating the countryside Hopkins knew and loved and heard the poems he wrote about the landscape. We then walked to Ffynnon Fair (St Mary’s Well) near St Beuno’s, and heard GMH’s Journal entry about his first visit there in 1876.