Past Events

18 June 2022 Hopkins Day at St Bartholomew’s Church

Saturday June 18 at St Bartholomew’s Church, Haslemere, Surrey. We are intending to meet in St Bartholomew’s Church in Haslemere, which has a memorial window to Gerard Manley Hopkins donated by his grieving parents less than a year after his death. It was in memory of a dear son – he was not a famous poet then. Rather surprisingly, the stained-glass window next to it is a memorial to the Poet Laureate Tennyson, who had also lived there. Gerard’s parents and family moved to Haslemere from Hampstead three years before he died. He visited Haslemere only once, but his parents, sisters and brothers…

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2021 Highflyers Highgate Conference

2 October 2021. We had originally planned with the Betjeman Society to have The Highgate Highflyers conference in person during the first weekend of October. After consulting the ALS committee, it was held online.  During that day there were online talks by Lance Pierson on ‘Poetry’s Odd Couple’ by Lance Pierson about the links between Hopkins and Betjeman;  Dr Jane Wright on ‘Making Sense of Hopkins’Poetry’; Dr Jill Robson on ‘Hopkins, Betjeman and Victorian Church Architecture’ and Julia Hudson on the ‘Highgate School Archives of the Two Poets’. At first sight they seem very different poets, but there are many points of intersection between…

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2019 Hopkins and Betjeman Societies at Highgate School

UK Hopkins Society: Sat 31 August 2019  – HAPPIEST DAYS A joint meeting with the Betjeman Society at Highgate School, London; site of attendance as schoolboys by both poets; Betjeman attending the junior school and Hopkins the senior – both boys fell foul of their Highgate headmasters and a re-enactment was staged of their most fearsome encounters. But was there little positive in their schooldays? We were able to make our own assessment. The school archivist showed us where they did their learning and how the school remembers them today. The Highgate school museum has several artefacts relating to Hopkins…

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2019 Hopkins Society Weekend at Belmont Abbey

UK Hopkins Society Weekend at Belmont Abbey 7 – 9 June 2019: “New Worlds”(from the opening line of Thomas Traherne’s poem “On leaping over the moon” – “I saw new worlds beneath the water lie”). Hopkins visited the Abbey in June 1866 with William Addis. It was possibly the first time he had met a Catholic priest, Dom Paul Raynal, who ‘was very kind and showed me over everything.’ Hopkins returned to spend Holy Week there in 1867, so it was an important place in Hopkins’ spiritual growth. The weekend commenced on the evening of Friday 9th with “The cost…

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2018 Autumn Meeting at Mount St Mary’s College

The 2018 Hopkins Lecture was a most illuminating and thought provoking lecture on the similarities and differences between the works of Milton and Hopkins. The essence of the lecture being that Hopkins followed Milton’s style in writing sonnets using the Miltonian or Petrarchan form as against the Shakespearian or English form. But that towards the end of his life Hopkins altered even the Miltonian form to his own purposes, thereby inventing a new sonnet form using sprung rhythm …. Lunch was followed by a tour of the college, visiting the nearby Spinkhill Catholic Parish Church with its beautiful millennial modern…

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2018 University of Roehampton Conference

June 21 to 23, 2018 – Conference at the University of Roehampton to celebrate the centenary of the first edition of Hopkins’ poems An early email from Lesley Higgins to the secretary read that ‘The Hopkins Society presentation at the conference was excellent – informative, entertaining, and very spirited.  The dramatization of the letters was fascinating…’ One further snippet from Lance Pierson received Sept 19: ‘The conference to celebrate the centenary of Hopkins’ poems first being published was held appropriately at the college in Roehampton where he trained for the priesthood. Although this is in England, the conference was planned and administered…

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2018 St Bueno’s Visit

“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring” … On Saturday April 7 2018, some 16 members of the society visited St Bueno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre. Hopkins lived here from 1874 to 1877, studying theology in preparation for the priesthood. These were some of his happiest years and he wrote some very inspirational poetry here with God and the welsh language and scenery as the background. Indeed it was here that the rector at the time inspired Hopkins to start writing poetry again, after a self imposed ban to better concentrate on his vocation, when the rector commented that someone ought to write a poem based…

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2017 Hopkins Society Day

Hopkins Society Day exploring the origins of Gerard Manley Hopkins and of his most famous poem ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland.’ Hopkins was born in Stratford (Essex, not upon Avon!) in 1844. In addition to the Society’s AGM, we visited the sites of his childhood home and church, and heard about the members of his family. By a strange coincidence the nuns drowned in the German ship ‘Deutschland’, about whom he wrote in his most famous poem, were brought to rest in Stratford and are buried in neighbouring Leytonstone. We visited their graves.

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2014 to 2017 events

Summer 2017Gladstone’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 2016We 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;…

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2014 Harvest Walk

Hopkins walk in the countryside around TremeirchionThe Hopkins Society on Saturday 30 August 2014 was a success  We met near the Salusbury Arms to enjoy a walk that Hopkins will have know (although with less tarmac!) Wyn Hobson recited Hopkins’ Hurrahing in Harvest’ as we looked over the harvest landscape Gerard Manley Hopkins knew.

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2014 Liverpool Lecture

Annual Lecture in Liverpool – Saturday 18 October 2014Professor Nicholas Sagovsky gave the 2014 annual Hopkins Lecture at the Creative Campus, Liverpool Hope University. Professor Sagovsky is a former Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey and Professor at both Liverpool Hope and Roehampton Universities. He spoke on Hopkins as theologian and poet. Afterwards society members visited the adjacent St Francis Xavier’s Church where Hopkins spent time as a curate. Gladwys Mary Coles delighted us with some history of the Church including Hopkins’ experiences and her own memories of worshipping in the Church as a child. Lance Pierson and Wyn Hobson read poems and sermon extracts. Images…

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Link to Future Events page