Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Conference

A sculpture of Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. by Rowan Gillespie is placed behind Carroll Hall.

Celebrating the Life and Work of a Jesuit Poet

“Words break from me here” Reading Hopkins, 1918-2018. Conference June 2018

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Prof. Kirstie Blair
Professor Kirstie Blair is Head of the School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde. Renowned for her studies of Victorian literature and culture, particularly poetry and poetics, she is the author of Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion and Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart. Professor Blair’s diverse research interests include Scottish Victorian popular culture and literature, working-class writing, literature and religion, and Victorian children’s literature. She has recently completed a Carnegie Collaborative Research Grant project with the University of Glasgow, entitled ‘The People’s Voice: Political Poetry, Song, and the Franchise, 1832–1918’, and is completing her third monograph, Poetry, Press and Community: Working Verse in Victorian Scotland.

In Hopkins’s day, Roehampton village was 10 kms southwest of London, across Putney Bridge, renowned for its seventeenth-century rustic ambience and eighteenth-century estates (architectural gems and their gardens). Wimbledon Common, where one could watch military men on parade, was just to the south; the Roehampton Gate entrance to Richmond Park brought one into the largest of London’s royal parks.
Parkstead House, built in 1763 by the second Earl of Bessborough, had at one time been the home of Lady Caroline Lamb (1785–1828), novelist and socialite. In 1861, the estate was purchased by the Society of Jesus, and Parkstead became Manresa House. Hopkins lived at Manresa three times during his Jesuit life: as a Novice, from September 1868 to September 1870, when he began his life in the Society; from September 1873 to August 1874, when he taught Rhetoric to the younger Jesuits; and for eight months, October 1881 to August 1882, during his Tertianship. The University of Roehampton was established in 2004 by bringing together four teacher-training colleges founded in the nineteenth century. Today, it educates more than 10,000 students each year in the liberal arts and sciences.