Friends of the Bodleian Special Events

Goethe à l'anglaise: singing the poet's song in a strange land

Lecture by Dr Derek McCulloch illustrated with music performed by Café Mozart

Friday, 8 June 2018 | 6-7pm

Convocation House, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG

Veteran translator and music historian Dr Derek McCulloch returns to the Bodleian Library to celebrate his 80th birthday and to discuss the nature of ‘song’, its relationship between words and music, and when a ‘song’ is not a song. Above all, how should a foreign 18th-century song, for example to a text by Goethe, be performed in a new linguistic and cultural environment? With the aid of Café Mozart he gives the unequivocal answer provided by 18th-century practice – one that may come as a surprise to many.

A selection of related items from the Bodleian’s collections will be on display in the Blackwell Hall, Weston Library from 10am till 5pm on the day of the lecture, 8 June 2018.

This event is sponsored by Watlington Fine Wines.

Tickets £10 are available online at

Cheques (made payable to the Friends of the Bodleian) should be sent to the Friends’ Administrator, Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG.

Friends of the Bodleian lunchtime lectures

Admission free, please book online at

When Oscar Wilde came to Oxford

Michèle Mendelssohn, Associate Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford; 2017-8 Visiting Professor, McGill University Institute for the Study of Canada

Tuesday, 22 May | 1-1.45pm

Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

Join Oxford University's Michèle Mendelssohn as she reveals the previously untold, newly researched story of Oscar Wilde’s undergraduate days. Drawing on her new book, Making Oscar Wilde, her illustrated talk reveals Wilde's tumultuous early life in Victorian England, ​and tells the story of an age ​tottering​ towards modernity.

What would Morris say?

Dr Phillippa Bennett, Senior Lecturer in English, University of Northampton; Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Tuesday, 12 June | 1-1.45pm

Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

William Morris was one of the most influential artists, writers, and political activists of the 19th century. Reflecting on Morris's art, literature, and political writings, this talk will consider how Morris might help us understand and respond to some of the most pressing issues of our own era, from globalization and environmentalism to gender equality, the nature of work, and the vital importance of art in human life.

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