So much has happened over the last six weeks that it’s difficult to know where to begin. I was in Tokyo from 17-27 March, which was just amazing, and I gave a talk on the Shelleys and science at Waseida University. When I came back I went straight to Lancaster (the Easter break didn’t mean much this year and I worked really hard on the Easter weekend!) and the LitSciMed symposium took place from 30-31st March. This was just a lovely event; it was so excellent to see everyone again, many of them doing really well. We have a new website, thanks to Andrew Lacey (http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/litscimed/) and the resources from the training we did are already up there.
The week after I went to Keele University on the Wednesday where I read John Davy’s manuscript memoir in the special collections, ‘Some Notices of my Life’. This was a real revelation. It clears some problems I’d had with notes to John’s movements but also revealed some interesting stuff about Humph too. John writes, for example, that he deliberately didn’t go to the coronation of King George IV. I bet this was because he had links with Queen Caroline and knew there would be a fuss (which there was!). The day after, the British Society for Literature and Science conference started and I was the first plenary speaker! It was such a huge honour to do this. I’ve been to every single conference and even hosted the third one at Keele. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me.
The week after this I was in London: a mad, mad day on Weds 13th April that began with a Frankenstein breakfast at which Damien Lewis and Helen McCrory performed passages from the novel (amazing!). Then I hotfooted it to Hackney where I was interviewed by presenter George Lamb for Medium Brown podcast (you can download it for free from ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/medium-brow/id434929837?mt=2) on the science in Frankenstein. Then off to the Royal Festival Hall where the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association prizes were given out by Richard Holmes (I’m one of the essay prize judges).
More research in archives that turned up some marvellous stuff that week in the Royal Society and the UCL archives currently located at Kew. And then last week I was in Amsterdam mainly working but also doing a tiny bit of sightseeing too. This week I have three days at home before going to Dublin to Trinity College archive and the National Library of Ireland.
Phew! It’s been so great. I’m a bit exhausted and I could do with some time at home soon to eat more healthily and put in some properly long days of work but all is good.