The Immortal Dinner

The Immortal Dinner : A Famous Evening of Genius and Laughter in Literary London 1817

3.52 (57 ratings by Goodreads)
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This text celebrates this unique gathering, setting it against a backdrop of change, reflected in the preoccupations of the diners as they sat on that memorable winter's evening drinking toasts, and expatiating on their deepest convictions. This was a time when the contemporary world of literary London society was to be seen at its extraordinary gifted best. The Elgin Marbles controversy still raged; Mrs Siddons performed Lady Macbeth in her drawing room to a distinguished audience; Humphry Davy, great electro-chemist, composed passable verse, and Joseph Ritchie, young physician and would-be poet, prepared to explore the river Niger with a copy of Keats' "Endymion" in his pocket. A compelling and immediate picture emerges of these rare spirits, much of it in their own words, taken from their letters and diaries and those of their friends. The author takes us straight into the rich world of the immortal dinner and reveals gusts who are not merely figures from history, but are startlingly modern, earthly and sympathetic.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 22mm | 282g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 16pp b&w illustrations
  • 0140273697
  • 9780140273694

About Penelope Hughes-Hallett

Penelope Hughes-Hallett was brought up in Jane Austen's Steventon. She has written on Jane Austen's letters, Wordsworth and Coleridge in the Lakes and has also edited an anthology of childhood. She lives on the Gloucestershire border.
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Review quote

'The biographical equivalent of a world in a grain of sand... [an] erudite account of a wonderful evening' - Peter Ackroyd
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Rating details

57 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 16% (9)
4 37% (21)
3 35% (20)
2 9% (5)
1 4% (2)
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