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QMCECS Seminar: Stephen Bending: 17 January 2017

January 12, 2017

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Stephen Bending

(University of Southampton)

Pleasure Gardens and the Problems of Pleasure c.1650-1830

What use is pleasure? On both sides of the Enlightenment Atlantic the problem of pleasure—too much, not enough, the wrong kind, the wrong place—confronted the individual both with the immediacy of the senses and with their sense of their self in the world. Ranging from the sophisticated model of garden analysis and self-reflection offered by Madame de Scudery, to the equally complex experience of pleasure grounds articulated by (and about) the Jefferson family at Monticello in early nineteenth-century Virginia, this paper aims to set the sensual and intellectual pleasures of the garden in the context of the Enlightenment’s struggle to account for the immediacy of sensation and the unruliness of emotion; focusing on the disruptive nature of pleasure, the paper will explore the conflicts and elisions of public statement and private experience in the pleasure gardens of eighteenth-century Britain, France and North America.

Chair: Barbara Taylor

All welcome

Time: 5.00-7.00pm.

Venue: Seminar Room, Lock-Keeper’s Cottage Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End, London, E1 4NS.

Convenors: Prof Markman Ellis, English (; Prof Colin Jones, History (; Prof Miles Ogborn, Geography (; Prof Amanda Vickery, History (, Prof Barbara Taylor, English and History (

[Travel instructions: take the Central Line or District Line to Mile End. Exit the tube station, turn left down Mile End Road, crossing the Burdett Road/Grove Road intersection, passing under the Mile End Green Bridge and over the canal, to the campus entrance at Westfield Way. The Lock-Keeper’s Cottage is the third building on the right].

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