Fordham Romanticism Group Celebrates the Lives of Lady Byron and Ada Lovelace

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On October 16, the Fordham Romanticism Group and the Byron Society of America co-sponsored a talk by Julia Markus, author of Lady Byron and her Daughters (Norton, 2015). Markus, a writer of three novels and four book-length biographies, detailed Ada Lovelace’s relationship with her parents, the intelligent and complex Lady Byron and the often indifferent and unavailable Lord Byron. 

Markus examined Lovelace’s complex feelings towards her absent father, who strategically wrote with public affection in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage to the daughter he initially rejected and subsequently abandoned. Additionally, Markus highlighted the tumultuous relationship between Lady Byron and Ada, which was marked by tensions until, towards the end of Lovelace’s life, they reconciled.

Speaking on the 200th anniversary of not only the birth of Ada Lovelace but also, notoriously, the end of the Lady and Lord Byron’s dysfunctional marriage, Markus also examined Lady Byron’s heated and turbulent relationship with her husband. Challenging the narrative that deems Lady Byron either angelic or cold and uncaring, Markus presented a distinctly human portrait of Lady Byron, her strengths and faults emphasized equally. 

In her illuminating description of Lovelace, Markus emphasized a wide network of Lovelace’s relationships—some intellectual, emotional, and sexual—beyond just her familial circle. Moreover, Lovelace’s vast intellect and myriad accomplishments, as well as her occasionally mercurial behavior, were on display, illustrating the many facets of Lovelace’s persona and the honest and scrupulous portrayals that exemplify Markus’s work.

The talk concluded with a lively Q&A and reception, where the audience of the filled room continued conversations over hors d'oeuvres and wine.

This story was written by Kevin StevensGraduate Coordinator of the Fordham Romanticism Group. 

English Graduate Course Lineup

Summer and Fall 2015 feature an array of interesting English graduate course offerings. 

A seminar on Horror and Madness in Fiction and Film is being offered in Fordham's Summer Session 2. The course counts for an American 2 or Elective Requirement and is open to non-degree students.

The Fall 2015 English graduate course schedule includes Research Methods; Theatrical Enterprise in Early Modern England; Romanticism and Private Life; Eighteenth Century Travel; Memory, Trauma, Narrative; Approaches to American Literature Before 1900; 20th Century American Novel: A Violent Survey; Themes in Pre-Conquest Literature; and Late Medieval Women. Two creative writing options include a Master Class on The Short Story and a Playwriting Workshop.

For continuing graduate students, registration begins on April 7th for Summer and Fall 2015 English Graduate Courses.

Students who are not matriculated at Fordham may apply for non-degree enrollment now.

For further information, please contact Martine Stern at