Graham Storey Lecture 2018

'Henry James and Charisma' by Professor Adrian Poole

Wednesday 2 May 2018, 17:00-18:00

Faculty of English


As part of his estate, Graham Storey left a bequest to the English Faculty, University of Cambridge, to fund a lecture in his name. The inaugural lecture was given in May 2008 by Professor James Wood of Harvard University and further lectures have been given by Professor Marina Warner in 2009, Anne Enright in 2010, Ian McEwan in 2011, Alan Hollinghurst in 2012, Caryl Phillips in 2014 and Lydia Davis in 2016.  This eighth lecture in the series will be given by Professor Adrian Poole and is entitled Henry James and Charisma.

Date: Wednesday 2 May 2018
Time: Lecture 17:00-18:00 | Drinks Reception 18:00-18:30
Location: Room GR06/07, Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP
Cost: No charge to attend. Booking is not required

Speaker: Adrian Poole is Emeritus Professor of English Literature and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has written on novelists including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Henry James, and he has edited the Cambridge Companion to English Novelists. He is one of the General Editors of the Complete Fiction of Henry James for Cambridge University Press, and is himself editing The Princess Casamassima.

Lecture: ‘Charisma’ is a word we can’t seem to avoid, yet it only acquired its modern currency when it migrated from theology into social thought in the 1920s. In the years after World War II it became an important concept for the influential American critic Lionel Trilling and his thinking about the novelist Henry James. James could have not have known the word ‘charisma’ –– he died in 1916 –– but he was much interested in the potency of ‘charm’ and the uses to which it could be put, in public and in private, as matters of performance, style, and the incitement of passion. This lecture will explore James’s insight into some emergent features of his world that have come to dominate ours.

Booking: There is no charge to attend and booking is not required.

Additional information: The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Faculty of English