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EnglishPart of Humanities

Princely Beginnings for Annual Lecture Series

Published: 23 October 2013

Tuesday October 15th saw the English department's inaugural F.T. Prince Memorial Lecture, given by Sir Christopher Ricks. These lectures will be given annually to celebrate the work of staff and students in the department and the intellectual legacy of F.T. Prince, the poet and scholar who helped found it back in 1946.

Ricks' lecture, entitled 'Blasphemy's Tongue', ranged from Milton, Marvell and Shakespeare to F.T. Prince and Bob Dylan, exploring the various ways in which literature might aspire to offend. Ricks' own scholarship has called Prince 'the fact from which discussion must begin', and his erudite lecture proved a fitting tribute to the poet and scholar who helped found our department back in 1946.

The lecture was attended by over 140 students and staff past and present, as well as teachers and pupils from our English Teachers' Network. Alumni recalled Prince's unwavering commitment to poetry and pedagogy, and ). Professor Joseph Bristow, who studied for his doctorate at Southampton in the 1970s, recalled Prince as a 'magnificent force'. The evening also gave alumni and students a chance to explore the old English departmental ledger recording all staff, students (and their marks) from 1946 to 1970.

Alumni around the world were also able to listen to the lecture streamed live, and a podcast is available for students and alumni on request.

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