on Wednesday 4th November 2015, 7pm
Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU


French literature and poetry have long been a source of inspiration for writers in English. Oscar Wilde wrote poems in a French style and with French titles; Arthur Symons and Ernest Dowson translated Baudelaire and Verlaine; TS Eliot‘s collection Poems (1920) contained several poems in French.

This event will examine some of these cross-Channel connections from the 19th century to more modern times, with a particular focus on the French symbolists. It will be illustrated by readings in both French and English of original poetry and translations.

Matthew Creasy is lecturer in English literature at the University of Glasgow and has recently published a critical edition of Arthur Symons’ seminal work The Symbolist Movement in Literature. He will talk about the influence of French Decadent and Symbolist poetry upon British writers during the fin de siècle, with particular reference to Verlaine’s visit to England in 1894 (when he stayed briefly with Symons in London).

Anthony Rudolf is a poet, literary critic, editor and publisher who has made many translations of French poetry, including books by Yves Bonnefoy, Claude Vigée and Edmond Jabès. He was deeply involved in the original rescue of the Rimbaud and Verlaine house at 8 Royal College Street. Anthony will discuss the importance of French poetry to him over many years and will read a selection of his own poems and translations.

Dylan Read is a graduate of the Jacques Lecoq international theatre school in Paris. He and his colleagues have recently devised a theatre piece based on Charles Baudelaire’s Paris Spleen. Dylan performs in both French and English in the UK and abroad and will give a series of readings in both languages.

How to book

This event is free of charge but booking is essential. Please go to to reserve your place. Registration will be open from 6.30 pm and the event will start promptly at 7.00 pm.

Europe House is situated at 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU and is a short walk from Westminster, St James’s Park and Victoria tube stations.

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