Apocalypse Then

90 TUTOR: John Byrom

The word "apocalypse” used to have more to do with opening the mind than with the destruction that it is now associated with. During this course, you will take account of the biblical book of Revelation, but a major emphasis will be on the influence it had on the literature of the early nineteenth century as the Industrial Revolution opened, and closed, new ways of living that reminded the public of heaven and hell. Expect to encounter a cast list that includes William Blake, Mary and Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and the artists John Martin and J.M.W. Turner in an alternately blood freezing and heart-warming age.

Course Notes

Welcome to Apocalypse Then, a course that - despite the title - I hope you will thoroughly enjoy. We shall try to find out why in the years after the French Revolution, the idea of an apocalypse became increasingly popular and urgent. We shall briefly discuss the book of Revelation in the Bible, so if you could bring a Bible along, that would be helpful. Also on the menu are poems by William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, William Wordsworth, John Keats, and Lord Byron. If you have copies of their work, that would be splendid, although I can bring a few copies of each myself. Central to the week, however, will be Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein”, so a copy of "Three Gothic Novels” (Penguin) will be essential. When I last looked, abe books online had plenty of cheapish second hand copies ISBN 014-043-036-9.


I hope that you will find this blend of literature and history - catastrophists, neptunists, vulcanists, prometheans et al - to be a stimulating ride around a roller coaster of an age.

Course Tutor

John Byrom

About John

John Byrom is now retired but taught in a number of institutions in his career. One of them was Marlborough College where he was a housemaster and Head of the English Department for a time. He left Marlborough for the colder climes of Aberdeen University and then Norway, returning to Scotland to teach in Aberdeen and Perthshire, where he now lives in the shadow of the Highlands. At present he spends a lot of his time reading Scandinavian language with his cats on his knees and looking out at the weather. There is a lot of it.

Join our e-newsletter for all the latest Summer School news and a reminder when bookings open

Gift vouchers

Request a brochure

Summer School Entertainment 2023


Outdoor adventuring

When it comes to Summer School courses, Outdoor Adventures has become something of an icon. We...

More News

Summer School Dates for 2024

All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul

WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul

WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul

WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM