‘The Sons of Genius’ (1799)

Watch the film and listen to Professor Keith Hanley read Davy’s poem ‘The Sons of Genius’. Then think about the following questions:

  • How does Davy characterise ‘sons of genius’?

  • What do you think of his characterisation?

This poem is one of the few that Davy published. If you would like to read it as it first appeared, it was published in the first volume of Robert Southey’s Annual Anthology in 1799 (pages 93-99).

The image used in this film is Thomas Phillips, portrait of Humphry Davy (1821), NPG 2546, © National Portrait Gallery, London, licenced under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

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This video is from the free online course:

Humphry Davy: Laughing Gas, Literature, and the Lamp

Lancaster University