Cumbria is as extraordinary as when I leapt up and down the hills as a child for the first fifteen years of my life. My grandparents lived there, in remoter, wilder northern Cumbria off of Bassenthwaite Lake, dark and immense.
Immediately I saw the warmth and small r republican vibe that the Romantics extolled. Haven't been there for a conference since 1990 when Jonathan Bate gave his famous "Romantic Ecology" talk. Mine was called "Romantic Ecology Revisited."
Next year I'll be back to talk to non-scholars about all this for a special event at the Dove Cottage museum, which is brilliantly organized and heartbreakingly beautiful.