On Wednesday 1st April Keats-Shelley House attempted its first Synchronised Reading Group - inspired by an idea dreamed up by John Keats and sent in a letter to his brother George in December 1818: ‘I shall read a passage of Shakespeare every Sunday at ten oClock – you read one at the same time and we shall be as near each other as blind bodies can be in the same room.’
To honour Keats' original invention, we chose a passage of Shakespeare - his sonnet 44 - and simply asked that people join us for a few minutes of silent, or not so silent, reading. The response was inspiring and deeply moving, in Italy above all. As Rita Italiano wrote in La Stampa: 'L’idea è gentile e semplice. E per tutti. Viene illustrata dalla Keats-Shelley House di Roma. Un «gruppo di lettura simultanea».'
We have borrowed Rita's words - Per Tutti - to name to the group.
We were thrilled that some readers sent videos and recordings from their self-isolations. Here is Dean Masullo reading in Nashville.
We also received this video from the actor Julian Sands in Los Angeles. Julian's many roles include playing Shelley in Ken Russell's Gothic. In recent years his poetry readings have become a regular highlight at Keats-Shelley House. Watch and listen below:
Next week's Keats-Shelley 'Per Tutti' Reading Group will synchronise on Wednesday, 8th April at 12pm GMT. Join us then, or at your own 12pm. We will post the text in the coming days.