Mercers' Lecture: Wendy Cope

On Wednesday 14th October, Wendy Cope came to Dauntsey’s to give a lecture and poetry reading entitled ‘One Wedding and a Funeral’.

Before the reading, a group of Sixth Formers were fortunate to be able to talk to Wendy before and during dinner. A wide range of topics were discussed from her beginnings in poetry to her views on modern feminism, self-publishing and . It also transpires that she is a huge fan of Judi Dench!

Wendy’s reading of a selection of her poetry was well-received by a very appreciative audience. Her comic style was showcased with some more well-known poems including ‘Bloody Men’ and ‘An Attempt at Unrhymed Verse’, but she also read some more meditative poems, including some reflections on Shakespeare in anticipation of the 400th anniversary of his death next year. She also provided some elucidating background to some of these poems, along with her feelingss on the inclusion of her poems in the English syllabus.

After answering some questions about her inspirations and her writing habits – contrary to one source, she does not write every morning after breakfast – Wendy rounded off a lovely evening with two great poems, ‘The Stickleback Song’ and ‘Kindness to Animals’.

We would like to thank Wendy Cope for taking the time to join us at Dauntsey’s for such an entertaining and inspiring evening.

Pupils, parents and the local community look forward to the next Mercers’ Lecture from Professor Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and VP of the African Development Bank , on Tuesday 20 October.

All lectures commence at 7.30pm and will be held in either the Memorial Hall or the new Pavilion; please check on the School website on the day of the event. Entry is free, but please contact the School if you wish to attend, either by sending an email to or by telephone on 01380 814500. Before attending, please check the website for any alterations to the programme.

For full details of the Mercers’ Lecture season and other events please see Dates at Dauntsey’s page.

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