Press release issued 14 March 2013
Popular classicist Professor Mary Beard will give an insight into the popularity of Pompeii tonight [14 March] as part of the University of Bristol’s annual history festival.
Professor Beard is well-known as the Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and author of the blog ‘A Don's Life’, which appears in The Times as a regular column.
In addition to this, she has also written 10 books on ancient history and presented a number of television series. The University of Bristol awarded her an honorary degree last year.
Her lecture tonight, being held in City Hall, looks at how Victorian visitors in the 19th century viewed Pompeii - one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world – and questions whether it was a triumph or disappointment.
The second talk in the Past Matters series is being given by Bristol University’s Professor Robert Bickers, author of the prize-winning 'Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai'.
Professor Bickers’ talk at the Watershed on Thursday, 21 March, explores the foreign impact on the 19th century Chinese empire, a tale largely forgotten overseas but which remains evident in modern-day China.
Professor Brendan Simms, Professor in the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge, looks at the history of Europe from 1453 in his lecture on Tuesday, 23 April, telling the story of Europe's constantly shifting geopolitics and the peculiar circumstances that have made it impossible to dominate and such a strong force in the world.
Past Matters, organised by the Department of History in association with the Centre for Public Engagement, is now in its second year. It aims to bring together academic historians, students, community groups, and the public to discuss and debate the place of history in contemporary society.
For more information, please see the Centre for Public Engagement’s website.
Professor Mary Beard receives an honorary degree from the University of Bristol