Speaker & Historian
Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, whose speciality is ancient and mediaeval history and culture. She has taught at Bristol, Manchester, UCL, Oxford and Cambridge Universities and is a Research Fellow of King's College London.
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Read more about Bettany Hughes
Author, historian and TV presenter Bettany Hughes is a fascinating speaker with a breadth of talks on the history, which have shaped our planet and her own highly successful career.
Her first book 'Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore' has been translated into ten languages. Her second, 'The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life' was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Writer’s Guild Award.
She has written and presented numerous documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic and ITV. Her programmes have now been seen by over 150 million worldwide. In 2010, she was awarded the Naomi Sargent Education Prize for Broadcast Excellence and was given a Special Award for services to Hellenic Culture and Heritage.
In 2011 she was Chair of the Orange Prize for Fiction and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association and of Cardiff University. She was awarded the Norton Medlicott Award for services to History in 2012. In 2013 she was given an Honorary Doctorate by York University in recognition of her ‘outstanding’ contribution to history and to its international promotion.
Bettany Hughes is a long-standing patron and supporter of educational and campaigning charities 'The Iris Project', which promotes and teaches Latin, Greek in state schools. She is an honorary, founding patron of 'Classics For All', a national campaign to get classical languages and the study of classical civilisations back into state schools, and an advisor to the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation which promotes large-scale collaborative projects between East and West.
She co-produced a 7 part global documentary series about the shared roots of Eastern and Western culture which was premiered at UNESCO in 2013. She also made a a 10-part series on the history of ideas for the BBC.
"Bettany is an absolutely magnetic speaker. Our all-female audience were entranced and inspired by her wit and scholarship. She brought ancient civilizations alive and made the enigmatic and unknown Helen of Troy feel real, immediate and relevant to us."
"Our audience was impressed not only by Bettany’s passionate, lively and engaging presentation style, but also by the intellectual depth of the lecture and the fresh perspective, which Bettany so eloquently brought to life. The feedback I received includes comments such as 'wonderful', 'amazing lecture', “charming speaker”, 'I learned so much', and my favorite: 'I want to buy all her books!'"
University of Missouri - St. Louis
"The lecture was received with great enthusiasm both by myself and the audience. Bettany's style is clear and accessible and her enthusiasm is infectious. She has a natural talent for communication and a confident command of her subject matter. Her well chosen visuals complemented a well structured and wide ranging lecture which left the audience keen to find out more. There was certainly a queue for the book signing afterwards. I highly recommended her."
The British Museum
"Bettany is brilliant at communicating her passion for, and knowledge of, the subject. She chaired our discussion at the Lyttelton Theatre with great ease, charm and warmth, skilfully encouraging him to examine the surprising relationship between Greek tragedy and Greek vase-paintings to the uninitiated but enthralled audience."
The National Theatre
"Bettany Hughes was a charismatic and hugely entertaining speaker. A blend of serious scholarship and fun anecdotes, her talk was perfect."
"Bettany's talk about the challenges of making history work on television was hugely stimulating (as well as great fun!). She helped us to think about how we might communicate our own research beyond the academic world, as well as offering a perceptive insight into the broader relationship between history, media and the public."
Institute of Historical Research