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Speaker / Host

Bettany Hughes

Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, whose specialty is ancient and mediaeval history and culture. She is also a fascinating speaker with a breadth of talks on the history, which have shaped our planet and her own highly successful career. Bettany has delivered keynote speeches for a number of institutions and events including the launch of the New National Curriculum, the Gstaad Symposium and The British Museum.

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About Bettany Hughes

Bethany Hughes has spoken to audiences around the world.  She has been invited to universities in the US, Australia, Germany, Turkey and Holland to speak on subjects as diverse as Helen of Troy and the origins of female ‘Sophia’ to concepts of Time in the Islamic world. Bettany is also a very competent event host.

 

Biography

On leaving school Bettany won a scholarship to read Ancient and Modern History at Oxford University. She then continued her post-graduate research while travelling through the Balkans and Asia Minor.

Writing about these experiences opened the doors to a flourishing career on radio, television and print journalism. And she still writes regularly for The Times, The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail.

Bettany has written and presented a number of documentaries for radio and television in the UK and the US. She is frequently asked to sit on academic and cultural jury panels.

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. She has taught at Bristol, Manchester, UCL, Oxford and Cambridge Universities and is a Research Fellow of King’s College London.

Bettany Hughes is a long-standing patron and supporter of educational and campaigning charity ‘The Iris Project’. This charity promotes and teaches Latin, Greek in state schools. Furthermore she is an honorary, founding patron of ‘Classics for All’. This is a national campaign to get classical languages and the study of classical civilisations back into state schools. In addition Bettany is also an advisor to the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation which promotes large-scale collaborative projects between East and West.

She co-produced a seven part global documentary series about the shared roots of Eastern and Western culture.  It premiered at UNESCO in 2013. And she also made a 10-part series on the history of ideas for the BBC.

Books

Bettany Hughes is a prolific historical writer and her latest book, Istanbul  (W & N, 2017) was met with great critical acclaim.

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.

Others include  Athens: The Trouble with Democracy, When The Moors Ruled Europe, , The Spartans and The Seven Ages of Britain.

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Testimonials

"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

"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."

V&A Lecutre

"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

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