The Classics Department were so fortunate to host the incredibly talented, educated and entertaining Natalie Haynes on Thursday 23rd January for two free talks on the stories of Troy in the afternoon and on how Greek tragedy relates to the modern world in the evening. Being both a classicist and a comedian, Natalie managed to keep both audiences thoroughly entertained whilst provoking considerable thought on topics such as the value of women in the ancient world, what it is to be a hero, the refugee crisis and how Greek Tragedy influences soaps such as Eastenders - where of course the Queen Vic pub is the royal palace where all the main action takes place!
It was a real privilege and an honour to host such a fantastic speaker and one who is becoming quite the celebrity via Radio 4, her books and journalism. All Year 10 students plus any classicists in Years 11-13 were treated to the afternoon talk based on her latest novel A Thousand Ships and then had the opportunity to buy signed books from Topping Booksellers and ask Natalie further questions. We hosted students from seven schools from the region: Bristol Grammar School, Sherborne Girls, Beechen Cliff, KES, Badminton, Clifton College and St Mary’s Calne and some were able to stay after school to be entertained by Cambodia Club’s movie showing of Troy before the evening event where parents and members of the general public could join us.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends who funded these events, seats were free of charge and we could offer the experience to all local schools and the general public. In this way, everyone, no matter their background has greater access to the rich diversity and treasures of the ancient world. For, as many of us already know and as we saw in both her fantastic talks, the ancient world is as relevant as ever.
Mrs C Binney (Head of Classics)