Do men always get the best punch-lines? I was once at a conference where one of the speakers illustrated his points about gender in ancient Rome by referring to a story about Winston Churchill and Nancy Astor. Quick-witted, the first woman Member of Parliament, Nancy Astor’s reputation has been tarnished by her support of Chamberlain’s policy… Continue reading Women and humour in history
I like sheep. When I was staying in the Netherlands some years ago, I was very excited because we were invited on a trip to what I heard as the ‘Sheep Museum’. Puzzled as to how there could be enough material to fill such a place, I went along enthusiastically, but was a little disappointed… Continue reading The Plague of Athens: dying like sheep?
“Do you want to know a secret?” Knowledge is power, but who knew what about women's bodies in the ancient world?
How are you at combining your work and your family? It’s a question which exercises many of us, and it came to mind again a few months ago. I’ve always liked visiting cathedrals, and I’ve always been interested in funerary monuments. So on a trip to north-east England, when I was briefly in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I… Continue reading ‘A house crammed full of books’ – and children
Not long ago we came to the end of ‘Vesalius year’. The great anatomist was born in 1514, but so many places wanted to honor him on his 500th anniversary that conferences and exhibitions continued to the end of 2015. I managed to get to one in Padua and one in Leuven… Continue reading Vesalius – The Ultimate Wedding Present?