James Mason as Julius Caesar.

Imaginations of Ancient Rome in 19th Century Historical Novels

There are two parts to this talk: the first part examines the synopses and main themes of some well known historical novels from the nineteenth century (e.g. The Last Days of Pompeii, Hypatia, Callista, Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, along with 4-5 others); the second part notes the powerful influence of these themes and novels into the twentieth century through (e.g.) "toga" plays and epic cinema, and reflects on the power of imagination and some recent thoughts about a potentially greater role for imagination in the work of the historian.

Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea. Afternoon tea will be held in E318, Forgan Smith Building.