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Professor King at the castle

Professor Helen King

In November, Professor Helen King of the Classics Department will be one of six historians to address guests at a literary history weekend - 'Historians at the Castle'.

Helen, who specialises in the history of classical medicine, will be talking about one of her projects: the impact of the internet in making historical speculations into 'facts'. Her focus will be on the dissemination of recent claims that eighteenth-century men-midwives had women murdered in order to provide raw material for the illustrations they published showing unusual birth complications.

The event, which is taking place at the Castle Hotel in Taunton, Somerset, will provide an opportunity for guests to attend discussions and Q&A sessions with the six academics on a wide range of topics - from Pompeii to the fall of Basra, from Henry V to the Blitz, and from ancient Greek medicine to the Romantic revolution. It forms part of a series of literary weekends, organised by cultural tour operator, Martin Randall Travel.

Helen said, "There's a huge public appetite for history, and this event will give people the chance to think about how history is written, why fashions change, and what counts as 'good' history. While some of the weekend is structured, the whole idea is that the historians are around all the time for discussion - so anything could happen!"

Helen has also recently been awarded an AHRC Fellowship to complete a book about the uses of classical medicine in debates about gender, and the medical roles of women from the sixteenth century onwards.

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