Shrewsbury School

'Histories of the Unexpected'

Friday 17 January 2020

On 16th January, we were delighted to welcome renowned historians Dr Sam Willis and Professor James Daybell, who gave a thought-provoking and very entertaining talk to pupils on ‘The Histories of the Unexpected'.

Their talk was the first in this term's Bastille Society and Academic Extension Lecture series.

It was based around certain objects, such as gloves and chimneys, which allowed them to look at multiple periods and provided a really original way of looking at history. They went from Neolithic paintings to the Titanic to the Duke of Wellington’s hair and they showed that everything has a history, even our own bodies, going through many of their own scars and talking about the different facial expressions that humans have developed. They even had a recreation of Victorian perfume that the audience got to smell.

The lecture was made very entertaining by their clever use of props and excellent retelling of gruesome stories from the past. They began at the history of hands and ended with everyone signing a piece of paper, so the talk went in a full circle. It demonstrated very effectively that history is always interconnected.

We would again like to thank both Dr Willia and Professor Daybell for taking the time to travel Shrewsbury and delivering such a fascinating talk.

Sophia Bureau (G U6)

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