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Debate with Mary Beard at the Royal Geographical Society

"As charismatic on stage as off, Bettany charged the room with energy and electrified us with her knowledge, passion and wit. We loved working with her and are already planning another event."


5 x 15

Royal Society Event

I was delighted that Bettany Hughes accepted to take part in a panel discussion on the public intellectual, in ancient Athens and today, hosted by the Royal Society under the aegis of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University. She thrilled audience and panellists alike. I particularly valued her views on how anxious, litigious and frightened the ancient Athenians often were, even while they affirmed the value of rational debate and public scrutiny.


Prof. Graziosi, Institute of Advanced Study

Edinburgh Book Festival

Bettany Hughes [has] been visiting the City of the World’s Desire for the last 30 years, been writing about it for the last ten, and talked about it so eloquently that anyone in the audience who hadn’t already been is probably booking their tickets right now. (...) In the audience, she mentioned, were her school history teacher and her own two daughters. On the basis of yesterday’s talk, they’re probably still glowing with pride.

David Robinson, The Scotsman

Howard League For Penal Reform

"Bettany Hughes gave the best speech I have ever heard, and I have heard a fair few. She was the keynote speaker at the Howard League hosted conference at Keble College, Oxford University and talked about the relevance of Athenian democracy and justice to challenges we confront today. She was engaging and erudite and gave her audience of 300 academics, students and professionals food for thought and for action. She has charm, she has warmth, and she has ideas."


Frances Cook, Chief Executive of The Howard Leage For Penal Reform

Motivational Speaking

"Bettany was both erudite and witty, effortlessly creating vivid parallels between the ancient world of Sparta and the modern day cut and thrust of commercial enterprise." 


Alex Kanellis - Chief Executive PZ Cussons


"Bettany Hughes was a charismatic and hugely entertaining speaker. A blend of serious scholarship and fun anecdotes, her talk was perfect."


Philippa Ouvry, Head of Friends and Patrons, V&A

Historic Houses Association

"Bettany Hughes takes her audience on an instant journey to the ancient world, from Persia to Greece and Rome. She has the brilliant and engaging ability to connect the history of those civilisations and individuals with science and contemporary philosophy and culture, using technology to bring the story to life and making sense of it all for a captivated audience."


Director of Historic Houses Association

Cornell University

"It's not often that a speaker on Socrates holds her own with consumer gurus and political pundits. But in the lecture series in which she spoke at Cornell this year, Bettany Hughes proved every bit as popular as those who spoke on more contemporary subjects. Hughes' talk was enthralling, professional, and deeply humanistic. Not only did she hold a crowd of 150 students spellbound, but — in the highest compliment of all — they stayed for the question period afterwards. Students vote with their feet! And, from what they told me afterwards, they felt like stomping out their approval."


Barry Strauss, Cornell University

92YTribeca, New York

“Bettany Hughes’s lecture at 92YTribeca was first rate. She is not only extremely knowledgeable, but also one of the most passionate, enthusiastic speakers we’ve had! She brought the subject of Socrates to life in a way I’d never seen before – making the ancient Greek totally relevant to our audience. The people in the room were mesmerized by her presentation, as was I.”


Debbie Himmelfarb

University of Missouri - St. Louis

“Our audience was impressed not only by [Bettany’s] passionate, lively and engaging presentation style, but also by the intellectual depth of the lecture and the fresh perspective…which [Bettany] so eloquently brought to life. The feedback I received includes comments such as “wonderful”, “amazing lecture”, “charming speaker”, “I learned so much”, and my favorite: “I want to buy all her books”


Michael Cosmopoulos, Ph.D.

National Theatre

"Bettany is brilliant at communicating her passion for, and knowledge of, the subject. She chaired our discussion at the Lyttelton Theatre with great ease, charm and warmth, skilfully encouraging him to examine the surprising relationship between Greek tragedy and Greek vase-paintings to the uninitiated but enthralled audience."


Sarah Mowat, Platforms Department, National Theatre

The Kit-Kat Club

"...Bettany is an absolutely magnetic speaker. Our all-female audience were entranced and inspired by her wit and scholarship. She brought ancient civilisations alive and made the enigmatic and unknown Helen of Troy feel real, immediate and relevant to us..."


Alice Sherwood

British Museum Lecture

"...The lecture was received with great enthusiasm both by myself and the audience. Bettany's style is clear and accessible and her enthusiasm is infectious. She has a natural talent for communication and a confident command of her subject matter. Her well chosen visuals complemented a well structured and wide ranging lecture which left the audience keen to find out more. There was certainly a queue for the book signing afterwards. She is highly recommended..."


Feedback from the British Museum

History Lab, Institute of Historical Research

"Bettany's talk about the challenges of making history work on television was hugely stimulating (as well as great fun!). She helped us to think about how we might communicate our own research beyond the academic world, as well as offering a perceptive insight into the broader relationship between history, media and the public."


Helen McCarthy, History Lab (network for postgraduate historians hosted by the Institute of Historical Research)

Reading University Conference

"...Bettany Hughes’ talk was a real highlight of the Ancient World Conference at Reading University in September 2007. She held the audience captivated with an engaging blend of historical expertise, intuitive interpretation and amusing anecdote. Perfectly illustrated and presented the combination of fact, analysis, investigative acumen and shining enthusiasm went down exceptionally well. Bettany’s ideas were made extremely accessible and entertaining and yet one was always aware of the thorough academic background underpinning her research. We received absolutely outstanding feedback from the audience..."


Michael Ackroyd Director, Ancient World Tours Ltd.

Royal Holloway College, University of London

"Dazzling. Highly recommended."


Feedback from RHC

Telegraph Travel Tour

"I so loved Bettany Hughes’ books and television programmes that I took a holiday exactly because she was to give a lecture to the group, in Athens itself. It was a magical to hear about Socrates in his city, to learn about his life in historical and philosophical context. Her books are erudite and authoritative but compelling, an extremely rare talent. I am a fan."

Oxford Alumni Weekend

"It was a treat to include Bettany as a speaker at our Alumni Weekend in Oxford. She delivered a lively, engaging and informative talk on Socrates and the Hemlock Cup to a delighted audience of alumni and guests. For many in the audience, she was playing to their strength as they had studied Classics whilst at Oxford and for some it was fresh information on a topic utterly new to them. In both instances, she held them in the palm of her hand. She is a delight!"


Christine Fairchild

The Iris Project

Bettany gave a brilliantly engaging talk on the Greatest Cities on Earth at The Iris Project's Festival of Lost Cities - a very diverse audience attended, and there was something for everyone to think about and explore. The audience greatly enjoyed Bettany's warm, accessible and energetic style. So many different aspects of cities and the ancient world were touched upon, lightly enough to entertain but with sufficient complexity to stimulate thought and debate afterwards. It was a really enjoyable evening and a fantastic end to our festival - thank you so much!


Dr Lorna Robinson, Director of The Iris Project

Inaugural English Heritage Lecture, Oxford

Bettany Hughes combines her considerable erudition with great personal warmth, beguiling and educating her audience in equal measure. Her particular gift is for selecting and re-telling stories from the past which transcend millennia and have meaning for us today.


Anna Eavis, Curatorial Director

Radio Times Festival

The Radio Times Festival event was a triumph. Bettany brought the session to life with smart questions and a light touch that allowed the cast to sparkle and kept the audience on the edge of their seats.


Ben Preston, Editor of the Radio Times

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