Talks 2019

This Spring and Summer, I’ll be giving a series of public and academic talks in London and elsewhere. I’ll update this page with details as they are confirmed. I hope you will be able to come to one of them.


beasts of london: an animal history

20 June (6:30-9 pm) at the Museum of London. Panel and more! Advance booking £9-15

Join me and a panel of fellow animal history experts from the Museum of London and Historic Royal Palaces for my book’s official launch event! After hearing about animals in prehistoric and medieval London, I’ll be talking about the Georgian period (naturally!) and then signing books at a special discounted price. You can then head into the Museum’s exciting new animal exhibition at a discounted price.


Spencer House lecture: Animals and the rise of the West End

11 November (Doors open 6pm; lecture 6.30pm - 8.30pm) at Spencer House, London, SW1A. Advance booking £15: includes book discount, an opportunity to see the State Rooms and a glass of wine.

Join me in the spectacular surroundings of Spencer House, one of London’s last great aristocratic houses, for a lecture exploring the dramatic role played by horses, livestock and dogs in West End life in the Georgian period.

Spencer House once stood at the gateway to a horse-powered metropolis, an equestrian paradise and a city brimming with farm animals. The Georgian West End contained the largest concentration of elite riding and carriage horses in the world; and Spencer House is a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, then Europe’s most famous riding venue. At the same time, the building is a monument to the huge contribution made by working horses in the city. Most of the materials used to build Spencer House were hauled there by draught horses, while some were also manufactured with horse-powered machinery. Once the Spencers were in residence, they could also depend on being served the nation’s finest meat thanks to the gargantuan Smithfield livestock trade.

This lively and richly illustrated lecture will discuss the many ways in which animals shaped the West End’s dramatic expansion and daily life in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, covering everything from art and architecture, to industry and crime prevention.



8 May (6–7:30pm) in S8.08, Department of History, Strand Building, King’s College London. All welcome. Free

I’m delighted to be part of The Animal History Group’s brilliant series of talks. I’ll be speaking about my motivation for writing City of Beasts, some of my key discoveries and why I think integrating animals into social and urban history is so important.

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Cambridge festival of ideas

October - Watch this space and the Festival website

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GEORGIAN GROUP TALK: How animals shaped georgian london

26 November (Doors open 6.15pm, talk starts 6.30pm) at 6 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 5DX. Advance booking £15 (inc. wine). All welcome inc. non-members.

Was the capital really only a bit player in the Industrial Revolution? Was the city agriculturally unproductive? Did sociability drive recreation unchallenged? Armed with plenty of images of Georgian art and architecture, I’ll be answering these questions and much more as part of a whistle-stop tour ranging from West End mews to East End industrial yards.