Talk: Histories of the Unexpected LIVE
  • The House, University of Plymouth

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Due to the popularity of this event, Histories of the Unexpected LIVE is now SOLD OUT.

"It's Genius..." - Paul Ross, Talk Radio

"History as you've never seen it before" - Dan Snow

"Fun, witty, and fast-paced, you’ll enjoy this innovative approach to telling history" - BBC History Weekend

From the presenter of the BBC’s The Silk Road and Invasion! working with one of the country’s leading professors of history comes a new way to think about the past…Histories of the Unexpected is...A show that demonstrates how everything has a history, even the most unexpected of subjects, and how everything links together in unexpected ways. 

Our podcast and book has been adapted for a live audience by Daniel Jamieson, one of the country’s leading playwrights. 

Histories of the Unexpected LIVE is an exciting new show that demonstrates how everything has a history, even the most unexpected of subjects, and how those subjects link together in unexpected ways. What links together the Titanic, Pompeii, Neolithic cave painting, Victorian perfumes, electrical experiments on the human face, Charles I, Mary Queen of Scots, scalping, Elizabeth I, Nelson, Henry VIII, Proust, Hiroshima, the Duke of Wellington, slavery, scarification, Glaswegian gangs, Darwin, Shakespeare, mutiny, chimneys, a skull, a seventeenth century map of the world, shoes and gloves?

Well you’ll just have to come to find out… You will never think about the past - or the present - in the same way ever again. Guaranteed.

Date: Monday 11 February
Time: 19:00 – 20:00
Venue: The House, University of Plymouth
Free admission, booking advised

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Dr Sam Willis is one of the UK’s bests known historians. He is the presenter for BBC's 'The Silk Road' and 'Invasion!' and has made more than ten major TV series for the BBC and National Geographic.

James Daybell is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Plymouth and author of more than 12 books. He regularly appears on History TV documentaries.

We believe that everything – even the most unexpected of subjects – has a history, and also that those histories link together in unexpected, and often rather magical, ways.



"We challenged ourselves to write the history of things we weren’t necessarily sure even had a history"  

In the duo's new book, Histories of the Unexpected, Sam Willis and James Daybell lead us on a journey of historical discovery that tackles some of the greatest historical themes- from the Tudors to the Second World War, from the Roman Empire to the Victorians – but via entirely unexpected subjects. 

Taking the reader on an enthralling and extraordinary journey through thirty different topics, Histories of the Unexpected not only presents a new way of thinking about the past, but also reveals the everyday world around us as never before.


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