BBC @ Mount Stewart Conversations 2017

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The BBC’s Mount Stewart Conversations 2017, will see two talks hosted in the gardens of Mount Stewart over the weekend of 14-15 October.

Stories and People from the Ancient World – Classical Connections;  12.45pm – 2.00pm, Saturday 14 October

Professor Edith Hall and Geraldine McCaughrean will be in conversation about… stories and ideas from the ancient world and their enduring influence and appeal. Our guests will be discussing the ways in which Classical themes have resonated down the centuries, and how Greek and Roman myths have been re-imagined for new generations – including books for children. We’ll also spend some time chatting about Homer’s Odyssey (prompted by the fact that Lady Londonderry was also known as Circe and can been read about here – and how this epic tale of adventure and curiosity has inspired countless books, poems and BBC programmes.

(Professor Edith Hall is a celebrated author and broadcaster and one of the UK’s foremost classicists. Her most recent book, Introducing the Ancient Greeks, has been described as “masterly” and “terrifically good”. Geraldine McCaughrean is a popular and critically acclaimed children’s author. She is a prolific storyteller and is well-known for her adaptations of Classical stories.)

Brock, Edmond, 1882-1952; 'Circe and the Sirens': A Group Portrait of the Honourable Edith Chaplin (1878-1959), Marchioness of Londonderry, and Her Three Youngest Daughters, Lady Margaret Frances Anne Vane-Tempest-Stewart (1910-1966), Lady Helen Maglona Va

Standing Up for The Classics – Ancient History and Modern Life;  12.45pm – 2.00pm, Sunday 15 October

Natalie Haynes will be in conversation about… the ancient world and its enduring relevance and appeal. She will be discussing how the Classics have influenced many different aspects of everyday life, from how “screenwriters learn from Sophocles, politicians echo Cicero and doctors take the Hippocratic oath.” Our conversation will also explore Natalie’s career as a writer, broadcaster and former stand-up comedian and her popular BBC Radio 4 series, Natalie Haynes Stands Up For The Classics. And as Book Week comes to its close on BBC Northern Ireland, we will hear about Natalie’s re-imagining of the Oedipus and Antigone stories in her new book, The Children of Jocasta.


(Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. She has written several books, including The Ancient Guide to Modern Life. She was awarded the Classical Association Prize in 2015 for her work in bringing Classics to a wider audience.)

The event is not just limited to these two classical talks. Between 3-15 October, in the BBC Blackstaff Studios and Mount Stewart Gardens, the Mount Stewart Conversations 2017 will include talks by Dan Cruickshank, David Starkey, Alister McGrath, Jonathan Lynn, Fiona Stafford, John Lloyd, Cathy Rentzenbrin, Robert McCrum and Julian Baggini on a variety of subjects such as the Reformation, C.S. Lewis, fake news, political comedy, books and heartache, the stories surrounding some of our most common trees, and the historical and cultural lessons to be learned from architecture.

For more information, check out the official events page –

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