Thursday, 30 June 2016

From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 14 September 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

Directions
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Nicholas Hawksmoor (1662–1736) is considered one of Britain’s greatest architects. He was involved in the grandest architectural projects of his age and today is best known for his London churches – six idiosyncratic edifices of white Portland stone that remain standing today, proud and tall in the otherwise radically changed cityscape.

After centuries of neglect Hawksmoor began to return to prominence during the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, a mythology began to develop around him and his work. Iain Sinclair posited a magical "system of energies, or unit of connection, within the city," in Hawksmoor’s churches in Lud Heat (1975), while Peter Ackroyd popularised the association of Hawksmoor’s work with the occult in his novel Hawksmoor (1985).

Latterly, psycho-geographers, Alan Moore and others have continued the myth of Hawksmoor as an undercover pagan architect. In this talk, Owen Hopkins explores how and why this mythology has grown up around Hawksmoor and his work and how it relates to the real historical figure.

Owen Hopkins is a writer, historian and curator of architecture. He is Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts and is author of four books on architecture, including From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor.

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 14 September 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn.

Directions
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Monday, 13 June 2016

A History of Life After Death



£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Tuesday 26 July 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn.
Directions
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The end of life has never meant the extinction of hope. Throughout history people have yearned for, and often been terrified by, continuance beyond the horizon of mortality.

In his unique new book, Philip C. Almond examines the history of ideas surrounding life after death. Ranging from the banks of the river Styx to the legendary Isles of the Blessed and from Dante’s Inferno to the fusion of Heavenly and Hellish worlds in the fantasy creations of twentieth century literature, this talk will provide an illuminating journey of the hereafter as imagined in literature, philosophy and religion throughout the centuries.


Philip C. Almond is Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences (Research) and Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of European Discourses at The University of Queensland. He is the author of many books, including  The Devil: A New Biography and Afterlife: A History of Life after Death, both from Cornell; The Lancashire Witches: A Chronicle of Sorcery and Death on Pendle Hill; Adam and Eve in Seventeenth-Century Thought; and Heaven and Hell in Enlightenment England

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Tuesday 26 July 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn.
Directions
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We spend more time there than we do here....

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Cock Lane Ghost: A London Ghost Story

7.45pm Thursday 30 June 2016
£4 / £2 concessions
Please pay on the door
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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In 1762 the ghost of a murder victim appeared to be haunting a little girl in Smithfield; Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane attracted mobs of curious onlookers outside the house, a visit from the heir to the throne, an investigation by Dr Johnson and finally a lawsuit.

The Cock Lane ghost was the world’s first example of a media circus, and it arose from a spirit of anarchy and disruptiveness quite specific to this ancient area of London. Was the Cock Lane Ghost simply a pub joke that went wrong? Some new research may shed light on this famous ghost story.

Roger Clarke's book A Natural History of Ghosts has most recently been published in Spain. Japanese publication is this July, and the mass-market paperback in the USA over Halloween after a rave review in The New York Times.

7.45pm Thursday 30 June 2016
£4 / £2 concessions
Please pay on the door
The Pipeline, 94 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EZ.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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Friday, 20 May 2016

Constructing Magical Prague: Ghettos, The Golem and the Alchemical Emperor

7.45pm Thursday 23 June 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

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Historian Dr John Callow FRSA tells of alchemy in Middle Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries,and of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, a great patron of the arts and promoter of the occults arts and learning – the forerunner of modern science.

7.45pm Thursday 23 June 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
he Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

London Stone: Mystery and Myth

Sold out (sorry)
Monday 13 June 2016
7.30pm
Change of Venue: 
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook event page

What is the London Stone, the dusty piece of stone in a derelict office block on Cannon Street? The remains of a Stone Circle? A druid alter stone? A Roman mile-stone?Part of a Ley Line? The Palladium of Troy?  

John Clark, for many years curator of the medieval collections at the Museum of London and now ‘Curator Emeritus’, has long been interested in the interplay between history, archaeology and legend in the story of London, from the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth to the burial of Boadicea under King’s Cross station. 

In this talk he investigates the ‘real’ story of London Stone, in Cannon Street, and the way in which myths have developed around it .


Doors 7pm. A small cash bar will be available for alcoholic drinks on the night.
Sold out (sorry)
Monday 13 June 2016
7.30pm
Change of Venue: 
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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Snake Oil! The Golden Age of Quackery in Britain and America

7.45pm Thursday 26 May 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a proliferation of advertised medicines and health devices - some harmless, some strange and some downright fraudulent. 

Caroline Rance of the popular history of medicine website, The Quack Doctor, explores how patent medicine vendors attracted and retained customers, and how the medical establishment attempted to put a stop to their lucrative activities.

7.45pm Thursday 26 May 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

John Dee’s Life With The Angels

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 11 May 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions.
Facebook event page

John Dee’s central lie about his life is still uncritically accepted: that under Queen Mary, like other Protestants, he had been persecuted. This talk will outline the true story, which shows how Dee’s angelic magic affected not only his own life but those of the most prominent Elizabethans who shared much of his ‘occult philosophy’.

Professor Glyn Parry is the author of The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee (Yale University Press, 2011)

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 11 May 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions.
Facebook event page