11.30 – 12.20
Saturday 4th April
Celebrity, with its neon glow and selfie pout, strikes us as hypermodern. But the famous and infamous have been thrilling, titillating and outraging us for much longer than we might realise – from the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” Lord Byron to the cheetah-owning, coffin-sleeping, one-legged French actress Sarah Bernhardt. In this fascinating talk, broadcaster and historian Greg Jenner talks to Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney and reveals why celebrity burst into life in the early eighteenth century, how it differs to ancient ideas of fame, the techniques through which it was acquired, how it was maintained, the effect it had on public tastes, and the psychological burden stardom could place on those in the glaring limelight.
Saturday and Weekend Pass holders have access to this talk.