Portraits, Biographies and Public History

Immense curiosity exists about the lives of people who lived in the past. Portraits and biographies play a major role in bringing the dead to life, but they may mislead and distort as much as they illuminate.

Using writings about nineteenth-century British figures alongside images of them, Professor Ludmilla Jordanova will explore the intertwined roles of biography and portraiture in public history, suggesting ways in which it is possible to be constructively critical of current practices.

A lecture by Ludmilla Jordanova

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

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