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Lucy Hughes Hallett Monday 08 June 2020

For over two thousand years Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt, has been inspiring artists. Remembered chiefly as the exotic temptress for whose love's sake Mark Antony was willing to throw away his chance of ruling the Roman world, Cleopatra was in reality a resourceful and ambitious ruler. This richly illustrated talk features images ranging from Roman portrait busts to stills from some fabulously extravagant films, and includes work by Michelangelo, Tiepolo, Gustave Moreau and many other artists.  In it Lucy Hughes-Hallett reflects on the racial and sexual prejudices that have shaped Cleopatra's legend, while celebrating the allure of the person the poet Theophile Gautier described as 'the most womanly of women and the most queenly of queens'. 

Lucy Hughes-Hallett is the author of The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio,  which won all three of the UK's most prestigious prizes for non-fiction - the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography Award - and the Political Book Awards Biography of the Year.

Her other non-fiction books are the acclaimed cultural histories Heroes and Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions.   Cleopatra won the Fawcett Prize and the Emily Toth Award. 

In 2017 she published her first novel Peculiar Ground  - described by reviewers as 'subtle', 'compelling', 'powerful', 'almost Tolstoyan in its sly wit and descriptive brilliance', 'one of the best novels of the year' and a 'wonderful book'. It has been shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. 

Her collection of short stories, Fabulous, was published in June 2019.