Candidate Profile

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History - General
Alice Roberts is a bright, sparky and enthusiastic professional historian.

An expert in 18th century British history with a Masters from The University of Edinburgh, Alice is currently writing a book on James Gillray, the 18th century satirist. She also works as a historic researcher, writer and presenter for the history subscription channel, History Hit. Within this, she works as the assistant to one of Britain’s most popular historians, Dan Snow – a job which involves working with everyone in the history world, including film directors such as Sam Mendes, historical authors such as Simon Schama and Mary Beard, and public figures such as Tony Blair.

Alice has extensive experience in public speaking. She has spoken at some of Britain’s best schools and academic institutions, such as Wycombe Abbey School, Tonbridge Boys and The University of Edinburgh.

She is also the founder and editor of the award-winning historic magazine, ‘The Plague’, the founder of the Longbourn History Festival, and the creator of the celebrated historic Edinburgh Fringe show, ‘News@1066’.

In her spare time, Alice enjoys acting. She has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Richard III and The Duchess of Malfi.

1. The Grand Tour: How Did Italy shape Society of 18th Century Britain?
In the 18th century, the wealthy young men of Britain travelled in their masses to the sites of Europe, namely Italy – Pompeii, Rome, Florence and Venice. Their passion for the romantic lands of Europe irreparably changed the culture of Britain and Europe.

2. Why Was Lord Elgin’s Acquisition of the Parthenon Marbles so Controversial?
The Parthenon in Athens was built almost 2,500 years ago in 438 BC. In this long and turbulent history, the greatest point of controversy arose at the turn of the 19th century, when Lord Elgin, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, excavated the sculptures from the fallen ruins. By 1812, Elgin had finally shipped the Parthenon marbles back to Britain at a huge personal cost of £70,000, and they were purchased on behalf of ‘the British nation’ to be housed in the British Museum. But was Elgin right to do so? Was he a saviour or a thief? Should the marbles be returned. This lecture examines one of the most controversial cultural discussions of the modern day, provoking questions around museums, curatorship, art and national identity.

3. How Did ‘Capability’ Brown Create the Quintessential English Landscape?
Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown is one of Britain’s most celebrated landscape architects. His natural eye for the ‘capabilities’ of an estate would develop a garden style now recognised as the quintessential English landscape. His work would be praised by Earls, paid for by Dukes and discussed by royalty across the world. With examples from historic estates such as Stowe and Blenheim Palace, this lecture contextualises Brown within the context of 18th century society.

4. The Colosseum: An Education in Classical Architecture
In AD 70, Emperor Vespasian had money to spend: the sack of the Second Temple of Jerusalem had been a lucrative business. Two years later, he ordered an enormous amphitheatre to be built in the heart of Rome. This lecture will assess the building of The Colosseum, its remarkable architectural design, its role in the Roman world and its decline into a Romantic ruin.

5. St Paul’s Cathedral: A Phoenix Born of the Ashes of The Great Fire
This lecture will assess the damage of the Great Fire of London, and the process by which Sir Christopher Wren designed one of Europe’s greatest cathedrals.