Public Speaking

I am an experienced public speaker and lecturer on a variety of topics, and regularly speak for local societies and groups. If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at or take a look at some of my talks listed below.

All my lectures are beautifully illustrated using PowerPoint and last 45 minutes with 15 minutes for questions. My speaking style is relaxed, friendly and clear. I am based in Winchester and happy to travel across the south of England.

I regularly speak at academic conferences, and in 2014 delivered papers at Travel and the Country House organised by the University of Nottingham and Charles Dibdin and his World run by the University of Notre Dame in London

Upcoming Events

My next public talk is at the Classical Influences on Georgian Stourhead conference on 11-12 November 2015 in Stourhead, Wiltshire. I will be using a case study of the improvements at Herriard House in Hampshire to illustrate the integral connection between country house, garden and estate in portraying a landowner's public image. Tickets are still available through the website above.

Some feedback includes:

  • "Brought history to life" (Shedfield WI)
  • "Fascinating and informative" (Dever Valley Local History Society)
  • "Very informative. You know your subject and kept people interested"
  • "You really brought the subject to life"
  • "Interesting and informative" (Swan Ladies Club, Alresford)

Current talks available:

Eighteenth Century Country Houses and Gardens

This fascinating talk is aimed at anyone with an interest in country houses and their gardens. Join me as I trace the developments of the country house and its garden through the long eighteenth century, using examples and illustrations of properties across England, with particular focus on the south. I like to include a few local examples in each talk as well.

The experience of singing for genteel women, 1790-1830

This talk explores the impact of one of the most essential female accomplishments: singing. Using Georgian literature and conduct books, I examine why music was deemed so essential for young ladies. How were girls taught to perform, what songs were appropriate and did they even enjoy it? Was singing merely a way to catch a husband, advertise your family's social status, or even discipline girls to keep them in their place? Using contemporary records of many ladies, including Jane Austen, I shall explore what the experience of singing was like for Georgian young women. This talk will be further illustrated with recorded extracts of popular songs.

English country house gardens, 1680-1830

This talk examines the developments in the gardens that surrounded England's country houses in the long eighteenth century, exploring the early politically influenced gardens, through to 'Capability' Brown's sweeping lawns, and ending on the fantastic Gothic and chinoiserie gardens at the turn of the century.

Below Stairs: Life as a Country House Servant

A look at the real lives of those who kept our beautiful country houses working, from butlers to scullery maids.

Life in Austen's England

Currently being written. Join me in exploring what life was like in Regency England, comparing the exciting London social scene with life in a country town.