Tuesday 17 December, 18.30pm, in the Lotos Room
As part of our Literary Series, The Beaumont & Condé Nast Traveller, in partnership with the Greek National Tourism Organisation, invite you to step back in time at their latest Traveller's Tales with historian, author and broadcaster Professor Bettany Hughes OBE.
Bettany will be in conversation with one of the Condé Nast Traveller Editors, Thea Darricotte to talk about her travels, inspirations and her latest book. They will be discussing the splendours of Ancient Greece and the history of one of its most famous goddesses.
Prior to the reading and discussion, guests are invited to enjoy a drinks reception with canapés. Each guest will also receive a copy of Venus and Aphrodite; History of a Goddess, with an opportunity for signing after the talk.
'Erudition, with an erotic frisson … In this lively, wide-ranging book, Hughes paints a portrait of a darker Venus' The Times
Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations, award-winning historian Bettany Hughes explains why the ancient goddess Venus - called Aphrodite by the Greeks - endures through to the twenty-first century, and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans.
Charting Venus's origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that this immortal goddess is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, her mythical birthplace, Bettany decodes Venus's relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and, in turn, Aphrodite's mixed-up origins not only as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation but also as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East: Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte. On her voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind Venus, Bettany reveals how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance and sex. It is both the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces and the story of human desire - how it transforms who we are and how we behave.
Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. Her previous books - ISTANBUL: A Tale of Three Cities (2017), HELEN OF TROY: Goddess, Princess, Whore (2005) and THE HEMLOCK CUP: Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life (2010) - were published to great critical acclaim and worldwide success. Bettany is a Research Fellow of King's College London, a Tutor at Cambridge University's Institute for Continuing Education and a Visiting Professor of History at the New College of the Humanities and has been honoured with numerous awards including the prestigious Norton Medlicott Medal for History.
She has made a number of documentaries on history, culture and philosophy for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, National Geographic, Discovery and The History Channel, including 'Byzantium Unearthed' and a series for BBC Radio 4 'Ancient Ways' where she tracked the old Roman Road, the Via Egnatia, from Albania to Istanbul. She regularly judges for the RTS and Grierson Awards. Bettany is Chair of the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction 2019. Bettany lives in London.