Ruth Scurr

Ruth Scurr

Dr Ruth Scurr is a writer, historian and literary critic and teaches history and politics at Cambridge University. Her first book, "Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution" won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize (2006), was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize, long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and was listed among the 100 Best Books of the Decade in The Times in 2009. Her second book, John Aubrey: My own Life was shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Biography Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She has written widely for newspapers in the UK and USA. She has been a judge for the Man Booker, Samuel Johnson, and PEN Hessell-Tiltman prizes. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Folio Prize Academy.

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  1. 102. NAPOLEON: A LIFE IN GARDENS AND SHADOWS
    102. NAPOLEON: A LIFE IN GARDENS AND SHADOWS

    In this revelatory talk, Ruth Scurr will portray Napoleon not in power politics or epic battles, but through his love of nature and the gardens that gave his revolutionary life its light and shade. From gardens in Corsica and Paris to gardens in Cairo, Rome and on Elba, to the walled garden of Hougoumont and ultimately his final garden on St Helena, Napoleon will emerge a giant figure made human, seen through the eyes of those who knew him best - close witnesses, rich and poor, famed and obscure - in the shade of his gardens. An Emperor hunting for glory as well as the man in an old straw hat, leaning on his spade.

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