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Dublin Festival of History Kicks Off – Monday 24th September

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

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Dublin Festival of History 2018 kicks off on Monday 24th September with thousands expected to attend free walks, talks, tours and exhibitions over the next two weeks.

The Dublin City Council festival runs until 7th October and features 140 events in total, including many exploring themes of suffrage and women’s rights.  More than half the speakers on the programme are women, covering topics ranging from Hitler’s Valkyries to Victorian-era sex-workers.  Sports, music, gaming, slavery, the Romanovs of Russia, and seminal moments in Irish history also make an appearance on the extensive programme of events.

This year’s Festival is headlined by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum; former Monty Python stalwart, writer and presenter Michael Palin; and best-selling author Helen Rappaport.

Commenting as the Festival gets underway, Brendan Teeling, Dublin City Librarian, said: “This year, we’re marking 100 years of women gaining the right to vote, so it’s fantastic that the theme of suffrage is prominent in the Festival’s programme.

“It’s important we tell the stories of the people who fought for women’s suffrage and have subsequently shaped the country we live in today. That’s the great thing about history: looking to the past can provide context for the present and inspiration for the future.

“The events this year are incredibly diverse.  We’re covering one thousand years of history, from the Vikings to the history of sports in Ireland to political artefacts from our recent referenda.  There’s really something for everyone in the programme, and we would encourage anyone with an interest in history to come along – all our events are free”

Festival highlights include:

  • A talk on ‘The Historical Impact of Gaming: from BC to PC’ at Ballyfermot Library (Tuesday, 25th September; 6.30pm).
  • ‘From Anna to Hanna: How women took on their world’ – a talk by writer Martina Devlin at Rathmines Library (Thursday, 27th September; 6.30pm).
  • A series of talks at Swords Castle, including: ‘The Hammer and the Pen: the First Wave Irish feminism’ and ‘Ireland and India: the infection of example’ (Saturday, 29th September; 10am to 4.30pm).
  • ‘Michael Collins: the Man and the Revolution’ – with Anne Dolan and William Murphy at Donaghmede Library (Thursday, 4th October; 6.30pm).
  • A History Ireland Hedge School on the topic of ‘1918-2018 – A century of women’s activism’, taking place at Dublin City Hall (Friday, 5th October; 6.30pm).
  • Michael Palin in conversation with author and journalist Ed O’Loughlin about Palin’s book, ‘Erebus: the Story of A Ship’ (Dublin Castle; Saturday, 6th October, 7pm).
  • ‘The Race to Save the Romanovs’ with the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling historian Helen Rappaport (Dublin Castle; Sunday, 7th October, 5pm).
  • A ‘Mythical Creatures’ exhibition at the Edward Worth Library at Dr. Steevens’ Hospital in Dublin 8 (tours at 11am and 2pm on 25th and 27th September and 2nd and 4th October).

The festival culminates with a ‘Big Weekend’ series of talks at City Hall and The Printworks, Dublin Castle, taking place from Friday, 5th to Sunday, 7th October, and featuring many best-selling historians. Michael Palin will bring to life the history of the ship HMS Erebus; Anne Applebaum will discuss Stalin’s war on the Ukraine in the 1930s, while Helen Rappaport will shed new light on the murder of the Russian Imperial Family after the Bolshevik Revolution, 100 years after their death.

The full programme of events can be found at www.dublinfestivalofhistory.ie.  All events are free to attend, but advance booking is required for some.

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