PhD Masterclass: Sarah Dunant

On Tuesday 4 April, best-selling author Sarah Dunant will be delivering a methodological Masterclass on history and imagination. This will be held in Room 401 at 30 Russell Square, from 6 – 8pm.

Although historical fiction is clearly distinct from history, the process of imagining plausible pasts is integral to both, and in some respects historical fiction allows an author to explore ideas that historians cannot. Discussing her novels tracing the lives of history’s invisible characters in Renaissance Italy, Sarah Dunant will explore how she uses primary source material to build composite characters, as well as bring to life the great figures of the past, from Machiavelli to the Borgias.

 Sarah will also talk about communicating history, having spent over twenty years producing and presenting programmes for the BBC and Channel 4, including The Late Show, and Night Waves on Radio 3.

Her most recent historical novel, In the Name of the Family, was published in March.

If you are interested in attending, drop an email to

This is one of a series of doctoral masterclasses for Birkbeck HCA students. For the rest of the series, see:


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