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Eunoia Society Lecture: The History of the Modern British Imagination

For its third lecture of the term, the Eunoia Society hosted Dominic Sandbrook, BBC presenter, author, historian and newspaper columnist.

After an initial discussion of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics, Mr Sandbrook proceeded with a very engaging exploration of a number of seminal moments in the history of the Britain’s postwar popular culture. Mr Sandbrook spoke of how, in the wake of the demise of Empire, Britain had become a global force as an ‘exporter’ of popular culture to the rest of the world. The lecture also made some very interesting connections; Samuel Smiles’ 19th century notion of the self-made man was, for example, compared with stories of the success of individuals in our own times. Agatha Christie, James Bond, The Beatles, Elton John, and Henry V on film were just some of the cultural phenomena that were discussed and Mr Sandbrook kindly took the time to chat about his ideas with a number of our students afterwards.