£15 Ophelia Field will discuss her critically acclaimed biography of Queen Anne’s favourite, Sarah Churchill, explaining the truth that lies behind the Oscar-winning movie. Sarah was one of the most influential
Ophelia Field will discuss her critically acclaimed biography of Queen Anne’s favourite, Sarah Churchill, explaining the truth that lies behind the Oscar-winning movie. Sarah was one of the most influential and indefatigable British women of her, or any, times: instrumental in the Glorious Revolution of 1688; an intimate companion and gatekeeper to Princess/Queen Anne for over two decades; her husband’s political agent on the home front; manager of the building of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire; founder of several aristocratic dynasties; and finally a prominent, idiosyncratic and powerful figure, thanks to her enormous personal wealth and in opposition to Walpole, until her death at the age of 84. Ophelia will also trace Sarah’s interesting ‘afterlife’ in history and fiction, including her most recent representation by Rachel Weisz.
Ophelia Field’s life of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, THE FAVOURITE, was first published in 2002 and then in a revised edition in 2018. A related group biography, THE KIT-CAT CLUB: FRIENDS WHO IMAGINED A NATION – about a collection of brilliant writers and politicians who first convened in the 1690s – was published in 2008 and named by The Financial Times as one of the History Books of the Year. She has taught biography at UCL’s Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) and, currently, on the University of Buckingham’s London-based MA on Biography.
Raised in Australia and educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and the London School of Economics, Ophelia has a parallel career as a high-level policy analyst and consultant to a wide range of refugee and human rights organisations. These have included the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Human Rights Watch, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, English PEN, The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and, most recently, the foundations of the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM).
Doors open 6.15pm, talk starts 6.30pm (inc. wine). All welcome
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