Stand up for Classics visits Henley

The utterly brilliant force of nature that is classicist, novelist, broadcaster and stand-up comedian, Natalie Haynes visited The Henley College yesterday evening and talked to the enthralled audience of students and interested parties about the Trojan War focusing on Homer’s epic poem The Iliad, intercut with references to a myriad of other classical texts and peppered with modern cultural comparisons.

Natalie, who makes regular appearances on TV and Radio 4, in particular on her own comedy show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, and who has just published her new novel, A Thousand Ships, said “When the college asked me if I would stand up for their Classics, and become their patron, I was delighted. I think it is great that Henley, a state-funded sixth form college, offers A levels in both Classics and Ancient History. It’s not easy in the state-sector these days and these subjects are often the first to go”

Also in attendance was Ali Jinks, owner of the Wallingford Bookshop who was selling Natalie’s current books A Thousand Ships and The children of Jocasta.

Classics & Ancient History Lecturer John Bennett said “Natalie’s passion for classics was apparent from the off, she personifies the intensity that classicists all have for their subject. Natalie has agreed to become a patron for Classics and Ancient History at the college and this is a wonderful boost for us, as Natalie is a luminous advocate of these subjects. It was a real thrill to have her with us, a very enjoyable night for all.”

Anybody interested in the college’s Classics and Ancient History courses, should contact John Bennett on jben@henleycol.ac.uk.