University of Leicester to welcome top broadcaster and Victorian expert

Posted by pt91 at Nov 14, 2014 12:57 PM |
BBC presenter Matthew Sweet to give annual lecture for Victorian Studies Centre on 19 November

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 14 November 2014

A broadcaster who recently acted as historical consultant for the TV drama ‘Penny Dreadful’, is to give the Annual Victorian Studies Lecture at the University of Leicester.

Matthew Sweet is also author of Inventing the Victorians, which sets out to debunk common misconceptions about the Victorian period.

Sweet, who is also a presenter of the BBC Radio 3 shows Night Waves and Free Thinking, will be delivering his lecture ‘The Victorian World: Prison to Playground’ at the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre at the University of Leicester at 5.15pm on 19 November.  He will be discussing how the uses of the 19th century are changing: ‘it was once offered to us as a kind of moral prison, now much more of a playground’.

Matthew Sweet is a broadcaster and writer whose previous books include Inventing the Victorians and Shepperton Babylon: The Lost Worlds of British Cinema. Sweet is also a reporter for The Culture Show on BBC 2 and a panellist for Newsnight Review. More recently he was a co-host on BBC 2’s Edinburgh Show, where he took tango dance lessons and compared leg hair with Russell Brand.

This free lecture is open to graduates, students, staff and members of the public and will be followed by a wine reception.

Gail Marshall, Director of the Victorian Studies Centre, said “We are delighted to be welcoming such a popular author and broadcaster to the University. The lecture will prove fascinating to anyone who wants to understand the ways in which the Victorian past gets packaged and re-presented for contemporary audiences.”

The Victorian Studies Centre at the University of Leicester was founded in 1966 and is the longest established institution of its kind in Britain.

The Centre is composed of research staff drawn from the College of Arts, Humanities and Law and comprises members of the School of English, the School of History and the Department of History of Art and Film.

Previous lecturers for the Victorian Studies Centre include the award-winning author Professor Kathryn Hughes, whose book The Last Victorian was filmed as a documentary for the BBC.

For more information contact


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Professor Gail Marshall,

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