Maritime Lecture Series: Emma Hamilton

Ahoy closure

Bringing the kids? As we build our exciting new Exploration Wing, the Ahoy! children’s gallery may close at short notice daily, before shutting from 18 April to 27 June. Our popular kids' attraction the Great Map remains open throughout, and there's lots for kids to see and do at Cutty Sark

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
Thurs: 2–23 March | 11.00am–12.30pm
£8: Adult | £6: Members
National Maritime Museum, Ground floor, Lecture Theatre
Emma Hamilton season
Talks & courses

Take a closer look at the spectacular life of Emma Hamilton with historians and curators.

Speakers include Kate Williams (Inside Versailles, BBC 2), as well as Quintin Colville, exhibition curator of Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity.

England’s Mistress? The Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton

Thursday 2 March

A dramatic, sparkling tale of sex, glamour, intrigue, romance and heartbreak, in this talk Kate Williams, broadcaster and Professor of History at the University of Reading  and author of 'England's Mistress' traces the rise and rise of the gorgeous Emma Hamilton.

Exhibiting Emma

Thursday 9 March

Now largely remembered as the woman who captured the heart of the nation’s hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Emma was an extraordinary woman in her own right. Exhibition curators Quintin Colville and Sarah Wood share how they highlighted the fascinating facets of Emma's life in the exhibition.

‘Giants of Mischief’: Georgian London’s Fallen Women

Thursday 16 March 2017

As a young servant in Covent Garden, Emma was immersed in a world built on pleasure and teeming with peril. Drawn in by the bright lights of the theatre district, and surrounded by its notorious ‘houses of lust and liquor’, it would have been impossible for a pretty, impoverished country girl to entirely avoid the city’s underworld. From the glittering mansions of St James to the peeling garrets of Covent Garden, historian Emily Brand explores the darker side of women’s lives in the capital during the 18th century.

Insecurity and Ruin: The final years of Emma Hamilton 

Thursday 23 March 2017

This lecture focuses on the closing chapter of Emma Hamilton's life and the years when she experienced financial ruin and a rapid demise from lauded celebrity to social exile. Dr Hannah Greig explores what Emma's fate tells us about the social codes that operated in late 18th-century Britain revealing the unwritten codes and rules that were eventually Emma's undoing. Dr Hannah Greig is a lecturer in 18th century British History at the University of York and an established consultant to film, theatre and TV, with recent credits including Poldark series 1-3. She is a contributor to the exhibition catalogue.