Talk | Mary Paulson-Ellis - What makes a hero?

Our regular programme of talks has gone online whilst our galleries are currently closed.

Writer Mary Paulson-Ellis was due to speak about her novel The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing as part of our regular lunchtime lecture series on Tuesday 28 April. The story moves between contemporary Edinburgh and the final brutal days of the First World War.

The word ‘hero’ has been used a lot recently. We think of heroism today as something selfless, doing a service for others. With reference to the Heroes and Heroines display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Mary discusses historic perceptions of heroism and how she has depicted this idea in her novel.

She has recorded a version of her talk ‘What Makes a Hero?’ for us at home, we are delighted to share it with you here.

Factual correction: Sir John Gladstone (1764-1851), father of the British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898) is briefly referenced in this video as owning a plantation in Virginia. In fact he owned eleven plantations in Jamaica and Guyana and received the largest single pay out made by the Slave Compensation Commission:

Mary Paulson-Ellis | What makes a hero?

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26 May 2020