We have been very fortunate to host two wonderful speakers during the past week. Last Thursday, 10 March, Professor (Emerita) Doris Behrens-Abouseif (SOAS) delivered a lecture on “Scribes and Libraries in the Mamluk Period”. As well as providing an overview of library and manuscript culture during the Mamluk Period, Professor Behrens-Abouseif’s lecture provided fascinating insights into the construction and operation of libraries and their wider role in society. The lecture was followed by a lively discussion and very enjoyable reception.
Last night, Tuesday 15 March, we were also delighted to host a lecture by Nicholas Reese on “Thieves, Cut throats and Vagabonds: European Mercenaries in Eighteenth Century India”. This fascinating lecture described the lives and interactions of famous mercenary figures such as Walter Reinhardt Sombre and George Thomas, serving to place the biographies of these individuals squarely into the context of eighteenth century India and the competing military, economic and political factions. Nicholas also discussed the life of Begum Samru, who led the mercenary army formerly headed by her husband Walter Reinhardt after his death. The lecture was followed by a number of questions and contributions from the audience before attendees broke to enjoy a reception.
We would like to thank both our speakers as well as all who attended. We are very pleased to be able to host another lecture later this week, as this Friday, 18 March will see Dr John Whelpton speak on “Jang Bahadur in Europe: The First Nepalese Mission to the West”. We hope that you will be able to join us.