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Publishers of award-winning illustrated books on art, history, archaeology, world cultures and more.

Edinburgh Festival Fever

People all over the country have been gripped by Festival fever this month and we at the BM Press are no exception! Not one but two of our authors were invited to speak at the Edinburgh International Book Festival: Irving Finkel, the curator in charge of the British Museum’s collection of cuneiform tablets – the largest in the world – and Henrietta Lidchi, Keeper of the Department of World Cultures at National Museums Scotland.

Charlotte Square looking beautiful in the sunshine

Charlotte Square looking beautiful in the sunshine

In his sell-out event, Irving took his audience on a roller-coaster tour of the 3,500 year history of the world’s oldest writing system – cuneiform. With his trademark enthusiasm, he explained that the strange, wedge-shaped markings invented in Mesopotamia represent syllables and so can be used to record any language, from Sumerian to Spanish. He then pointed out that we can find a surprising parallel in modern text-speak, in which symbols have  once again come to stand in for syllables or even whole words – just look at ‘c u l8r’. The audience were left full of questions and many stayed behind to talk to Irving, have their books signed and admire the real cuneiform tablet that he had brought along with him.

Irving addresses a huge crowd in the tent

Irving addresses a huge crowd in the tent

Irving was similarly well-received at the National Museums Scotland, where he taught a group of 90 local schoolchildren how to write their own cuneiform inscriptions. They used plasticine and lollipop sticks rather than clay and reeds, but the results still looked as if they could have come from the museum archives!

An impressive effort from the Edinburgh schoolchildren!

An impressive effort from the Edinburgh schoolchildren!

The weekend also saw Henrietta Lidchi launch her wonderful book Surviving Desires: Making and Selling Native Jewellery in the American Southwest – the product of twenty years of research. She captivated the audience with her talk about the iconic turquoise and silver jewellery and the transformations it has undergone in response the competing desires of traders, tourists, curators and government agencies. The audience were fascinated and at the end many came forward with their own pieces of Native jewellery, which Henrietta was able to put into context for them.

Henrietta signing books after her event

Henrietta signing books after her event

Many thanks to Henrietta and Irving for taking part in the Festival and to the National Museums Scotland for hosting the schools event. We hope to be back next year!

If you would like to find out more about either of the books, just follow the links below:

Cuneiform

Surviving Desires

The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2013

Oxford

Whether it’s the biggest names in publishing, politics, television, radio, art, theatre, or sport, The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2013 has it all.

There are hard-hitting debates on controversial subjects, comedy from the country’s top stand ups, interactive media sessions, unique food and drink evenings, writing workshops and masses of family fun talks and activities.

This year, the British Museum Press is delighted to host two events at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, for Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum by Paul Roberts and Indian Love Poetry by Anna Dallapiccola.

9780714124667Indian Love Poetry

Saturday, 23rd March 2013

12.00PM – 1.00PM

Christ Church: Festival Room Two

Tickets £11

Full details on the Oxford Literary Festival website

9780714122762Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum

Sunday, 24th March 2013

2.00PM – 3.00PM

Christ Church: Festival Room Two

Tickets £11

Full details on the Oxford Literary Festival website.

Oxford LogoTo find out more about these events and to book tickets, visit The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival website.

Off the Shelf Festival of Words

31BC_low-resThe British Museum Press is delighted to host an event for 31BC: Antony, Cleopatra and the Fall of Egypt at the 2012 Off the Shelf Festival of Words. Off the Shelf is a dynamic, distinctive and diverse festival of words which features 200 events including readings, debates, workshops,  poetry, storytelling, readers’ events, walks talks, community events, a programme for children and young people and more.

On 21st October, celebrated classicist David Stuttard will be speaking about his exciting new book, 31BC, co-authored by Sam Moorhead. 31BC explores the dramatic events of the Battle of Actium, when two superpowers, Egypt and Rome, met head-on for the first and last time in history. The outcome would change the course of history and lead directly to the foundation of the Roman Empire.

Illustrated with evocative locations and iconic objects from the British Museum and elsewhere, 31 BC: Antony, Cleopatra and the Fall of Egypt is a dramatic story of a defining moment in history, retold with excitement and vigour from the Egyptian standpoint.

Sunday, 21st October

2.00PM

Education Room, Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

Tickets £6

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Off the Shelf website.