The Powers of the Novel: Villains, by Professor John Mullan

6th April 2022 6:00pm to 7:00pm, Museum of London

Are villains cardboard characters? If so, why do we enjoy them so much? 

Drawing examples from film and TV drama, as well as from popular fiction, this lecture will try to explain the satisfaction of villainy for the audience. Using the novels of Wilkie Collins and Thomas Hardy, it will look at the development of the villain in nineteenth-century fiction; and at examples of contemporary literary novelists, like Hilary Mantel, who are willing to unleash the energies of villainy.

This is a hybrid lecture: watch online, in person, or later at a time to suit you.

Speaker profiles
Professor John Mullan

John is Visiting Gresham Professor of English Literature.

He is the Lord Northcliffe Chair of Modern English Literature at University College London. He is a specialist in eighteenth-century literature and is at present writing the volume of the Oxford English Literary History that will cover the period from 1709 to 1784.

John is a regular TV and radio broadcaster and a literary journalist; he writes on contemporary fiction for the Guardian and was a judge for the 2009 Man Booker Prize.

Professor Mullan was appointed Visiting Gresham Professor of English Literature for 2020/21.

In his first lecture series for Gresham College, Visiting Professor John Mullan will combine his scholarly expertise in the history of the English novel in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with his interest in contemporary fiction. 

Booking & payment

Book to watch online or in person via the website.

Location

Museum of London
150 London Wall, Barbican,
London
EC2Y 5HN
United Kingdom
Tags

You might also be interested in

The Powers of the Novel: Coincidences, by Professor John Mullan
2nd March 2022 6:00pm to 7:00pm, Museum of London
150 London Wall, Barbican
If, as displeased reviewers and readers sometimes complain, coincidences mar good plots, why do so many novels turn on them? Hybrid lecture: gres.hm/...
Robots in Science Fiction
21st February 2022 6:00pm to 7:00pm, Barnard's Inn Hall
Holborn
This is a History of Science/ Philosophy take on Robots in Science Fiction by Professor Jim Endersby, and is a hybrid lecture.
Aliens in Science Fiction
28th March 2022 7:00pm to 8:00pm, Barnard's Inn Hall
Gresham College
A History of Science/ Philosophy take on Aliens in Science Fiction by Professor Jim Endersby. Hybrid lecture.