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Supper lecture: Some like it (very) hot: the Victorian Turkish bath

Tuesday 27 March — Sold out
6.45pm for 7pm. A lecture given by Malcolm Shifrin followed by supper.

The Victorian Turkish (or Irish-Roman) bath was reintroduced into the British Isles by maverick politician David Urquhart and Irish hydropathist Richard Barter in 1856. It spread rapidly in Ireland, where Barter was associated with ten baths around the country, and on the mainland, largely due to the exertions of Urquhart’s workingmen’s political pressure groups. This lecture will explore the architecture and technology of the several different types and styles of the 19th- century Turkish bath and some of the factors and wondrous details which contributed to their being a particularly Victorian institution for around 150 years. Malcolm Shifrin was for 28 years a professional librarian — one of a now critically government-endangered species. Malcolm started as a school librarian, eventually becoming Head of the Inner London Education Authority’s innovative Central Library Resources Service. After a Thatcher-induced early retirement in 1985, he discovered the popular Victorian institution of the Turkish bath, and needing guidance in the ways of historians, completed an MA in modern history at Royal Holloway University of London in 1996/7. Malcolm’s book Victorian Turkish Baths (Historic England, 2015; University of Chicago Press, 2016), is the only one on the subject, complementing his website, http://www.victorianturkishbath.org now in its seventeenth year. At the Victorian Society, 1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT. Tube: Turnham Green, District line. Lecture £30 with complimentary supper and wine afterwards. Please indicate any special dietary requirements. Booking required.

Event code: 1806


Later event: Dine at the Great Northern Railway Tavern, Hornsey
Earlier event: Alexandra Palace

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