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The Grand Tour with its ancient ruins and sun-drenched landscapes became an educational rite of passage for the classically trained. This lively lecture considers how the Society of Dilettanti – an eighteenth-century gentleman’s club – embodied their motto of ‘Grecian taste and Roman Spirit’ in both the literal sense of worshiping Dionysus and Bacchus through heavy drinking, as well as by the scholarly promotion of antiquity. As travellers and gardener designers, their famous publications exerted a profound influence on the Georgian landscape garden.  Glass of punch optional.

Biography: Dr. Laura Mayer

Laura Mayer is an independent lecturer and researcher, with an MA in Garden History and a PhD in eighteenth-century patronage from the University of Bristol. She has published extensively, particularly on Lancelot Capability Brown, Humphry Repton and the historic gardens of Cambridgeshire.  Laura currently works as a consultant for the National Trust and Land & Heritage, researching and writing conservation management plans. She also lectures regularly for Cambridge University Botanic Gardens.

After the presentation afternoon tea will be served, available at £7 per head. Guests and non-members welcome. 

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