“There were two reasons,” Bettany Hughes explains, when asked why she chose to write about Istanbul. “The first was that the infrastructure system in Istanbul is currently being expanded massively, with tunnels being dug under the Bosphorus strait. This has resulted in a whole load of new archaeological work that I knew hadn’t been published, and which needs to be shared. So I’ve been gathering research for the past decade, and in terms of fresh evidence it felt like the right time to cover the city.
“And, as you know, every time we open a newspaper we’re being asked to have an opinion on Turkey and what’s happening in Istanbul, so I felt that we had to dig deeper down into that history in order to have an informed view.”
Ahead of her talk at Bristol’s M Shed on Saturday 25 February 2017, Bettany talked to fellow author Peter Frankopan about her new book Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities. You can read the conversation in full here, or you can listen to a History Extra podcast featuring the interview here. The evening event will be followed by a book signing.
BBC History Magazine’s Bristol weekend
BBC History Magazine is taking over the M Shed museum in Bristol on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February for three fascinating events with some of the biggest names in history. On Saturday 25 February you can join 5 top speakers including Saul David and Kathryn Hughes as they explore one of Britain’s most intriguing and influential periods, the Victorians. Then on Sunday 26 February, Yasmin Kham and Laurence Rees amongst others will be re-examining the momentous global conflict of WWII. Tickets for the weekend can be purchased here – and subscribers to the magazine can save £10 on day tickets. Lunch and refreshments throughout the day are included.