Lord Norwich (John Julius Norwich) led the audience on a tour of both the ancient world and his extraordinary life during his 60 minutes at China Exchange.
He shared his views on Turkey, Venice and repatriation while gripping the audience with the tale of how Cortez took Mexico. Lord Norwich reflected on the documentaries he had made and how a film about Napoleon and the 100 days was the most enjoyable.
Stories of his own life included recollections of Winston Churchill and feeding the fish with him at Chartwell. He quipped that, after his studies at Oxford, he had read War and Peace in Russian, but couldn’t ask for Marmalade in the language.
The audience were keen to have this skilled historian answer questions on modern themes and issues. He replied “I am not a current affairs man, I live in the past”. This focus on history has not limited his approach to technology, however, and he shared his enthusiasm for Wikipedia as a tool for research. For him, the website had replaced “the reference books that my arms can no longer lift and my eyes can no longer see”.