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England looking outwards

Lara J Carim18 October 2011

Conservative politicians struggling not to mention Europe at this month’s party conference might take some solace from the fact that the country’s ambivalent relationship with the continent dates back at least half a millennium.

England’s “two-way pull” towards isolationism on the one hand and exploration on the other can be traced to the mid-15th century, according to Professor Helen Hackett, who gave a whistlestop introduction to the period through the media of contemporary art and books during a lunch-hour pop-up talk at UCL Art Museum on 11 October.

The talk, which showcased highlights from the exhibition ‘Word and Image: Early Modern Treasures at UCL’, was entitled ‘England Looking Outwards’, and some stunning artefacts had been brought into the light of day from UCL Art Collections and UCL Library Special Collections to exemplify the itchy feet of our Early Modern forebears (The term ‘Early Modern’ refers to the period 1450–1800, and forms the focus of the new UCL Centre for Early Modern Exchanges, of which Professor Hackett is Co-Director).

Click on the player below to watch a short audio slideshow about highlights from the ‘Word and Image’ exhibition:

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