Tags » Mary Beard

Lessons from Betty: Emancipation from sex

This article was a nod to the 60th anniversary of feminist, Betty Friedan’s seminal work, “The Feminine Mystique”.

“Invincibly cheerful, a toyland of white and pastel houses whose bright, uncurtained windows winked blandly through a dappling of green and yellow leaves.” It was this post-WWII, American suburban dream Richard Yates illustrated in Revolutionary Road that fifty-years ago, feminist Betty Friedan was about to spotlight with publication of “The Feminine Mystique”. 1,313 more words

Freud is Laughing ('to keep from crying')

In Sigmund Freud’sThe Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious, he argues that the energy released in laughter is not the energy of the repressed emotion itself (the safety-valve model) but the psychic energy that would have been used to repress the thoughts or feelings if the joke had not allowed them to enter our conscious minds. 60 more words

Dr. Safiya Hoskins

Going clubbing

When one of my Book Clubs decided to read the Man Booker 2013 shortlist I was a bit sceptical. Yes, we could then decide if   366 more words


Laugh? They nearly died

Mary Beard, bless her heart, has published yet another book, this one on laughter in Ancient Rome. Here’s a promo piece she wrote for the New Statesman, including (inter alia) insights on whoopee cushions, sadistic ways to remove grey hairs, and grisly antics with an ostrich head. 16 more words

New Statesman | Mary Beard: humour in ancient Rome was a matter of life and death

Originally posted on New Statesman | Mary Beard: humour in ancient Rome was a matter of life and death.

One evening at a palace dinner party, in about 40AD, a couple of nervous aristocrats asked the emperor Caligula why he was laughing so heartily. 332 more words


The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2014

‘I love Women, Fiction and free Baileys’ faces.

Last week, my journalist friend Rachel invited me to be her ‘plus one’ at award ceremony for The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014. 1,570 more words


Did the Romans smile?

Now, thanks to Mary Beard, we know the answer: no, they didn’t! But it seems they did laugh at very bad jokes about bald men… 141 more words