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The College was relaxed, beautiful yet
not intimidating, extremely friendly and open

Emily, 2nd Year

Past Events

Members and their guests have been busy attending a wide range of events. Reports and photographs are below.

Wednesday 21 FEB 2018

Emmanuel Society logo

Talk by Nicola Blackwood (2003): CANCELLED


Wednesday 21 FEB 2018

Visit to the UL Holdsworth Collection

3:00pm – University Library, Cambridge

Tuesday 13 FEB 2018

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Emmanuel Society Travelling Book Group - first discussion

8:00pm – Fellows' Breakfast Room, College

Oh, but the kitchen did tempt us!

Clearly keen that we should make the most of the last evening before Lent started they sent up a generosity of pancakes accompanied by apple in calvados, chocolate sauce or classic lemon juice and sugar.  But the real treat of the evening was the opportunity to discuss The Anatomy of Ghosts not only with each other but also with its author Andrew Taylor (also a member of the Emmanuel Society, of course). He took questions not so much about the plot as about the ‘how’ of writing it. Focussing on its being set in the eighteenth century, we covered the difficulties of getting historic dialogue to be both comprehensible to modern readers, and tolerably authentic.

We also considered his relationship with his publishers, editing drafts and how his books tend to lose characters and complications during that process, and what he might feel were his agent to get a contract for a television drama based on one of his many books. We wondered whether there was something River Styx-ish going on with the hero’s son and wife drowning in the Thames and the body in the pond at “Jerusalem College”, but he said that was not conscious on his part. The college name has to be in quotation marks because it is so clearly Emmanuel, despite one of the characters, Tom Turdman, saying early on that he collects from Jerusalem, Emmanuel, Christ’s and a couple of other (real) colleges. And, sitting in the Fellows’ Breakfast Room with the arcade alongside the chapel where so much of the action takes place visible out of the open-curtained window, we reminded ourselves about the real body in the pond: the resident of Fen Ditton whose freshly buried corpse was procured for two Fellows who were anatomists, in about 1730. When the angry crowd broke in to search the College they were frustrated by its being weighed down in the pond to be retrieved later (Dr Ron Gray’s letter to Dame Fiona, 25 April 2014). For those with stamina there was also a cheeseboard, port and fruit, a theme to be repeated at the Easter Term meeting!

Friday 2 FEB 2018

Burnaby Recital


The College were delighted to welcome Simon and David Ponsford back to College for a recital in the Chapel. Simon is an established countertenor soloist and was accompanied by the virginals, played by his father (1968). The performance was a delightful evening of Elizabeth and Jacobean song, with performances of Dowland, Burd, Tomkins and Johnson.

Wednesday 31 JAN 2018

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First Night of Television: Talk by Hugh Hunt


We were delighted to welcome Dr Hugh Hunt (1984), Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration and Fellow of Trinity, to College for a talk on 31 January. Dr Hugh talked about the fascinating first BBC television broadcast. He detailed how it was done, giving demonstrations of spinning discs and flashing lights. Footage of the broadcast itself was shown and he talked passionately about the wonders of the engineering! Many members of the Emma and Cambridge Engineering Societies attended, and probed Dr Hunt for further information at supper in the Old Library.

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