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Colley to present President's Lecture, Dec. 11

Princeton historian Linda Colley will speak on "Lives for Our Times: Biography and Global History" at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, in McCosh 10, in the second event of this year's President's Lecture Series.

Colley will discuss how biography and family history can serve to illumine and add humanizing nuance to periods of global history. She will focus on her book "The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh," a biography of an obscure 18th-century travel writer, which recently was named one of the 10 best books of 2007 by The New York Times. In the book, Colley explores the life and career of the "compulsively itinerant" Marsh to shed light on the history of the 18th century, a period in which connections between different regions and peoples increased at a previously unprecedented rate.

Colley, the Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History, is an authority on British history since 1700. She is the author of "Captives: Britain, Empire and the World 1600-1850," which uses narratives written by Britons captured in North Africa, India and North America to investigate the complex dynamic between invader and invaded. Her other works include "Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837," "Namier" and "In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party 1714-1760."

The lecture series was started by President Shirley M. Tilghman in 2001 to bring together faculty members from different disciplines to learn about the work others are doing in a variety of fields. The talks will be webcast; for viewing information, visit

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