En broket familiehistorie 1Foto: Sasha Sebag Montefiore

A Tangled Family History


Simon Sebag Montefiore and Shazia Majid

Wednesday 22. November 2023, 19:00 until 20:00

Venue: Wergeland

Host: Litteraturhuset

Entrance: Ticket

Prices: Adult 120,-Student 70,-

What do the Mings, The Rameses’, the Romanovs, the Assads and the Clintons have in common? They are all family dynasties who, for better or worse, have influenced the history of the world.

Historian and writer Simon Sebag Montefiore is a formidable storyteller, and his detailed and engaging works about historical figures such as Catherine the Great, Stalin and the Romanovs have earned him readers across the globe. In his most recent book, The World – A Family History of Humanity, his focus is no less than the entire world history, told through some of the most central family dynasties.

More than an ambitious and grand project, Montefiore’s latest colossal publication is also an exploration and re-thinking of how we tell history. “World history often has themes, not people; biography has people, not themes,” as he writes in the book’s introduction.

By emphasizing the family, he is able to combine the two – the great historical events with the stories of the people in the midst of it all. He also gives more space to the role of women, and tells parts of the world’s history that might not be as well known among most Norwegian and European readers, such as Sundiata Keita’s kingdom in Mali, Itzcoatl and the founding of the Aztek kingdom, and Ashoka and the Mauyrya empire in ancient India.

Diving into world history with Montefiore on stage is Shazia Majid, award-winning journalist and author of the book Ut av skyggene (“Out of the Shadows”), about the first generation of Pakistani migrant workers in Norway.

The event will be in English.