PEEL Talent specialises in arranging Guest Speaker and Enrichment Programmes for many of the world’s leading Cruise Lines, drawing from our database of over a thousand speakers, art tutors, crafts instructors, bridge directors and choirmasters.
Eileen specialises in the History, Arts, Myths & Legends of the Ancient Worlds of Rome and Greece and is a keen Maritime Historian. She has an MA from the department of Archaeology at the University of London, is a published author and an authority on the people of Ancient Egypt, their history, language, art, religion and funerary practices. She is an experienced Guest Speaker on cruise ships, lectures to Archaeology/Egyptology societies in the UK and is also an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society. Her first book ‘What Did the Poor Take with Them?’ was published in 2013, while her second book ‘Understanding Ancient Egypt’ was published in 2014.
I have 4 categories of lectures: 1) Piracy - 5 talks. 2) Magic, Myths and Legends - 3 talks. 3) Ancient Egypt - 9 talks. 4) Art of the Ancient World - 3 talks.
Lecture Titles Series 1 - Piracy
• The Golden Age of Piracy
Eighty years of piracy when no-one was safe from buccaneers, pirates and privateers – the English, French and Dutch attacked Spanish colonies and shipping in the Eastern Pacific, the East India Company was a regular target on its world voyages and Anglo-American privateers turned en-masse to piracy in the Caribbean. This talk charts the history of the ‘exciting’ golden age of robbery on the high seas.
• Pirate, Privateer or Naval Admiral – Any Difference?
We all have an image of pirates from fictional characters like Long John Silver and Captain Jack Sparrow– they’re swashbuckling heroes with a twinkle in their eye! But the real pirates, were Calico Jack, Blackbeard, Henry Morgan and Admiral Sir John Hawkins among many others. Find out who was successful and what happened to the rest!
• Women in Piracy.
Women on board ship were regarded as bad luck, so how did a female pirate become Queen? Some women pirates were as notorious as the worst of the men and one in particular was extremely clever. In this talk I will discuss the challenging lives of women pirates, the wives of pirates left at home and ‘friends’ of pirates …one in every port!
• Pirate Treasure
X marks the spot on treasure maps where gold bullion and jewellery were buried in treasure chests by swashbuckling pirates. But is that fact or intriguing fiction? In this talk I will identify the treasure, who stole it and what happened to their ill-gotten goods!
. The Life of a Pirate
What was life really like on a pirate ship? Who were the men (and women) who worked the ships? What did they eat and drink? Did they really have peg-legs, eye patches and parrots? We’ll uncover the reality of life on board and bury the myths.
Lecture Titles - Series 2 Magic, Myths & Legends
• Sun Deities of the World - For thousands of years, humans have attempted to explain the Sun in terms of their own worldviews, and have recognized its significance as prime controller of all life on Earth. It was never just a planet that gave warmth and light and topped up a tan! The Sun can be a god, a demon, an all-powerful creator or a ruthless taker of life. This lecture takes you on a world tour of our more fascinating sun god myths and legends and the best, and the worst, practices of sun worship
. • Mystical Signs & Symbols of the Ancient World - Since the dawn of civilisation, mankind have tried to understand and control the unseen powers of the sky, the earth, the seas and life itself. Ancient peoples left clues to their belief systems in all corners of the world in symbols, inscriptions, monuments and artefacts from the Aztec Calendar Stone and the Spear of Destiny to magic circles and the swastika. I will examine in detail the mysteries of these ancient symbols of our ancestors and their desire to control the Universe.
• Magic and Medicine of the Ancients - The practices of magic and medicine throughout the ancient world were intertwined and often difficult to distinguish. This lecture examines both to demonstrate the similarities and differences, with details of spells, prescriptions and potions to kill or cure. The magicians were powerful, the doctors knowledgeable and the surgeons were skilled but could they help and heal the unfortunates they treated? This lecture identifies what worked – and what didn’t!
Lecture Titles - Series 3 Ancient Egypt
• Language of the Pharaohs: Discovery & Decipherment. Hieroglyphic script, the sacred language of Ancient Egypt’s pharaonic period, remained an incomprehensible language for over 1,500 years until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone enabled scholars to unlock the mysteries of hieroglyphs and understand the texts. This lecture takes the audience on a journey of discovery, examining the path to decipherment while they learn to identify various symbols, numbers and words in this ancient script.
• Journey to the Afterlife. Every item of Ancient Egyptian art is highly symbolic of the religious beliefs of this ancient culture, especially its belief in the Afterlife. This lecture explores aspects of the deceased’s journey to a heavenly paradise as depicted in the Book of the Dead, the methods used by the team of embalmers to preserve their bodies for eternity, and their faith in magical charms and rituals which ensured eternal life and happiness.
• Understanding Egyptian Pyramids The pyramids are an iconic and mysterious symbol of Ancient Egypt and many theories have been put forward regarding the origins of their design and build; many people suggest they were built with slave labour and some claim aliens were responsible. This lecture follows the development of the pyramids from mastaba to the Great Pyramid at Giza and explains the archaeological evidence for their existence as remarkable feats of innovation, design, logistics, and administration.
• The Golden Pharaoh. Tutankhamun came to the throne as a young boy of eight years old and died nine years later, too young to have achieved very much in his short life, but now the most famous pharaoh, known for the incredible treasures which were buried with him. This lecture introduces us to the ‘boy king’ and his family and explores his small burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, including the latest evidence on what, and whom, lies behind his tomb walls. Some of the many wonderful things found in his tomb will be examined in detail, focussing on the materials used, their purpose and significant religious symbolism and meaning.
• What killed Tutankhamun? The young Pharaoh’s death has been a challenging enigma since his tomb was first opened in 1922 by the British archaeologist, Howard Carter. There are many theories relating to the cause of his death including murder, accident and disease. This lecture examines each possible cause in detail and the evidence for each theory, looking at Carter’s own diary entries, photographs, and modern scientific analysis to unravel the strands of this intriguing mystery.
• The Tomb Builders of Ancient Egypt. This lecture takes you on a voyage of discovery about the crème de la crème of the Ancient Egyptian workforce who created the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It looks at their homes, families and village life in Deir el Medina as well as the skills, methods and materials they employed to accomplish such commendable work. Examples of their interpretation of the Afterlife in the tombs of the kings and their own burial places will demonstrate their skill and artistry.
• Ancient Egyptian Magic & Medicine. The practices of magic and medicine in Ancient Egypt were intertwined and often difficult to distinguish. This lecture examines both to demonstrate the similarities and differences, with details of spells, prescriptions and potions to kill or cure. The magicians were powerful, the doctors knowledgeable and the surgeons were skilled but could they help and heal the unfortunates they treated? This lecture identifies what worked – and what didn’t!
• Influential Queens of Ancient Egypt. Throughout the ancient history of Egypt, its queens made a difference to the lives and fortunes of the country and its kings. For us, looking back down the millenia, they remain quite mysterious figures, always walking in the shadow of their husband, the pharaoh. This lecture identifies the women who were a real influence on society, the real powers behind the throne, the queen who was portrayed as a man, and the most beautiful and best loved of all the queens. It also examines the turbulent life and loves of Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt.
• Party Time in Ancient Egypt. Contrary to popular belief, the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian was not preoccupied with arrangements for his death, burial and the Afterlife. Their frequent celebrations were done in style with good food and drink and they were entertained by accomplished musicians and dancers. This lecture features the secrets of a good time, Ancient Egyptian style, with details of their festivals, clothes, jewellery, make-up , food and drink, in fact all you need to know about how they ‘strut their stuff’.
Lecture Titles Series 4 - Art of the Ancient World
• Ancient Artefacts: 3,000 years of Treasures - The Narma Palette and the bust of Nefertiti from Ancient Egypt, the Grecian Mask of Agamemnon and jewellery of the Cretan Warrior give an indication of the wealth of riches from the ancient lands surrounding the Mediterranean. They are a sample of the many discoveries that have been displayed and admired by millions of visitors to museums around the world. This lecture will look in depth at some of the most interesting treasures, examine the techniques and materials used, who commissioned and owned them, their purpose and hidden meaning.
. Ancient Treasures: The Art of Glassmaking.This lecture traces the process of glassmaking from its inception as small beads in Mesopotamia and Egypt in 3,000 BC to its beautiful artistic climax in the Portland Vase of Rome, covering many examples of this ancient craft in the island nations of the Mediterranean.
• Understanding Ancient Egyptian Art: Wall Reliefs & Murals. Egypt has a wealth of artefacts dated to its ancient past that today can be classified as art. This lecture examines one genre, the splendid wall reliefs and paintings found in tombs, drawing on examples from the Old, Middle and New Kingdom Periods. It identifies the techniques, materials and different styles used by their accomplished artisans to achieve the beautiful paintings and reliefs we can still see today, more than 3,000 years after the burial tombs were sealed.
• Pharaonic Art: Hidden Meanings Revealed. From pyramids and temples to jewellery and furniture, every item from Ancient Egypt is steeped in religious symbolism and magical power. This lecture reveals the meaningful messages behind the artistry, unravels the religious symbolism inherent in their world and lays bare their greatest hopes and fears.