The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

September 19 Ruth Scurr on John Aubrey, My Own Life



6:30 pm

William P. Kelly Skylight Room


Ruth Scurr will be interviewed by Brenda Wineapple on John Aubrey, My Own Life, an extraordinary book about the influential author of Brief Lives, which reimagines what biography can be. Aubrey witnessed the great intellectual and political upheavals of 17th century England, compiling notes on writers, philosophers, mathematicians, doctors, astrologers, lawyers, and statesmen, which were posthumously published as Brief Lives, reinventing the art of biography. Scurr, the Cambridge historian and author of the acclaimed Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, has now collected, collated and enlarged upon Aubrey’s own words in an act of meticulous scholarship and daring imagination that The Guardian called “A game-changer in the world of biography.” Wineapple is former Director and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, and the author most recently of Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877.

Free and open to the public. RSVP by email to