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“A day in the library is sexier than you think”: Mary Beard on universities, Trump, and the most over-rated book of all time

Classical historian Mary Beard answers Prospect's "Brief Encounter" questions—and tells us why she wouldn't want to find Aristotle's lost book on comedy

By Prospect Team   October 2017

Professor Mary Beard talks Death, Europe and singing. Photo: David Hartley/Rex/Shutterstock

What is the first news/historical event you can recall? 

The Kennedy assassination. I remember reading “Assassinated” in the headlines of my grandmother’s newspaper and not knowing what the word meant.

What is the most over-rated book of all time? 

Well that is tough. I am tempted to say Aristotle’s lost book on comedy. It wouldn’t live up to the hype it has had simply because it is lost, and so we wrongly imagine it would solve…

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