Department of History, Faculty of Economic, Administrative, and Social Sciences
The Irish dramatist Oscar Wilde once wrote that 'A woman who would tell you her real age would tell you anything'. But I can say that I was born in Liverpool at the height of Beatle Mania, whenever that was! My Liverpool career lasted for six months, following which I spent my entire life in the wonderful market town of Stourbridge in the West Midlands. I attended two wonderful schools, Hagley R.C. High School and King Edward VI College, before reading History at Queens' College, Cambridge, and French Studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Exeter in Devon. I spent a total of three years living in Paris, which was quite an experience, and I joined in all the festivities celebrating the Bicentenary of the French Revolution, even though I am a loyal subject of the British Crown! I also spent a year teaching in the Department of French at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and three years working at the Voltaire Foundation in the University of Oxford, where I was something of a cuckoo in the nest, since I am a confirmed admirer of the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau!
I teach the History of Civilization course in the Department of History at Bilkent University. The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing my former students again after the vacation. They are usually happy to see me, which never ceases to amaze me! For details of my course, see my History of Civilization pages.
I am interested in the European Enlightenment, with particular reference to France and Switzerland. Believe it or not, I have translated more of the Encyclopedie of Diderot and D'Alembert into English than anyone else in the world! It's a pity I have nothing better to do with my time! But I am also working on the illustrations to the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) who ranks together with William Shakespeare in my mind as the greatest genius in the History of Civilization!
I love English literature and music. After Shakespeare, I like Charles Dickens and the poet John Keats. I have even written a few lines of poetry myself: I believe that there is a poet hiding somewhere deep inside every one of us! I am a great fan of the recent Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. As far as music is concerned, I am convinced that Mozart is without parallel in the entire history of music, though my husband David has also written some incredible songs for his guitar, Big Bertha! In addition to classical music, I like Jacques Loussier's fusion of Bach and jazz. My favourite singer is Andrea Bocelli. Since 21 January 2002, my favourite hobby is being with our lovely daughter Julie Ellen and watching her grow.