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September 21, 2007

Guests of the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg take a walk on the wild side during Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series

Colonial Williamsburg guests can learn about decadence and depravity during the Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series at the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in October. Both lectures can be seen in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The series has been underwritten by The Horatio Hall Whitridge & Gracia Grieb Whitridge Lecture Series Fund.

At 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, historian Adrian Tinniswood will present a lecture on his book, “The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War and Madness in 17th-century England.” He will discuss the remarkable Verney family that included a Barbary Coast pirate, a military officer at the Battle of Edgehill, a Cromwell supporter and a highway robber, among others. Their story is based on a vast collection of more than 30,000 letters found at the family home. A book signing will follow. “The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War and Madness in 17th-century England” can be purchased at the Museum Store and WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers® at the Visitor Center. The lecture is being co-sponsored by the Royal Oak Foundation, the American membership affiliate of the National Trust of England, Wales and Ireland.

During “Drink, Disorder and Debauchery in Georgian England” at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, Wendell Garrett, senior vice president of American Decorative Arts, Sotheby’s, will take a comparative look at Hanoverian England and the contrast between the elegance of high society and the poverty and crime in the streets.

The Horatio Hall Whitridge & Gracia Grieb Whitridge Lecture Series Fund was established in 1996 through a bequest from the estate of Mrs. Whitridge. Since then, the foundation has enjoyed annual lectures and lecture series by distinguished scholars, including Rhys Issac, Ivor Noel Hume and Ian Gow.

The program is included in museum admission. For more information and reservations, call 1-800-HISTORY.

The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and are located at 325 W. Francis St. Admission is included in any Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or by separate museums ticket. For information call (757) 220-7724.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121