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Franco-Scottish Society (Edinburgh): Les James Gordon Bennett, journalistes : Un Écossais à New York, un Américain à Paris.

Wednesday 16 February 2022 16:15-18:15


The French Institute in Scotland is delighted to partner with the Franco-Scottish Society (Edinburgh branch) and host their series of talks taking place at the Institute. Please note, those events are accessible to FSS and IFE members only.



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Talk: Dr Geoff Hare, Les James Gordon Bennett, journalistes : Un Écossais à New York, un Américain à Paris.

Wednesday 16 February 2022 at 4:15pm
On-site at the Institute


In French but we gladly accept questions in English

FOR FSS and IFE MEMBERS ONLY, free admission
Please note that wearing a face-covering is mandatory in the space


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About the talk
What is known and not known about the Gordon Bennetts, who emerged from a poor Catholic community in Banffshire in the late 18th century to international fame in the 19th C.? James Gordon Bennett the elder, became famous and wealthy as the innovative founding editor of the New York Herald, the best-selling “penny daily” of its day. The son sponsored modern sports and created celebrity journalism for selling papers and invented the first international daily. Frequent criss-crossing of the Atlantic and the mythic status of both father and son, whose professional journalistic lives were dogged by controversy and in the son’s case also by lurid scandal, have encouraged the creation of legends that obscure their real achievements. This talk attempts to unravel what we know, put it into context and at the same time tell some of the more extravagant stories. They involve the invention of modern journalism, of press agencies, of transatlantic yacht racing and the Riviera as a playground for the rich and famous. The background story involves emigration, technological progress, America’s ‘manifest destiny’, cosmopolitanism and celebrity culture. Walk-on parts are played by Buffalo Bill, Stanley and Livingstone, an owl, a weather girl, an old lady from Philadelphia, Marconi and Winston Churchill’s mother.

The speaker:
Dr Geoff Hare is a retired academic in French studies, working notably in Aberdeen University and, until he retired, in Newcastle University, where he was Head of Modern Languages for a time. He has written extensively on the history of modern sports and the media, including: Football in France: A Cultural History (2003). He co-edited The Tour de France, 1903-2003: A Century of Sporting Structures, Meanings and Values. He is now working on a biography of the Gordon Bennett family.




Access Details
Institut français d’Ecosse, Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard (1st Floor)
West Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RF
The IFE and its Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard are fully accessible with step-free access.

Face coverings are mandatory to move around the building. A one-way system is in place throughout the building with an entrance via George IV Bridge only and exit via West Parliament Square. Hand sanitizers are also available in the building.
Find out more about what we are doing to keep you safe here.

Institut Français Écosse 2021