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Knowledge under Attack

Richard Ovenden & Erica Wagner

Jewish Book Week 2021

Richard Ovenden speaker
Erica Wagner chair

This is an online streaming event

After the live broadcast, ticket holders and on-demand bookers will be able to watch this performance until midnight on 31 March. For information on how to use KPlayer please refer to our guide or see the KPlayer FAQ.


In our digital age, we are drowning in information, faced with new and complex challenges around data preservation and organisation; at the same time, media censorship is a global phenomenon, fake news is rife and, more than ever, libraries have to fight for their existence. In Burning the Books, Bodleian Library director Richard Ovenden looks at the destruction of knowledge over the last two and a half millennia He will be in conversation with author and former Times literary editor Erica Wagner.

Click here to purchase a copy of Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack by Richard Ovenden from our book selling partners Blackwell’s.


Richard Ovenden OBE is the 25th Bodley’s Librarian (since the post was set up in 1600) at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Since 1987 he has worked in a number of important archives and libraries, including the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland (as a Curator of Rare Books) and in the University of Edinburgh, where he was Director of Collections. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford and holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford.

Erica Wagner’s latest book is Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge (Bloomsbury). Erica was the literary editor of the London Times for seventeen years and is now a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. She is the author of Ariel’s Gift, Seizure (Faber & Faber), the short story collection Gravity (Granta) and the editor of First Light (Unbound), a celebration of the work of Alan Garner. She received the Eccles British Library Writer’s Award in 2014, and she is a lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths.

Knowledge under Attack

Richard Ovenden & Erica Wagner

Jewish Book Week 2021

Date & start time:Wed 3 Mar – 7.15pm
Price:£9.50
Performers:Erica Wagner, Richard Ovenden
Genres:Jewish Book Week, Online Events, Words

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