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Lecturing with Cunard

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  St Peter's Basilica in Rome

June 2012 - John Sherlock has just spent two weeks in the Western Mediterranean while keeping guests informed and entertained with another on-board lecture series.

John's lecture series, entitled "All you need to know about architecture", is part of the Cunard Insights programme. John's goal is to help people read the architecture of the Mediterranean cities visited en route, which this time included Rome, Florence and Barcelona.

John's series also links the classical styles and structures seen to famous neo-classical buildings found all over the UK and the USA.

Here are some of the feedback comments received:

Clear, concise, inspirational and very entertaining. It made my visits to Rome and Florence much more interesting.

Excellent speaker, wish he had been my teacher at school - I would have really enjoyed learning!

Overall a very enjoyable four lectures and we certainly have looked at architecture differently and in a more interesting way since attending John's presentations. We loved the I-spy too as it made us look out for building and styles whilst we were visiting the cities ...

Commenting on the series, John says "The history of architecture is an aspirational subject - something that most people wish they knew more about, if only they had the time to learn. Indeed many people feel a slight (usually undisclosed) embarrassment that, on entering a great cathedral or palace, they are not able to read the rudimentary architectural language of the building. In fact the 'language of architecture' has a vocabulary that can be easily learnt. Once learnt, there is great satisfaction in recognising key elements (such as a Greek column or a Roman arch) and identifying how these elements have been integrated into building design across the centuries and across the continent."

It's a topic that links distant destinations with home-sweet-home. Cunard's destinations - especially in the Mediterranean - are rich with examples of fine historic architecture and the lectures will pick out iconic examples to illustrate key patterns and techniques. But the audience will find that theses same patterns are equally identifiable in the major historic buildings of the UK - be they cathedrals, country houses or public buildings. So the lectures will help people to trace the links by which architectural elements conceived by the ancient Greeks - centuries before Christ - have been copied, modified, enhanced, forgotten, revived and reworked to produce a Venetian church fašade, a Moorish palace in Spain, an English country house or a French cathedral.

John Sherlock is an unbridled enthusiast for his subject. His work with JDD specialises in heritage visitor destinations. He has completed in-depth projects for The National Trust, The Crown Estate and individual member houses of The Historic Houses Association. In each case, his work is focused on how the building and landscape can be better understood and 'read' by the visitor.