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The art of happiness: what history teaches you about yourself – Sir Anthony Seldon, Contemporary Historian

About This Episode

Sir Anthony Seldon is one of the UK’s most dynamic educators, contemporary historians, political commentators and authors. He gives his view on Britain’s political leadership over the past few months, as well as his candid insights into Theresa May’s time as Prime Minister. He also shares his thoughts on how lockdown has led us to do many things better and talks about how he chooses to unwind and slow down.

Sir Anthony Seldon

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham since 2015, is one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors. He was a transformative head for 20 years, first of Brighton College and then Wellington College. He is author or editor of over 40 books on contemporary history, including the inside books on the last four Prime Ministers, was the co-founder and first director of the Institute for Contemporary British History, is co-founder of Action for Happiness, honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street, UK Special Representative for Saudi Education, a member of the Government’s First World War Culture Committee, was chair of the Comment Awards, is a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the President of IPEN, (International Positive Education Network), Chair of the National Archives Trust, is patron or on the board of several charities, founder of the Via Sacra Western Front Walk, and was executive producer of the film Journey’s End. He appeared on the Desert Island Discs in 2016.  For the last fifteen years he has given all his money from writing and lecturing to charity.

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Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr

What are you watching in lockdown?


In one sentence, describe your new normal.

Living life more fully

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My father; because he lived life.


What is your best tip for life?

Slow down; you will do much more


Top 5 lockdown tracks

a) Gimme Shelter

b) Shostakovich

c) Titanium

d) Rachmaninoff 2

e) Let It Be

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