Every word counts

Talk Online | Can the past foretell your future?

Online | Can the past foretell your future?


Do you ever wonder what the future might have in store for you? Want to know your romantic prospects, what career would suit you best, and if you’ll be rich one day? We may have the answers!

Join Martha McGill as we delve into the art of fortune-telling between 1500 and 1800, introducing some colourful characters from the early modern period who used astrology, palmistry, scrying and even portentous kale to predict the future. Plus, we’ll be trying out some of these historical methods during the event to see if our futures can indeed be found in the past.

Sign up to watch the event live and have the opportunity to submit your question during the audience Q&A. Join the conversation online too, using the hashtag #ForCuriousMinds.


Francesca Farnell, PhD student, University of Warwick

Imogen Knox, PhD student, University of Warwick

Dr Martha McGill, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Warwick

Chair: Rob Attar, Editor, BBC History Magazine

Martha McGill is a recipient of a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Award 2018.

Free, booking required

This event will take place on Zoom Webinar. The link to join the event will be sent to you in a confirmation email. A recording of this event will be added to our YouTube channel after the event has taken place. If you have any questions about this event please refer to our Public Events FAQs. If your question is not answered, please email events@thebritishacademy.ac.uk.

This event will have live subtitles provided by Stagetext, delivered by MyClearText.

Event details

Wed 16 Jun 2021, 6:00pm

Live subtitles (remote) by Stagetext

Book now

Venue details

British Academy
10-11 Carlton House Terrace
St James's

Other events at British Academy

The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council