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"Romania: The Land in Between": Paul Kenyon and Bronwen Riley in Conversation - 25 November 2021

The fifth in a season of Europe House Talks organised by the European Parliament's office in London featuring leading writers and artists discussing issues of contemporary interest with a European focus.


Please join us in person at Europe House on Thursday 25 November, from 18:30-20:00, for ‘Romania: The Land in Between’, where Paul Kenyon and Bronwen Riley will be in conversation about Romania and its role in European history and culture.

Few countries owe their fame in large part to a work of fiction. Yet it was the publication of Bram Stoker’s sensational gothic novel Dracula in 1897 that drew the attention of the public in Britain and elsewhere for the first time to Romania. Yet how much do we really know about the country?

Romania, which traces its origins back to ancient Rome, is balanced precariously on the shifting fault line between east and west. Fought over for centuries by competing empires, it emerged as an independent state in its own right at the end of the 19th century under a German-born king. Yet from then until now, its fate has been bound up with the destinies of powerful neighbours, while domineering personalities such as the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu have obscured complex realities.

In ‘Romania: The Land in Between’, two authors with a profound knowledge of the country, Paul Kenyon and Bronwen Riley, will discuss Romania’s place in the history and imagination of Europe and seek to separate fact from fiction.

Paul Kenyon is an award-winning journalist and author. His latest book is Children of the Night, an epic new history of modern Romania, published this year by Head of Zeus. He has reported from danger zones around the world for BBC Panorama and is one of the UK’s most experienced undercover filmmakers. He is the recipient of an Association of International Broadcasters Award, along with three Royal Television Society awards. He is the author of two other books: I Am Justice: A Journey Out Of Africa and Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa, a Financial Times Book of the Year in 2018.

Bronwen Riley is a writer and editor with a special interest in the classical world and Romania. Her books include Transylvania, about this myths, history and peoples of this Romanian region, and Journey to Britannia: From the Heart of Rome to Hadrian's Wall, AD 130. She devises literary and historical journeys in Britain, the Balkans and beyond and is director of the Transylvanian Book Festival. She is currently working on a new book, Journey to Jerusalem, which follows a group of pilgrims on their extraordinary travels from Britain to the Holy Land in the late fourth century.