Candidate Profile

Anthropology & Cultural Studies
History - Maritime
Eileen is an historian with an MA from the University of London and is an experienced lecturer, known for her warm, lively and informative style. She is the published author of two books on the ancient culture of Egypt and has appeared as an expert in a recent film about the subject.

Eileen has worked with various cruise lines over the past 10 years and has been an accredited lecturer of the Arts Society for the past 6. She loves to share her enthusiasm and specialist knowledge of many of the worlds ancient civilisations, including Egyptian, Grecian and Roman, as well as the Aztec and Maya of Mesoamerica and the culture of the Aboriginals of Australia.

In recent years Eileen has studied extensively the Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries and indulged her love of the sea by learning of the lives of pirates and smugglers in all parts of the world during the Golden Age of Piracy.

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1. Pirate Attack!
The coastal towns of the UK were hotbeds of piracy when raiding merchant ships was big business and local citizens were at the mercy of slave traders who snatched them from their homes, some never to be seen again. I will tell you tales of the local infamous pirates and the chilling history of when Britons were enslaved in their thousands.

2. Sunken Treasure
What treasures lie beneath the waves as we sail around the English coast? Where did it come from and where was it going? Discover what is still lying on the ocean bed, who searches the seas to discover it and who has made their fortune by finding sunken treasure.

3. Wreckers and Smugglers
Smuggling, the corrupt underbelly of British history exposed to reveal that it was everywhere and involved everyone, including the Smugglers Banker and the infamous John Carter, nicknamed the King of Prussia. Learn too about the rough and reckless exploits of the wreckers and the ships they ransacked – did they really lure ships onto the rocks?

4. Women in Piracy
The most infamous female pirates were born and bred in the UK and were as vicious and dangerous as any of their male colleagues. Hear the stories of Grace, Anne and Mary and the ‘lady’ of the manor who was a clever, greedy and ruthless killer.

5. Sieze the Day!
Everyone was involved in smuggling during the 17th and 18th centuries and the excise men used all their legal powers to stop them or extract the duty owed to the Crown – but always one step behind, or like the cavalry, they arrived too late. Hear about their exploits, their wins and losses.


1. Mesoamerican Pyramids -Tombs or Temples?
Colossal pyramids are scattered across Mesoamerica but are they the same as those built by ancient Egyptians? I will take you on a tour of several pyramid sites including Teotihuacan and Chichin Itza to compare their function and design, and identify the people who built them and the artefacts they left behind.

2. Blood-thirsty Gods of Mexico – Human hearts, blood and children’s tears were all necessary to quench the hunger of the ancient gods of Mexico. If their need were not satisfied the consequences for the nation would be catastrophic. Discover some of the ancient gods and learn about the religious rites to appease them.

3. Who were the Maya? - For thousands of years the Maya lived and thrived in Mesoamerica, developing an advanced writing system and the most accurate calendar system in the world as well as unique art and splendid architecture. In this talk I will introduce you to their history, major city sites and influential rulers and we’ll discover some of their wonderful artefacts and their food of the gods.

4. The Manteno-Huancavilca Culture of Ecuador - Discover the skilful mariners of the coastal tribes of Ecuador who travelled as far as Mexico in their balsa boats, created beautiful pottery and were famous for their unique U-shaped stone seats.

5. The Magnificent Inca Empire - from pastoral tribe to rulers of an empire, learn of their skill in everything they did , including building the wonder that is Mach Pichu.

6.. The Golden Age of Piracy – Robbery on the High Seas!
Eighty years of piracy when no-one was safe from buccaneers, pirates and privateers – the English, French and Dutch attacked Spanish colonies and shipping in the Eastern Pacific, and Anglo-American privateers turned en-masse to piracy. This talk charts the history of the ‘exciting’ golden age of robbery on the high seas, especially in the Caribbean!

7. Pirate – Hero or Villain?
We all have an image of pirates from fictional characters like Long John Silver and Captain Jack Sparrow– they’re swashbuckling heroes with a twinkle in their eye! But the real pirates were Calico Jack, Blackbeard, Henry Morgan and Admiral Sir John Hawkins among many others. Find out who were heroes, who were regarded as thieving scoundrels and how different their fortunes were!

8. The Life of a Pirate
What was life really like on a pirate ship? We’ll uncover the reality of life on board and bury the myths.

9. Women in Piracy
Women on board ship were regarded as bad luck, so how did a female pirate become a queen? Female pirates were as notorious as the worst of the men and one in particular was extremely clever. I will reveal the challenging lives of women pirates, the wives of pirates left at home and ‘friends’ of pirates …one in every port!

10.. Pirate Treasure – X marks the spot!
X marks the spot on treasure maps where gold bullion and jewellery were buried in treasure chests by swashbuckling pirates. But is that fact or intriguing fiction? I will identify the treasure, who stole it and tell you what happened to their ill-gotten goods – there’s still some to be discovered!


1. Ancient Artefacts: 3,000 years of Mediterranean Treasures
The Golden Death Mask of Agamemnon and jewellery of the Cretan Warrior give an indication of the wealth of riches from the ancient lands surrounding the Mediterranean. This lecture will look in depth at some of the most interesting treasures, examine the techniques and materials used, who commissioned and owned them, their purpose and hidden meaning.

2. The Emperor Diocletian and his Palace - learn of the Roman Emperor who changed the political system and breathed new life into the empirical system before retiring to his wonderful palace in Split.

3. Mystical Signs & Systems of the Ancient World
Since the dawn of civilisation, ancient peoples have left clues to their belief systems in all corners of the world in symbols, inscriptions, monuments and artefacts from the Aztec Calendar Stone and the Spear of Destiny to magic circles and Navaho sand paintings. I will examine in detail the mysteries of these ancient symbols of our ancestors and their desire to control the Universe.

4. Magic & Medicine of Ancient Europe
The practices of magic and medicine throughout the ancient world were intertwined and often difficult to distinguish. This lecture examines both in the ancient cultures of Greece and Egypt to demonstrate the similarities and differences, with details of spells and potions to kill or cure. The magicians were powerful, the doctors knowledgeable and the surgeons were skilled but could they help and heal the unfortunates they treated? This lecture identifies what worked – and what didn’t!

5. Sun Deities of the World
For thousands of years, humans have attempted to explain the Sun in terms of their own worldviews, and have recognized its significance as prime controller of all life on Earth. It was never just a planet that gave warmth and light and topped up a tan! The Sun can be a god, a demon, an all-powerful creator or a ruthless taker of life. This lecture takes you on a world tour of our more fascinating sun god myths and legends and the best, and the worst, practices of sun worship.


1. The People's Crusade - Led by a poor priest and a few nobles, thousands of peasants answered the rallying call of Pope Urban and marched to Jerusalem to free the Hoy City from Muslim rule. We'll follow their journey to discover how successful they were.

2.. Jerusalem: Won and Lost Again – The Crusaders captured Jerusalem only to lose it again to the Muslim leader Saladin, which sparked the Third Crusade led by the English king, Richard the Lionheart. Learn what happened and why and get to know a little about these two great military leaders.

3. The Knights - The most famous orders of knights during the crusades were the Hospitallers and the Templars who loyally defended Christian states in the Holy Land. We'll follow their historic rise as well as they fought against Muslims and the terrifying Assassins.

4. The Fall of Constantinople - The Byzantine Empire had ruled Constantinople for hundred of years but it was taken from Christian hands by a young Muslim leader. Find out how and why it happened.


1. Language of the Pharaohs: Discovery & Decipherment
Hieroglyphic script, the sacred language of Ancient Egypt’s pharaonic period, remained an incomprehensible language for over 1,500 years until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone enabled scholars to unlock the mysteries of hieroglyphs and understand the texts. This lecture takes the audience on a journey of discovery, examining the path to decipherment while they learn to identify various symbols, numbers and words in this ancient script.

2. Ancient Artefacts: 3,000 years of Egyptian Treasures
The Narma Palette and Meidum Geese from the Old Kingdom, the Senoswret III pectoral from the Middle Kingdom, and the bust of Nefertiti and Nebamun paintings from the New Kingdom give an indication of the wealth of Ancient Egyptian riches. I will look in depth at these five most interesting treasures, examine the techniques and materials used, who commissioned and owned them, their purpose and hidden meaning.

3. Understanding Ancient Egyptian Art: Wall Reliefs & Murals
Egypt has a wealth of artefacts dated to its ancient past that today can be classified as art. This lecture examines one genre, the splendid wall reliefs and paintings found in tombs, drawing on examples from the Old, Middle and New Kingdom Periods. It identifies the techniques, materials and different styles used by their accomplished artisans to achieve the beautiful paintings and reliefs we can still see today, more than 3,000 years after the burial tombs were sealed.

4. Pharaonic Art: Hidden Meanings Revealed
From pyramids and temples to jewellery and furniture, every item from Ancient Egypt is steeped in religious symbolism and magical power. This lecture reveals the meaningful messages behind the artistry, unravels the religious symbolism inherent in their world and lays bare their greatest hopes and fears

5. Journey to the Afterlife
Every item of Ancient Egyptian art is highly symbolic of the religious beliefs of this ancient culture, especially its belief in the Afterlife. This lecture explores aspects of the deceased’s journey to a heavenly paradise as depicted in the Book of the Dead, the methods used by the team of embalmers to preserve their bodies for eternity, and their faith in magical charms and rituals which ensured eternal life and happiness.

6. Understanding Egyptian Pyramids
The pyramids are an iconic and mysterious symbol of Ancient Egypt and many theories have been put forward regarding the origins of their design and build; many people suggest they were built with slave labour and some claim aliens were responsible. This lecture follows the development of the pyramids from mastaba to the Great Pyramid at Giza and explains the archaeological evidence for their existence as remarkable feats of innovation, design, logistics, and administration.

7. The Golden Pharaoh
Tutankhamun came to the throne as a young boy of eight years old and died nine years later, too young to have achieved very much in his short life, but now the most famous pharaoh, known for the incredible treasures which were buried with him. This lecture introduces us to the ‘boy king’ and his family and explores his small burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, including the latest evidence on what, and whom, lies behind his tomb walls. Some of the many wonderful things found in his tomb will be examined in detail, focussing on the materials used, their purpose and significant religious symbolism and meaning.

8. What killed Tutankhamun?
The young Pharaoh’s death has been a challenging enigma since his tomb was first opened in 1922 by the British archaeologist, Howard Carter. There are many theories relating to the cause of his death including murder, accident and disease. This lecture examines each possible cause in detail and the evidence for each theory, looking at Carter’s own diary entries, photographs, and modern scientific analysis to unravel the strands of this intriguing mystery.

9. The Tomb Builders
This lecture takes you on a voyage of discovery about the crème de la crème of the Ancient Egyptian workforce who created the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It looks at their homes, families and village life in Deir el Medina as well as the skills, methods and materials they employed to accomplish such commendable work. Examples of their interpretation of the Afterlife in the tombs of the kings and their own burial places will demonstrate their skill and artistry.

10. Ancient Egyptian Magic & Medicine
The magicians were powerful, the doctors knowledgeable and the surgeons were skilled but could they help and heal the unfortunates they treated? This lecture identifies what worked – and what didn’t!

11. Influential Queens
Throughout the ancient history of Egypt, its queens made a difference to the lives and fortunes of the country and its kings. For us, looking back down the millenia, they remain quite mysterious figures, always walking in the shadow of their husband, the pharaoh. This lecture identifies the women who were a real influence on society, the real powers behind the throne, the queen who was portrayed as a man, and the most beautiful and best loved of all the queens. It also examines the turbulent life and loves of Cleopatra, the last Queen of Egypt.

12. Party Time!
Contrary to popular belief, the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian was not preoccupied with arrangements for his death, burial and the Afterlife. Their frequent celebrations were done in style with good food and drink and they were entertained by accomplished musicians and dancers. This lecture features the secrets of a good time, Ancient Egyptian style, with details of their festivals, clothes, jewellery, make-up , food and drink, in fact all you need to know about how they ‘strut their stuff’.

13. The Nabateans and the Rose City of Petra - Discover this innovative ancient culture who became the wealthiest in the region and proclaimed their status by building the impressive city of Petra.


1. Understanding Aboriginal Culture.
The indigenous population of Australia occupied the land for over 60,000 years in relative isolation. Discover their ancient traditions and how they’ve adapted to modern times since the arrival of Captain Cook.

2. Traditional Magic & Medicine
I will compare the magical rituals, spirituality and medicinal practices of the ancient peoples of Australia and China – learn what works and what doesn’t!

3 . Aboriginal Art - From the dot art of Papunya Tula to the landscapes of Albert Namatjira, the artworks of Australian aboriginal people are rich with colour and spiritual meaning. Discover how they have developed their art styles and the hidden meaning within them.

4. People of the Penal Colonies - In 1788 a fleet of British ships carrying convicts landed in Australia to serve their sentence and build a new life and a new country. Discover why they were sent to the other side of the world, how they survived in a new and foreign land and how some of them prospered.

5. From Penal Colony to Sovereign Nation - Australia today is a thriving sovereign state , developing over 200 years from an impoverished British penal colony to a wealthy and successful independent nation. In this talk I will track the important events and people who made it possible.

6. Tales from the South Seas
For centuries, pirates and privateers terrorised the seas off the coasts of Australia, southern China and the Philippines. Hear their historic tales of greed and cruelty and how they were eventually defeated.
I have Travel Insurance as a Cruise Ship Speaker.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Silver Nova SN231204015 South America 15 Bridgetown Monday, December 4, 2023
Viking Sky SK231020 Ancient Mediterranean Treasures 7 Piraeus (Athens) Friday, October 20, 2023
Viking Sky SK231013 Venice, the Adriatic and Greece 7 Venice Friday, October 13, 2023
Nautica NAU230530 Holy Land Legacies 20 Dubai Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Silver Spirit SL230324017 Mumbai to Athens 17 Mumbai Friday, March 24, 2023
Silver Muse SM221202018 Australia Cruise 17 Singapore Friday, December 2, 2022
Riviera RVA21717 Mediterranean Cruise 10 Istanbul Sunday, July 17, 2022
Riviera RVA22707 Mediterranean Cruise 10 Trieste Thursday, July 7, 2022
Silver Moon MO220222017 Central America Cruise 17 Bridgetown Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Silver Spirit SL220103011 Central America Cruise 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Monday, January 3, 2022