Simon Cork

Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
About me...

In 2007 I enrolled at Sheffield University as a mature student, time well spent I consider, studying American history. The talks are based on research undertaken during this period; I have also travelled extensively in the US. I take care to give an interesting and varied talk, always being aware that speakers need to be topical and light hearted as well as being informative. The talks are not ‘academic’ in any way and are very well received by U3A’s, Historical/History Societies and Literary/library groups.

About my Talks...

Each talk is approximately 50 mins (definitely no longer than one hour), allowing time to answer questions afterwards. I use PowerPoint and provide my own projector and laptop, so you just need to supply a screen, table and power extension.


My fee is £45 with a small contribution for fuel if the journey is beyond 1 hour travelling. I am fairly central so happy to travel a fair distance and happy to take short notice if required.

My Contact Details:

Please make contact by email in first instance

American Presidents, Who…. Why…. and….When

A light hearted look at some of the more interesting Presidents, how they came to power and what was happening in their era. What did they achieve, why did they fail, does history show them to be exceptional, atrocious or just plain ordinary – “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

The talk also looks at how American Presidents fit into the jigsaw of the political pecking order, how they evolved and are they really at the top or just a figurehead?

The Gilded Age

An illustrated talk covering life in America 1865-1900. The period of reconstruction after the devastation of the American Civil War saw great changes and the emergence of a country that was to rise to be the greatest trading nation by 1904. The Gilded Age saw the birth of the corporate trusts / monopolies and with it a growth in greed, avarice and corruption. Contrasting this with wonderful Mansions and a rich history. It also saw the global emergence of a nation that had previously been somewhat isolated in the new world of colonialism.

Andrew Carnegie: His Philanthropy and Libraries, a Vision for the Future

An illustrated talk of the life and times of Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie became the richest man in the world in March 1901 when he sold his steel empire for $440 million to J P Morgan. He was celebrated for building over 2600 Carnegie Libraries, unquestionably becoming one of the world’s greatest philanthropists. Yet little is known of Carnegie’s remarkable life story, he was a true visionary figure, a prolific writer, an arch anti-imperialist in the turbulent politics of late 19th century America and for 30 years a leading advocate of peace through arbitration. The talk examines his life in the context of America in the period 1870 to 1910

Simon Cork Contact Details:

Please make contact by email in first instance

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