The Charleston Library Society presents a variety of talks this May, with topics ranging from history to ecological stability. And, bonus, two of the talks are free.

The first free event, held on May 9 at 6 p.m., is a conversation with Tessa Tennant. Tennant will be discussing her experience as the co-founder of the United Kingdom’s first green investment fund, the Jupiter Ecology Fund. She has won many awards for her work in ecological stability on a global scale, including the Joan Bavaria Award in 2012 (Tennant was the first non-US citizen to receive the award). At this event, Tessa will be interviewed by a member of the Library Society about her life and work.

On May 11 at 6 p.m., the Library Society invites guests to a night of historical conversation with Sally Bedell Smith, a best-selling author of many novels based on political figures in history ($45/nonmembers, $35/members). Smith gives an illustrated lecture centered around her book, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. Smith will start with Prince Charles’ childhood, and work through a detailed account of his life. Notably, Smith will discuss his education, business ventures, and his love-affairs — including, of course, insights into his tragic marriage to Diana. Smith will also discuss the next generation of royals, William, Katherine, and Harry. 

And on May 16, award-winning author Candice Shy Hooper gives a free afternoon lecture at 3 p.m. Her lecture will be based on her book, Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War – For Better and for Worse. Hooper will discuss Jessie Frémont, Nelly McClellan, Ellen Sherman, and Julia Grant, the wives of Lincoln’s top generals. By researching letters and memoirs, Hooper has discovered the ways in which these four women impacted their husbands and, subsequently, the Civil War.

RSVP to free events by calling (843) 723-9912 or emailing

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