Over 20 events by leading historians at Medieval Canterbury Weekend
03 September 2015
A celebration of medieval Canterbury will take place next year over three days, featuring more than 20 leading historians.
Dan Jones, David Starkey and Helen Castor will join fellow historians to explore the medieval world, as well as the local, national and international importance the City of Canterbury had within it.
Medieval Canterbury Weekend has been organised by Canterbury Christ Church University’s Centre for Research in Kent History and Archaeology and Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library. It will feature talks and guided tours on three days from Friday, 1 April to Sunday, 3 April, 2016.
Highlights of the weekend include a talk by historian and journalist Dan Jones on Saturday 2 April called, The Plantagenets: The Kings who made England. Dan will explain how a family supposedly descended from the devil laid the foundations of England as we know it today and produced the greatest and worst kings and queens that this country has ever seen.
Since the publication of his books, The Plantagenets (2013), which became a New York Times bestseller and The Hollow Crown: the Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors (2014), Dan has written and presented two Channel 5 series on the Plantagenets and Great British Castles. He is also a columnist for the London Evening Standard and contributes articles to the BBC History Magazine, History Today, Sunday Times and many other national publications.
Dr Helen Castor
Later on the same day Dr Helen Castor will explore the lives of royal women from the same era. A historian and Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, her 2010 book, She-Wolves: The women who ruled England before Elizabeth , was widely selected as one the books of the year. She also presents BBC Radio 4’s Making History and documentaries for BBC television.
Her talk, She-Wolves: queens and power in medieval and Tudor England, will look at Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou, three exceptional women, yet who found themselves vilified as 'she-wolves' when they stepped beyond the bounds of what was expected of royal women.
The focus will return to the Tudors on the Sunday as well-known broadcast personality and Tudor historian Dr David Starkey re-appraises Henry VII and his reign to examine just what sort of monarch he really was in his talk, Henry VII: medieval, modern or a one-off?
Dr Sheila Sweetinburgh, from the University’s Centre for Research in Kent History and Archaeology, said: “Medieval Canterbury was internationally important. It is the site of St Thomas Becket’s shrine, a major focus of pilgrimage, and was on the main highway between London and mainland Europe, traversed by kings, knights and merchants. Therefore, it is an ideal setting for a weekend programme of lectures and guided visits that showcases recent research on the middle ages by leading historians.
“However, the weekend is very much for everyone, whether you are already interested in medieval history or just curious to know more. The talks and events are organised so people can pick and mix talks and subjects across the weekend, from kings and queens to the medieval church, war and politics or social history.”
For more information on talks and guided visits offered throughout the weekend, or to book tickets, visit our Medieval Canterbury Weekend web pages.
Notes to Editor
Medieval Canterbury Weekend is jointly organised by Canterbury Christ Church University and Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library and is sponsored by Kent Archaeological Society, and Canterbury Archaeological Trust, The William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust and Peter Hobbs.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With almost 18,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 95% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.
*2013/14 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey