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Upcoming Events
 




To request an event with Alison Weir, please go to the Contact page. Requests for events should be sent directly to Alison or to her publicists at Penguin Random House.


FORTHCOMING EVENTS


5th November
7pm
Beccles Library
Event for Kulture Shock:
The Marriage Game



Their affair was the scandal of Europe. From the time of her accession in 1558, the young Elizabeth I – already reinventing herself as the Virgin Queen – and her dashing but married Master of Horse, Lord Robert Dudley, cast caution to the winds in pursuing their passion for each other. Many believed them to be lovers in the fullest sense, and there were scurrilous rumours that Elizabeth is no virgin at all.

The formidable young Queen was regarded by most of Christendom as a bastard, a heretic and a usurper, yet many princes sought her hand in marriage. Knowing her hold on her throne to be desperately insecure, Elizabeth encouraged them, to keep them friendly towards England. And thus she played what became known as ‘the marriage game’, appearing seriously to entertain these suitors while holding them off indefinitely. The truth was that she had no inclination to marry, bear children or render herself subservient to any man. The prospect of marriage was anathema to her, and she had deep and compelling psychological reasons for wishing to avoid it. It was the game of love that was the breath of life to her - the thrill of the chase, the lure of forbidden fruit. She played this dangerous, tantalising game with Lord Robert Dudley – but it was a game, she realised - almost too late, that could ultimately cost her the throne.

In this richly illustrated presentation Alison Weir discusses her new novel about Elizabeth’s marriage game, a dramatic, complex, often funny, and deeply poignant tale of intrigue, love and loss, tracing the highs and lows of one of history’s most extraordinary and controversial royal love affairs.

For tickets please call Kulture Shock on 01502 712922.



13th December
4pm
St Bartholemew's Church, Otford, Kent
Event for the Otdord and District Local History Society
A Royal Christmas





As this beautiful church is decorated for the festive season, join Alison Weir and fellow historian Siobhan Clarke, a guide lecturer from Historic Royal Palaces, to hear how our kings and queens have celebrated Christmas down the ages.

 

Our Christmas rituals evolved from Christian liturgy, pagan rites and the influence of the monarchy. Holly, ivy and other greenery such as mistletoe were originally used in pre-Christian times to help celebrate the pagan Winter Solstice. Christmas at court in the medieval period culminated in Twelfth Night; a time of great celebration, involving feasts, games and the staging of plays. Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' was written for the close of Christmas season in the reign of Elizabeth I.



From the time of George III and his German wife Queen Charlotte, who introduced the custom of the Christmas tree, the royal family has had great influence on our Christmas traditions. An engraving in the 1848 Christmas supplement of The Illustrated London News shows Queen Victoria’s family gathered around a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle. The German customs brought by Prince Albert into the royal family became the basis of the English Christmas we know today and in the last two hundred years feasts and entertainments have been shared by the majority, rather than the privileged few. The first Christmas Broadcast was delivered by George V in 1932 and since then has evolved into an important part of the Christmas Day celebrations for many in Britain and around the world.



Alison Weir will be talking about Christmas at court in the medieval and Tudor periods, and Siobhan Clarke will look at how royalty has celebrated Christmas from Stuart times to the present day, showing how the royal family have influenced our own festivities and traditions.

Booking details to come.


2015


30th January
7.30pm
Peterborough Cathedral
Event for the Katherine of Aragon Festival:
The Exile of Katherine of Aragon



Above the resting place of Queen Katherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, in Peterborough Cathedral, proudly hang two banners bearing the royal arms of England and Spain. They accord Katherine in death the honours of which she was so cruelly deprived when she was alive. Every year Peterborough Cathedral and Peterborough City Council hold an annual festival to celebrate the life of this lady of significant historical importance, who was buried in the Cathedral in 1536.



Alison Weir will tell the vivid and tragic story of Katherine's last years, which were spent in exile from the court, her adored husband the King, and her beloved daughter, the future Mary I. In 1527, spurred by his ardent desire for Anne Boleyn, and his need for a son, Henry VIII had asked the Pope for an annulment of his marriage to Katherine. But Katherine had insisted that she was the King's lawful wife, and when the Pope sent a cardinal to England to try the King`s case with Cardinal Wolsey, she refused to acknowledge the court and made a dramatic plea on her knees before the King. Her appeal gave the Pope a pretext to refer the case back to Rome.  Furious, the King banished her from court, and she spent her declining years a virtual prisoner, bravely maintaining to the end that she was his true wife.

Booking details to come.

 

23rd February
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln
5pm: Tea, coffee, cakes and a book signing
6pm: Event for the City of Lincoln Branch of the Historical Association
England's Lost Kings: Edward V and Arthur Tudor



One was an uncrowned king, the elder of the famous Princes in the Tower; the other was the lost heir to the Tudor dynasty. Edward V disappears from the pages of history at the age of twelve; Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, died at fifteen, and his younger brother, Henry VIII, became king in his place.
 
Drawing on extensive research, Alison Weir recounts the lives of these two hapless princes and explores the mysteries that surround them. What happened to Edward V? Was he murdered on the orders of his uncle, Richard III, the man who had usurped his throne? Was Edward the child of an invalid marriage, as Richard asserted? Was Arthur’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon consummated? And what was the cause of his early death?


 
Alison Weir places the lives of Edward and Arthur in context: their training for kingship at Ludlow Castle, and their identification with the kings who fathered them; and she looks at the evidence for the kind of rulers they would have made.  Her talk reveals some surprising insights.   
 
Please contact the branch secretary, Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall, for further information and to book tickets at claire.hubbard-hall@bishopg.ac.uk, or telephone 01522 583736.
 


27th February
7.30pm
The Memorial Hall, Bearsted, Kent
Event for Bearsted and District Local History Society
Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen



Alison will be giving a richky illustrated presentation on her new biography of Elizabeth of York, one of England’s lost Queens Regnant. Elizabeth, the heiress of the House of York, was daughter to Edward IV and sister to the Princes in the Tower. Two kings vied for her hand: her uncle, Richard III, who had had her declared a bastard, and the future Henry VII, the first Tudor sovereign; their marriage united the warring Houses of Lancaster and York. Elizabeth was the mother of Henry VIII and grandmother of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. She was also the ancestress of every English monarch since 1509, every Scots monarch since 1513, and every British monarch since 1603, including the present Queen, Elizabeth II. Alison's book will reveal intriguing new insights into her fascinating and often poignant story, showing that the traditional perception of Elizabeth of York as a subjugated consort without any influence should now be revised.

This event will be open to non-members.



13th May
2pm
The National Archives, Kew
Alison Weir will speak as the National Archives' Writer of the Month on:
The Marriage Game

 

Their affair was the scandal of Europe. From the time of her accession in 1558, the young Elizabeth I – already reinventing herself as the Virgin Queen – and her dashing but married Master of Horse, Lord Robert Dudley, cast caution to the winds in pursuing their passion for each other. Many believed them to be lovers in the fullest sense, and there were scurrilous rumours that Elizabeth is no virgin at all.

The formidable young Queen was regarded by most of Christendom as a bastard, a heretic and a usurper, yet many princes sought her hand in marriage. Knowing her hold on her throne to be desperately insecure, Elizabeth encouraged them, to keep them friendly towards England. And thus she played what became known as ‘the marriage game’, appearing seriously to entertain these suitors while holding them off indefinitely. The truth was that she had no inclination to marry, bear children or render herself subservient to any man. The prospect of marriage was anathema to her, and she had deep and compelling psychological reasons for wishing to avoid it. It was the game of love that was the breath of life to her - the thrill of the chase, the lure of forbidden fruit. She played this dangerous, tantalising game with Lord Robert Dudley – but it was a game, she realised - almost too late, that could ultimately cost her the throne.

Alison Weir will give a richly illustrated presentation and discuss her novel about Elizabeth’s marriage game, a dramatic, complex, often funny, and deeply poignant tale of intrigue, love and loss, tracing the highs and lows of one of history’s most extraordinary and controversial royal love affairs.

(Booking detaiuls to come)



Events are being planned for Hatchard's Booksellers in London, Sutton Library, the Richmond Heritage Festival (2015) and a very special event at the Tower of London.