AlisonWeir.org.uk Logo

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 or Headline.



11th March
7pm
Private event for pupils, parents and staff of the Skinners' School, Tunbridge Wells
FOTHERINGHAY: THE FALL OF MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS



Mary, Queen of Scots, is one of the most intriguing and controversial figures in history. Hers is a dark tale of vicious intrigue, ambition, lust, violence, and murder, all enveloped in mystery, and at the centre is this enigmatic woman, on whom rivers of ink have been spilt throughout four centuries. The bloody fate of Mary, Queen of Scots has unceasingly captivated the interest of historians, novelists and painters.  It overshadowed the reputation of Elizabeth I, put paid to hopes of a Catholic succession in England, and gave rise to romantic myths that still colour our perceptions of the doomed Queen. In her talk, Alison Weir will discuss the dramatic events that led to Mary’s execution at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587, and offer her assessment of the real Mary Stuart.




17th March
7.15pm
Hitchin Library
Event for Hertfordshire Libraries Litfest 16:
RICHARD III: THE MAN AND THE MYTH





Shakespeare’s Richard III demonstrates how the historical record can be distorted and misinterpreted. It depicts Richard III’s Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign which lasted from 1483 to 1485, portraying him as a sinister, bloody tyrant, a monstrous being incredible in any historical context. Yet the play has been hugely influential. Richard III has always been an enigmatic, charismatic and controversial character, and furious debate still rages in regard to whether or not he ordered the murder of the Princes in the Tower. The recent discovery of bones that may be his has prompted huge public interest. Shakespeare’s powerful dramatic portrayal of him has had enormous impact on perceptions of the historical Richard. But Shakespeare drew on historical sources, and it is on these that Richard’s reputation largely rests. Alison Weir has studied those sources for many years, and her research shows that the truth is stranger – and far more complex – than the fiction. Be prepared for some challenging insights!

Tickets are available from 6th February, National Libraries Day, at www.hertsdirect/libraryeventtickets, by calling 01707 281533, or from any Hertfordshire Library.




23rd March
6.30pm
Aylsham Town Hall, Norfolk
Event for The Book Hive:
THE LADY IN THE TOWER: THE FALL OF ANNE BOLEYN



The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII`s second wife, in 1536 was unprecedented in the annals of English history.  It was sensational in its day, and has exerted endless fascination over the minds of historians, novelists, dramatists, poets, artists and film-makers ever since.  It is also the stuff of which myths and legends were made – indeed, a spin was being put on the tale within a fortnight of Anne`s death.  Anne was imprisoned in the Tower on 2nd May 1536, and tried and found guilty of high treason on 15th May.  Her supposed crimes included adultery with five men, one her own brother, and plotting the King`s death.  She was executed on 19th May.  Mystery surrounds the circumstances leading up to her arrest.  Alison Weir tells the story of one of the most tragic, cataclysmic and romantic episodes in history, and examines the circumstances of Anne's fall.  Hers is a thoroughly gripping story, and at its centre is one of the most charismatic, controversial, courageous and tragic heroines in history.

For tickets please visit www.thebookhive.co.uk



13th April
Noon
The Old Kitchen, Wykeham Abbey, Scarborough
Alison Weir will be the guest speaker at a literary lunch hosted by the Books by the Beach Festival, speaking about:
THE LOST TUDOR PRINCESS



Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs. Some thought she should be queen of England. Beautiful and tempestuous, she defied her uncle, Henry VIII, and created scandal by indulging in two illicit affairs. She was forgiven and served five of Henry’s wives. The marriage arranged for her turned into a love match. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions. She helped to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the sixteenth century, but it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there were rumours that she herself was poisoned. She warred with two queens, Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. A brave survivor, Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was a prominent and important figure in Tudor England, and yet today she is largely forgotten and overlooked. Her story deserves to be better known, and Alison Weir brings it to life in this new biography.

For tickets please contact the Stephen Joseph Theatre box office on 01723 370451



6th May
7.30pm
Peterborough Cathedral



The Cathedral, the last resting place of Katherine of Aragon, will host an event to mark the official launch of the first book in the Six Tudor Queens series:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN



The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, which she will be launching at this presentation in Peterborough Cathedral, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, who lies buried near the altar. Drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record, Alison approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context. 

Tickets, which cost £11 (£5.50 for under 18s) and include a glass of wine or a soft drink, are available at http://www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/143/section.aspx/142/alison-weir, or by calling the Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734, the Peterborough Information Centre on 01733 452336, or in person at the Peterborough Cathedral Shop. 



9th May
6.30pm for 7pm
The Great Hall, Hampton Court Palace



Event to launch KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN


 
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context.  

Tickets will go on sale for Historic Royal Palaces Members at the end of March. 



13th May
1pm
Ipswich Town Hall
Event for the BooksEast Festival:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN


 
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context.  

For tickets please contact the Ipswich Regent Box Office at www.ipswichregent.co.uk or call 01473 433100.



14th May
11.30am
The Discovery Centre, Jewry St, Winchester
Event for the Winchester Speakers' Festival:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN


 
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context. 

For tickets, please call 0333 666 3366.



15th May
3.30pm
The Horsebridge Arts Centre, Whitstable
Event for the Whitstable Literary Festival:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN



The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context. 

Tickets are available from the Horsebridge box office at http://www.horsebridge-centre.org.uk/ or on 01227 281174.



25th May
6.30pm
Dragon Hall, Norwich
Event for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN



The lives of Henry VIII’s wives make for dramatic stories. In her forthcoming series of novels Alison Weir will offer new insights into the real lives of these six queens, based on extensive research and new theories. It has become fashionable to talk up the roles of women in the past, but women’s histories were overlooked for so long, and in the wake of the feminist movement there has been increasing interest in retrieving them. That has led, inevitably, to the case being overstated; but when we consider the gritty reality of life for women in the Tudor age, and the dangers of living in a court riddled with intrigue, then the ascendancy of women such as Anne Boleyn can rightly be portrayed as a triumph, and remarkable. Alison Weir will evoke the world of a court dominated by the will of an egomaniacal, suggestible king, and the power politics and ruthlessness that were the reality behind its magnificent façade, and relate how Henry’s six queens lived a hair’s breadth away from disaster – and how it frequently overtook them. Theirs are grim and tragic stories, set in a lost world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominated, but dynastic pressures overrode any romantic considerations. In this world, one dominated by religious change, there are few saints.



Dragon Hall is a Grade I listed medieval trading hall. It is the only known surviving building of its type in Western Europe, built by one man for his own use. Dragon Hall was built by Robert Toppes, a wealthy local merchant, for his business. The first floor of the 27-metre timber-framed hall has an outstanding crown post roof with a beautifully carved dragon, which gives the building its name. After Toppes' death, the building was converted for domestic use and then, in the 19th century, subdivided into shops, a pub and tenements. The crown post roof was only rediscovered in the 1980s.

Tickets, which go on sale in the spring, will be available through the Norfolk & Norwich Festival website at http://www.nnfestival.org.uk/.



1st June
7pm
The Priory, Monmouth
Event for Rossiter Books:
THE LOST TUDOR PRINCESS



Royal Tudor blood ran in her veins. Her mother was a queen, and she herself was the granddaughter, niece, cousin and grandmother of monarchs. Some thought she should be queen of England. Beautiful and tempestuous, she defied her uncle, Henry VIII, and created scandal by indulging in two illicit affairs. She was forgiven and served five of Henry’s wives. The marriage arranged for her turned into a love match. A born political intriguer, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London on several occasions. She helped to bring about one of the most notorious royal marriages of the sixteenth century, but it brought her only tragedy. Her son and her husband were brutally murdered, and there were rumours that she herself was poisoned. She warred with two queens, Mary of Scotland and Elizabeth of England. A brave survivor, Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox, was a prominent and important figure in Tudor England, and yet today she is largely forgotten and overlooked. Her story deserves to be better known, and Alison Weir brings it to life in this new biography.



Monmouth Priory was founded in 1070 AD by Benedictine monks, and is one of the most historic buildings in Monmouth. Completely renovated a few years ago, the Priory offers very modern facilities for a variety of gatherings, within the walls of a unique, 900 year old building.

For tickets please contact Rossiter Books at Monmouth on 01600 775572 or at Ross-on-Wye on 01989564464, or online via rossiterbooks.co.uk.



2nd June
7pm
The Perse School, Cambridge
Event for the Sick Children's Trust Cambridge Fundraising Committee:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN


 
The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context.  

Tickets cost £10 each, to include a glass of wine. Please contact The Sick Children’s Trust Cambridge Fundraising Committee, c/o Susan Evans, 1 The Manor, Herringswell, Suffolk IP28 6SH or email glazebrc@doctors.org.uk.



5th June
2.30pm
The Bear Hotel, Devizes
Event for the Devizes Arts Festival
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN



The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context.  

Tickets will be on sale at www.devizesfestival.co.uk at the end of March to Friends of the Festival, and in April to the general public.



8th June
7.15pm (tbc)
The QUAD Arts Centre, Derby
Event for the Derby Book Festival:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN



The lives of Henry VIII’s queens make for dramatic stories. In her new novel, the first in a series of six, Alison Weir tells the poignant story of Katherine of Aragon, the King’s first wife, drawing on new research and keeping closely to the historical record. She approaches her tale from Katherine’s point of view, which affords an intimate psychological perspective on this indomitable, courageous and principled woman. Was Katherine’s union with Prince Arthur consummated? What happens when a happy royal marriage is overshadowed by dynastic pressures, doubts and the allure of an ambitious woman? Alison Weir evokes a court peopled by the luminaries of the early Tudor age – Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell and the magnificent figure of Henry VIII himself – a young, and athletic Henry, not yet marred by frustration and disappointment. They live in a lost world of splendour and brutality, dominated by faith and by momentous religious change – a world in which there were few saints. This was Katherine’s world, and we can only understand her properly within its context.

For tickets please telephone 01332 290606 or book online from the Festival website at www.derbybookfestival.co.uk.
 


12th June
5pm
St Laurence's Church, Ludlow
Event for the Ludlow Summer Arts Festival:
ARTHUR AND KATHERINE, PRINCE AND PRINCESS OF WALES



Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King Henry VII, was the heir to the Tudor dynasty, but tragically, in 1502, he died at Ludlow, aged just fifteen, and his younger brother, Henry VIII, became king in his place. Six months earlier, in a splendid ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral, Arthur had married Katherine of Aragon, youngest daughter of the Spanish sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella. The marriage was a triumph of diplomacy for Henry VII, but would ultimately undermine the security of the Tudor succession.  Drawing on extensive research, Alison Weir recounts the lives of these two hapless young people, and explores the mysteries that surround them. Was Arthur’s marriage to Katherine consummated? And what was the cause of his early death?



St Laurence’s Church, which has stood in the market town of Ludlow for 800 years, is one of the greatest parish churches in Britain, and has been called the Cathedral of the Marches. In 1999 it became one of just 18 churches to be given a five-star rating in Simon Jenkins’ acclaimed book England’s Thousand Best Churches. It has a fine collection of medieval stained glass, and Thomas Willement’s west window, which was added in 1860, tells the story of the unfortunate Prince Arthur, who died at Ludlow Castle in 1502. Arthur's body was taken to Worcester Cathedral for burial, but his heart and viscera are said to have been buried in St Laurence’s, where his body lay in state for three days.

Tickets can be purchased in person at Ludlow Assembly Rooms; by phone on 01584 878141; online at  www.ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk; or on the door 30 minutes before the talk begins.  



25th June
7pm
The Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe
Event for the Felixstowe Book Festival:
KATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE TRUE QUEEN



The lives of Henry VIII’s wives make for dramatic stories. In her forthcoming series of novels Alison Weir will offer new insights into the real lives of these six queens, based on extensive research and new theories. It has become fashionable to talk up the roles of women in the past, but women’s histories were overlooked for so long, and in the wake of the feminist movement there has been increasing interest in retrieving them. That has led, inevitably, to the case being overstated; but when we consider the gritty reality of life for women in the Tudor age, and the dangers of living in a court riddled with intrigue, then the ascendancy of women such as Anne Boleyn can rightly be portrayed as a triumph, and remarkable. Alison Weir will evoke the world of a court dominated by the will of an egomaniacal, suggestible king, and the power politics and ruthlessness that were the reality behind its magnificent façade, and relate how Henry’s six queens lived a hair’s breadth away from disaster – and how it frequently overtook them. Theirs are grim and tragic stories, set in a lost world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominated, but dynastic pressures overrode any romantic considerations. In this world, one dominated by religious change, there are few saints.

Tickets are available through the Festival website at http://felixstowebookfestival.co.uk/.



12th July
7pm
Princess Alexandra Hall, Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James's Street, London
Panel event for the Royal Over-Seas League Literary Series 2016:
WRITING HISTORY



How does one write history? The relationship between fact and fiction has long been a complicated labyrinth, but in writing the battle seems to find new fuel. Giants from the past are often so compelling that the temptation to write and embroider their stories is overwhelming… but how much artistic licence can authors lay claim to?  And equally, how fair is it for an audience and a reader to hold a writer hostage to one specific interpretation of the past?

In this exciting panel discussion with some of the country’s leading historians and historical authors, the subject of writing history will be thoroughly investigated. From the writer’s initial research to the words on the page, they will explore the process of interpreting the past and divulge the challenges of re-writing history.

For tickets - £12 ROSL Members, £15 General public - please call 0207 408 0214 ext. 219, or email roslarts@rosl.org.uk



22nd September
6.30pm
Oadby Library, Leicester
ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE, BY THE WRATH OF GOD QUEEN OF ENGLAND



Eleanor of Aquitaine was one of the leading personalities of the Middle Ages and also one of the most controversial. She was beautiful, intelligent and wilful, and in her lifetime there were scandalous rumours about her that were not without substance. She had been reared in a relaxed and licentious court where the arts of the troubadours flourished, and was even said to have presided over the fabled Courts of Love. Eleanor married in turn Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, and was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John. She lived to be 82, but it was only in old age that she triumphed over the adversities and tragedies of her earlier years and became the virtual ruler of England.
Eleanor has exerted a fascination over writers and biographers for 800 years, but the prevailing myths and legends that attach to her name still tend to obscure the truth. Drawing on extensive research, and her best-selling biography, Alison Weir offers a vivid, fresh and provocative perspective on this extraordinary woman.

For tickets, please call 0116 305 8763 during library opening hours or email mark.newman@leics.gov.uk.



29th September
7pm
Old Town Hall, Richmond
Event for the Richmond Heritage Festival:
SIX TUDOR QUEENS



The lives of Henry VIII’s wives make for dramatic stories. In her forthcoming series of novels Alison Weir will offer new insights into the real lives of these six queens, based on extensive research and new theories. It has become fashionable to talk up the roles of women in the past, but women’s histories were overlooked for so long, and in the wake of the feminist movement there has been increasing interest in retrieving them. That has led, inevitably, to the case being overstated; but when we consider the gritty reality of life for women in the Tudor age, and the dangers of living in a court riddled with intrigue, then the ascendancy of women such as Anne Boleyn can rightly be portrayed as a triumph, and remarkable. Alison Weir will evoke the world of a court dominated by the will of an egomaniacal, suggestible king, and the power politics and ruthlessness that were the reality behind its magnificent façade, and relate how Henry’s six queens lived a hair’s breadth away from disaster – and how it frequently overtook them. Theirs are grim and tragic stories, set in a lost world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominated, but dynastic pressures overrode any romantic considerations. In this world, one dominated by religious change, there are few saints.

For tickets, which will go on sale in summer 2016, please visit www.richmond.gov.uk/localstudies.


Events are being planned for Carew Academy, Beddington (March), Foyles in London (May), the Hay Festival (May), Molesey Local History Society (June), the Stoke Newington Festival (June), the Salisbury Festival (June), Jersey Festival of Words (October), the Borderlines Book Festival, Carlisle (October), the Wells Festival of Literature (October), the Dorchester Festival (October), the Warwick Words Festival (October) and Honeywood, Carshalton (November).