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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


28th January
Enter from 6.30pm
The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, the Tower of London
Event for members of Historic Royal Palaces:
An evening with Alison Weir at the Tower of London, to mark the announcement of her new fiction series with Headline, hosted by Historic Royal Palaces and the Directors of Headline Publishing Group



7pm to 8pm: A talk in the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula:
The Six Wives of Henry VIII: A ‘Monstrous Regiment of Women’



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. 


 
Originally a parish church, the Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula was incorporated into the walls of the castle during the reign of Henry III. It has been rebuilt at least twice, once in the reign of Edward I, and in its present form eaely in Henry VIII’s reign. Three queens of England Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey, and two saints of the Roman Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More and John Fisher, are buried here.



8.00 - 9.00pm: Drinks and canapés in the New Armouries building

Tickets are £20, to include drinks and canapes. To book please call 0844 482 7788. Box office opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.  See more at: http://www.hrp.org.uk/supportus/membership/Membersonlyevents#sthash.io0ooJMb.dpuf.  As a member of Historic Royal Palaces, you can enjoy exclusive member-only events all year round and benefit from discounts on selected general public events. 



30th January
7.30pm
Peterborough Cathedral
Presentation 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.

Tickets: £11.00 (£5.50 under 18s). Available in person from the Cathedral Shop or online via www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/134390. For details of the Katharine of Aragon Festival in Peterborough (30 Jan – 1 Feb) and special deal on hotel accommodation visit:
www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/individual-events/events/katharine-of-aragon-festival-2015-talk-by-alison-weir.html



17th February
7pm
Sutton Library, Surrey
Lancaster and York: The Wars of the Roses



The war between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England was characterised by treachery, deceit and - at St Albans, Wakefield and Towton - some of the bloodiest and most dramatic battles on England's soil. Between 1455 and 1487 the royal coffers were bankrupted, and the conflict resulted in the downfall of the houses of Lancaster and York and the emergence of the illustrious Tudor dynasty.

Alison Weir's lucid and gripping presentation focuses on the human side of history, on the people and personalities involved in the conflict. At its centre stand Henry VI, the pious king and ineffectual whose mental instability led to political chaos, his dynastic rival Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York,  Margaret of Anjou, Henry's queen, who took up arms in her husband's cause and battled for many years in a violent man's world, Edward IV, the splendid and debauched conqueror whose early death led to a succession crisis, and Richard III, whose reputation remains controversial.

For tickets please contact Patricia Macleod at macleod.patricia@gmail.com.

 

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.



7th March
7.30pm
The Guildhall, Bath
Event for the Independent Bath Literature Festival:
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 details to come)



14th April
7.15pm
St Albans Central Library
Event for Hertfordshire Libraty Literary Festival:
Six Queens: The Wives of Henry VIII


 
A king marrying six times was as astonishing in Tudor times as it is now, and Henry VIII and his wives continue to fascinate because they were intriguing and dynamic characters. Henry was married to Katherine of Aragon for twenty-four years, but her failure to bear him a son, his doubts about the validity of their union, and his passion for Anne Boleyn drove him to pursue one of the most controversial divorce cases in history. Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I, was vivacious, clever and determined, but was queen for just a thousand days before she was executed for treason. Jane Seymour supplanted her ten days later, but died in childbed after bearing Henry his longed-for son, Edward VI. Henry took one look at Anne of Cleves and was revolted; their marriage lasted six months. Katherine Howard had a hidden past, but Henry married her, thinking her virtuous, and later had her beheaded on a charge of adultery. Katherine Parr, a learned woman with dangerous religious views, only narrowly escaped arrest for heresy. Alison Weir tells the astonishing story of these women, basing her talk on the new research that underpins her forthcoming series of novels, Six Queens, and offers a new perspective based on a fresh analysis of a vast range of sources.
 
(Booking details to come)



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 details to come)



Events are being planned for the Richmond Heritage Festival (2015) and the Holburne Museum, Bath.