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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 August
6.30pm (drinks reception) for 7pm talk, followed by dinner at 7.45pm. Carriages at 10.30pm.
The Fairfax Hall, Leeds Castle, Kent
THE MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN: TUDOR QUEENS AND COMMONERS
 


`Woman in her greatest perfection was made to serve and obey man.` Thus wrote the Scots reformer, John Knox, in his notorious treatise, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, published in 1558.  Knox`s view was typical of its time. It was aimed at Marie de Guise, who was then acting as Regent of Scotland for her daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, but it could have applied equally to two English female sovereigns, Mary I or Elizabeth I.
 


Alison Weir has spent many years researching historical women’s lives, especially those of queens and royalty in the mediaeval and Tudor periods, and she has been continually intrigued by the roles that society expected them to play – and the roles  they actually did play. Female emancipation and equality is a very recent development. In this talk Alison will speak about the constraints imposed on the female sex in a male-dominated age in which women were conditioned to believe that they were vastly inferior to men, and even queens were subordinate to their husbands and required to learn from them, as St Paul enjoined, in silence `and all subjection`.

For tickets please contact Leeds Castle Hospitality on 01622 767855 or at hospitality@leeds-castle.co.uk.




19th September
6.30pm
The Wallace Collection, London
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 be giving a richly illustrated presentation on 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 visit www.wallacecollection.org/whatson.



25th September
4pm
Blenheim Palace



Event for the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival:
Alison Weir in conversation with Kate Williams



Alison Weir joins in a discussion about her new novel, The Marriage Game,  with acclaimed historian and novelist Kate Williams, whose latest historical fiction is The Storms of War. They wiIl show how best-selling historians turn novelists, and how their extensive knowledge of history has informed their fiction writing.

For tickets please visit www.blenheimpalaceliteraryfestival.com.



28th September
Noon
Printworks, Dublin Castle
Event for the Dublin Festival of History:
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 be giving a richly illustrated presentation on 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 visit www.dublinfestivalofhistory.ie




2nd October
Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick
Event for Warwick Words:
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 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 contact the Box Office on 01926 776438 or visit www.warwickwords.co.uk.
 


21st October
7pm
Private event for the Phyllis Court Club, Henley-on-Thames
Dinner presentation: 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!



24th October
3.30pm
The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate
Joine event with Sarah Gristwood for the Harrogate History Festival
The Princes in the Tower: The Women's Story



Coming from two very different standpoints, Alison Weir and Sarah Gristwood look at the evidence concerning the roles of the women involved in one of the most intriguing and enduring mysteries in British History. In Blood Sisters Sarah Gristwood has explored the lives of seven royal ladies of the period; Alison Weir has written on Elizabeth of York and the Princes in the Tower. Their debate on the case promises to be a lively one - expect blood on the floor as the two historians search for fresh light on one of the most controversial individuals of all time, Richard III!

For tickets please visit www.Harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/history.



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



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.




An event is being planned for St Mary's Church, Warwick (2015).