The four lectures in the first half of our 2013-4 programme have all been very well attended and provided stimulating evenings. The next speaker on January 14 is Dr. Yasmin Khan. Her book The Great Partition-the making of India and Pakistan, published in 2008, was critically acclaimed. Her recent researches have focused on the British in India during World War 2 and the inability of the Imperial Authorities to control the growing demand for independence. Her talk will cover both topics.
February sees Dr. Tom Buchanan addressing the topic of the International Brigades who fought in the Spanish Civil War. At a time when young Britons are again actively engaged in similar struggles in the Islamic World, it is proper that we look back on a generation of young idealists who were prepared to fight and die in a war that they saw as ‘Freedom’s Battle.’ Our lecture programme concludes in March with Prof. Sarah Foot, the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford. She will doubtlessly shed illumination on AEthalstan, an Anglo-Saxon king, who a the tenth century chronicler, deemed the most powerful ruler in Britain since the Romans, observing that in his days ‘the fields of Britain were consolidated into one’. One member who heard her speak at another Historical Association venue gave her a rave review-not to be missed!
We have two other events. The first is a guided tour of the historic Christ’s Hospital school, near Horsham, on the morning of Thursday 17th April 2014 –starting at 10 am and finishing at 12.15 pm. The tour takes in the exceptional collection of paintings (including a massive 87 foot long Verrio), the buildings, grounds and finally the museum for a talk. Full details will be provided at forthcoming meetings and on the branch website http://www.historicalassociationsurrey.com. If you would like to come please let the Secretary know, as there is a limit on numbers.
The second event is one of the very popular walks led by Prof. Nigel Saul. This year the venue is the Anglo-Saxon borough of Wallingford, a place rich in history and full of character. The walk will last about an-hour-and-a-half to two hours, taking in the main streets of the town and the grounds and motte of the ancient castle, from which magnificent views are obtained over the town centre and surrounding country. The date is Sunday 11th May. Full details can be found at http://www.historicalassociationsurrey.com/Wallinford.html
Recent changes to the committee include the departure of Gillian David, who has found that work commitments have become too great. We thank her for the guidance she has provided especially on school curricula. Is there another teacher who can pick up Gillian’s role? Volunteers please! We are delighted to welcome Matthew Smith to the committee.
Chris Mitchinson (Chairman)