We start on Tuesday 20 September with Giles Milton on the topic of his book Checkmate in Berlin. Mr. Milton is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a renowned author who specialises in narrative history. The Times described Milton as being able to “take an event from history and make it come alive”. His lecture will tell the story of the epic first clash of the Cold War and how it shaped the modern world.
Professor Penelope Corfield is President of the International Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, as well as Emeritus Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. Following the publication of her wide-ranging new book, The Georgians, earlier this year, she will visit us on Tuesday 18 October and address The New Aristocracy of Talent in Eighteenth-Century Britain – and What it Meant.
The following month we will host Julian Pooley, who is Public Services and Engagement Manager at Surrey History Centre as well as Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester. On Tuesday 15 November, Julian will deliver a lecture entitled The Gentleman’s Magazine: A Panorama of Georgian England, which will be richly embellished by his research into the period in Surrey and beyond.
Our last lecture of the year will see Professor David Stevenson from the London School of Economics discuss The Marshall Plan after Seventy-Five Years. His books on various aspects of twentieth century history have been widely acclaimed and Professor Stevenson has been one of our favourite speakers for many years. This lecture, on Tuesday 6 December, will be on Zoom as Professor Stevenson is currently unable to travel for family reasons.
We will start 2023 with a visit from Professor Anne Curry, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Southampton. Prof Curry returns to the branch for the first time since 2006 when she compared Agincourt and Bosworth. On this visit she will address English views of Joan of Arc from the 15th to 21st centuries on Tuesday 17 January. Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society and formerly President of the Historical Association (2006-09), Professor Curry is such an authority on Joan of Arc that she appears as a hologram at the Historial Jeanne d’Arc at Rouen!
Next, we turn to a subject that has been somewhat neglected in previous programmes: twentieth century Spain. Dr David Brydan from King’s College London is our speaker on Tuesday 21 February, when he will discuss Uncivil Peace: Politics, Repression and Memory in Spain since 1939. Dr Brydan is a member of the Centre for the Study of Internationalism as well as a Reviews Editor for Contemporary European History.
On Tuesday 21 March, Dr Eleanor Parker of Brasenose College, Oxford, will deliver a lecture on the subject of her recent book, Conquered: Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England. Dr Parker will take a novel angle on a well-covered period by focusing on the lives of children whose lives were turned upside down by the extraordinary events of 1066. Dr Parker’s book has been widely praised, and she also writes a prize-winning online blog about medieval literature.
Another popular former speaker, Dr Robert Saunders, returns on Tuesday 25 April. Having previously spoken to us about Chartism – when he unforgettably broke into song – and Margaret Thatcher, on this visit he will address “The scum gathers when the nation boils”: Sir Robert Peel, the Corn Laws and the Crisis of Conservatism. Dr Saunders is Reader in Modern British History at Queen Mary, University of London, and is currently researching a new history of democracy in Britain.
The Tudors are always a popular subject with branch members and school visitors alike, and Professor Paulina Kewes (Jesus College, Oxford) will present a fresh perspective on the period on Tuesday 16 May. Her lecture Contesting the Royal Succession in Mid-Tudor England will feature her current research into the reigns of Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth I. Professor Kewes is Chair of the Joint School of History and English at Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
The 2022/23 programme will conclude on Tuesday 13 June with Dr Daniel Beer considering The Assassination of Alexander II. Based at Royal Holloway, University of London, Dr Beer is the author of two ground-breaking books on Imperial Russia and has a particular interest in crime and punishment. More recently Dr Beer has had a series of articles published in the British and American press about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.