Held at Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre
with Mark Cottle
The Golden Age of Northumbria
Saturday, 22nd September 2007
During the second half of the 7th century and first half of the 8th century Anglo-Saxon Northumbria produced the first great rebirth of learning and art since the collapse of Rome. This windswept northern kingdom with powerful Christian kings and strong Irish influences witnessed some of the most greatest achievements in scholarship and artistic output in the whole Anglo-Saxon period. With reference to Bede, illuminated manuscripts and stone carving we will look at the causes and spirit of this remarkable renaissance.
Medieval Lives: William Marshal and Henry III
Saturday, 27th October 2007
William Marshalís life was a remarkable one Ė he knew personally all the kings of England from 1135 to 1272 and his career embodied many of the major themes of his age and class: war, tournaments, pilgrimage to the Holy Land and dynastic ambition. His career and life concluded with his regency during the minority of Henry III. Henryís reign, moving from child figurehead of a beleaguered baronial faction to the creation of a new image of monarchy and restoration of royal authority provides an interesting counterpoint to the many sided career of William Marshal.
Chaucer and his World
Saturday, 24th November 2007
Chaucer, living in the second half of the 14th century was witness to a turbulent period in English history. After a brief summary of Chaucerís life and against the backdrop of the Prologue of the Canterbury Tales, we will look at the culture and society of Chaucerís England Ė a period of great cultural achievement in architecture, literature and art but also characterised by crises of plague, the Peasantsí Revolt and religious conflict.
Edward I and Edward II: Zenith and Nadir of Medieval Kingship
Saturday, 9th February 2008
A tale of two reigns: This course looks at one of the starkest contrasting stories of kingship in medieval England. Edward Iís reign, which saw the conquest of Wales and attempted conquest of Scotland, was viewed as a highpoint of medieval kingship after the uncertainties of Henry IIIís reign. Edward IIís failure at Bannockburn and his abuse of royal patronage through indulgence of his favourites, Piers Gaveston and the Despensers resulted in the low point for medieval kingship with Edwardís deposition.

Please watch this space for our new programme commencing September 2008.

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