Vinson Lecture Theatre Programme
The Revolutionary Life of Margaret Cavendish
FRANCESCA PEACOCK shines a spotlight on the complex and controversial life of Margaret Cavendish, who wrote on science, philosophy and the battle of the sexes, at the court of Henrietta Maria, queen to Charles I, and in Continental exile.
How Empires Fall
PETER HEATHER asks if the United States faces a fate to that of Ancient Rome, and whether anything can be salvaged from the relative decline of the West.
A History of Britain: From Victoria to the Second World War
SIMON HEFFER’s four-volume history of Britain from the reign of Queen Victoria to the Second World War offers an extraordinary account of a nation from the height of Empire to a costly vistory that brought an end to the imperial project. With typically robust opinion, an eye for the telling detail and a gift for bringing historical figures alive, Heffer probes the deep divisions that split Britain, between the haves and have-nots, and warring ideological factions, to reveal a picture of Britain that remains resonant today.
The Trial of Marshal Pétain
JULIAN JACKSON, acclaimed biographer of General de Gaulle, turns his attention to the three-week trial of Pétain, hero of the Great War, as a lens through which to examine the central crisis of twentieth-century French history – the defeat of 1940, the signing of the armistice and Vichy’s policy of collaboration – what the main prosecutor Mornet called ‘four years to erase from our history’.
The Lives of Noël Coward
OLIVER SODEN offers new perspectives on the life and work of the great theatrical figure dubbed ‘The Master’ – arguing that Coward was far more than ‘a talent to amuse’, but one of the most daring and radical figures of twentieth-century Britain, who revealed much about the politcal and social mores of his time.
Drinks Reception for Ticket-Holders in the Vinson Building Foyer.
Ondaatje Lecture Theatre, Radcliffe Centre, Programme
Britain and the American Dream
PETER MOORE explores the world of the extraordianry generation of Americans – most notably, Benjamin Franklin – in the years before the Declaration of Independence, and how British ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were embraced on the other side of the Atlantic, with seismic consequences.
Women in British Intelligence
HELEN FRY examines the rich and varied work women undertook as civilians and in uniform, running spy networks and escape lines, working behind enemy lines, and interrogating prisoners. And, at Bletchley and Whitehall, the vital administrative work that kept the British war engine running.
Henry III: Rebellion, Civil War, and Redemption
DAVID CARPENTER, the biographer of one of England’s least-known but most important medieval kings, tells the story of the dramatic reign of Henry III, one of the longest in English history, which encompassed ground-breaking reform, rebellion, civil war and, finally, settlement and peace..
The Rise and Fall of Putin’s Empire
OWEN MATTHEWS examines the long and dramatic history of Russia and what light it can shed on Vladimir Putin’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine.