Thursday, 13 August 2020

The 2020-21 season

The national lockdown that followed the arrival of Covid-19 in England brought an early end to the Bath branch's 2019-20 season of lectures, delayed the Annual General Meeting, and caused the postponement until 2021 of members' visits planned for May, June and July.

The branch committee has organised a full programme of lectures and visits, including a special pre-Christmas event, to run from September 2020 to July 2021. As I write, we cannot know how much of this will actually take place. Everything will depend on the national and local situation and the rules that apply at the time for gatherings in public places.

The programme should begin on 24 September. Christopher Joll, regimental historian of the Household Cavalry, will speak on Spoils of War: The trophies, treasure and trivia of the British Empire. It is likely that the audience for Christopher's lecture will have to be limited to 45 people. If so, a booking system will operate during the preceding 14 days.

Christopher Joll will be followed in October by Professor Ronald Hutton of the University of Bristol, a long-term friend of the HA Bath branch and a celebrated interpreter of the past on television and radio as well as in the lecture room. On this occasion Ronald, whose most recent lectures for the Bath branch have focused on Elizabeth I and Charles II, will speak about the European witch trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

All being well, on US Thanksgiving Day in November, Dr Ellie Woodacre of the University of Winchester, who is American, will talk to us about medieval queens, some who ruled in their own right and some who exercised power behind the throne.

Number 1 Royal Crescent has been booked for our members' Christmas visit and buffet, though currently we do not know whether it will be possible to hold the event there. I will circulate more information when the situation becomes clearer. The Bath branch committee has made a contingency plan to hold an alternative event, possibly early in the New Year.

I will send regular updates to members. For now, this is the programme planned for the 2020-21 season ...

24 September 2020
Spoils of War: The trophies, treasure and trivia of the British Empire
Christopher Joll (Regimental historian, Household Cavalry)

22 October 2020
Europe's Great Witch Hunt
Professor Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol)

26 November 2020
Medieval Queens: Ruling Women in a Man's World
Dr Ellie Woodacre (University of Winchester)

10 December 2020
Members' Christmas Visit and Buffet at Number 1 Royal Crescent

21 January 2021
'That Epidemical Madness': Women and elections in eighteenth-century England
Professor Elaine Chalus (University of Liverpool)

18 February 2021
The Execution of Earl Waltheof, 1076: Rebellion and its consequences in eleventh-century England
Professor Ryan Lavelle (University of Winchester)

25 March 2021
The Triumph of Music: how it became the master-art of the modern world
Professor Tim Blanning (Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge)

22 April 2021
The Crisis of the Meritocracy: How popular demand made Britain into a mass education society
Professor Peter Mandler (Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge)
President of the Historical Association

All lectures will take place on Thursday evenings at 7.30 at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square. I will introduce each lecture in this diary.

Mike Short 

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