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BBC History Magazine LIVE virtual events

We will be hosting a programme of virtual events this autumn, which will take place online and available globally. Find out more about our schedule below.

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Priya Atwal | The Lion's Pride: The Sikh Empire and the Royal Family of Maharajah Ranjit Singh

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Join us on Thursday 1 October at 7pm to find out more about the Sikh Empire. What we today know as the 'Sikh Empire' was a major northern Indian kingdom established during the early nineteenth century by the talented Sikh ruler, Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Revered as the 'Lion of Punjab', Ranjit Singh is a legendary figure in Sikh and Indian history, who dominates accounts of the rise of this empire. Priya Atwal's talk shines a fresh light on this long-lost kingdom, which was taken over by the English East India Company in 1849, looking beyond its founding father to restore the queens and princes to the story of its spectacular rise and fall. She will show how this story was part of a dramatic era in which new powers rose and upstart empires clashed, across South Asia. 

This event is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

7pm BST | 11am PDT | 2pm EDT


About the speaker:

Priya Atwal is a historian of empire, monarchy and cultural politics across Britain and South Asia. Her new book, Royals and Rebels: The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire is out this autumn with Hurst and Oxford University Press. She tweets @priyaatwal. 

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Event itinerary and information:

When: Thursday 1 October 2020, 7pm–8.30pm (British Summer Time)

Where: Live on GOTOWEBINAR

Duration: 45 minutes, after which we will invite your questions for a live Q&A session for 30 minutes after the presentation.


How to book:

This BBC History Magazine LIVE virtual event costs just £10. Click here to register now

You can also preorder your copy of Royals and Rebels: The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire, here

Please note: if you have any difficulty booking please drop us a line at historyevents@immediate.co.uk


Upcoming BBC History Magazine LIVE events


Priya Atwal | The Lion's Pride: The Sikh Empire and the Royal Family of Maharajah Ranjit Singh

Date: 1 October 2020

Synopsis: What we today know as the 'Sikh Empire' was a major northern Indian kingdom established during the early 19th century by the talented Sikh ruler, Maharajah Ranjit Singh – the 'Lion of Punjab', Priya Atwal's talk shines a fresh light on this long-lost kingdom, which was taken over by the English East India Company in 1849, looking beyond its founding father and considering its spectacular rise and fall. 

Priya Atwal is a historian of empire, monarchy and cultural politics across Britain and South Asia. Her new book, Royals and Rebels: The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire is out this autumn

Click here to register

Preorder your signed copy


Margaret Macmillan | Why are there wars?

Date: 13 October 2020

Synopsis: The reasons for war may lie in human nature or human society or perhaps even in the availability of the means to fight. This talk looks at why groups and individuals fight and asks why war became more deadly and total in the 20th century. It will also consider war today and what the future might hold.

Margaret MacMillan is professor of history at the University of Toronto and an emeritus professor of international history at Oxford University. Her research specialises in British imperial history and the international history of the 19th and 20th centuries. Publications include Paris, 1919, Nixon and Mao and The War that Ended Peace

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Seb Falk | Monks, Manuscripts and Medieval Machines: Science in the not-so-Dark Ages

Date: 29 October 2020

Synopsis: Why did devout monks study the stars? How did students at the first universities prove the world was round? And how can you tell the time today using an ancient brass astrolabe?

Imaginative, eclectic scientific theories shaped medieval people’s views of the universe and their place in it. This richly illustrated talk will bring the medieval worldview to life, revealing the complex relationship between science and religion and demonstrating the tools and techniques medieval scholars used to investigate nature.  You will discover how medieval science laid the foundations for our modern world, and feel the fascination of the forgotten past. 

Dr Seb Falk is a historian and lecturer at Cambridge University. In 2016 he was named a BBC New Generation Thinker.  His book The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery is released on 24 September 2020

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Preorder your signed copy


Ian Mortimer | The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain

Date: 12 November 2020

Synopsis: The Time Traveller’s Guides are history with a difference: they treat different periods as something to be experienced, not just studied. In this talk, Dr Mortimer will be conjuring up aspects of the years 1789–1830 – the age of Jane Austen and the Prince Regent – while warning you of the dangers of visiting Britain during the Industrial Revolution. The living standards of the haves and the have-nots differ more at this time ever before or since: in some towns life expectancy at birth dropped to just 13. So, how should you dress if you have money – and how if you don’t? What should you eat if you are wealthy – and what if you are not? What are living conditions like? What will you see in the streets? Welcome to an age of many contradictions...

Dr Ian Mortimer is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England

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Laurence Rees | Hitler and Stalin: The Tyrants and the Second World War

Date: 26 November 2020

Synopsis: Laurence Rees has spent the last 30 years making documentaries and writing books about the Third Reich, Stalinism and the Second World War. He has met hundreds of people who experienced life under Hitler’s and Stalin’s rule – not just those who suffered, but those who enthusiastically supported the dictators as well. It was his encounters with these first-hand witnesses and the intriguing things they revealed that prompted him to write his latest book - Hitler and Stalin: The Tyrants and the Second World War - on which this talk is based.

How can we compare the two leaders and their regimes? What were the key differences? In what ways were the regimes similar? And, perhaps most crucial of all, to what extent did Stalin and Hitler shape the times they lived in, and to what extent did the times shape them?

A former head of BBC TV History, Laurence Rees has written seven books focused primarily on the Second World War. His last book, The Holocaust: A New History, a Sunday Times bestseller, was described by the Daily Telegraph as "the best single-volume account of the atrocity ever written" 

Click here to register

Preorder your signed copy


Toby Wilkinson | A World Beneath the Sands: the rediscovery of Ancient Egypt

Date: 10 December 2020

Synopsis: In A World Beneath the Sands, the acclaimed Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson tells the riveting stories of the men and women whose obsession with Egypt's ancient civilisation drove them to uncover its secrets. Champollion, Carter and Carnarvon are here, but so too are their lesser-known contemporaries, such as the Prussian scholar Richard Lepsius and the Frenchman Auguste Mariette. Their work – and those of others like them – helped to enrich and transform our understanding of the Nile Valley and its people, and left a lasting impression on Egypt, too. Travellers and treasure-hunters, ethnographers and epigraphers, antiquarians and archaeologists: whatever their motives, whatever their methods, all understood that in pursuing Egyptology they were part of a greater endeavour – to reveal a lost world, buried for centuries beneath the sands.

Professor Toby Wilkinson is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of the international editorial board of the Journal of Egyptian History. He is currently a Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln and a Bye-Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge

Click here to register

Preorder your signed copy


Michael Wood | The Story of China

Date: 22 December 2020

Synopsis: Michael Wood tells stories from his highly praised new book, a grand sweep history of the world’s oldest continuous civilisation, ‘a tale of astounding drama, fabulous creativity and deep humanity”.

Historian broadcaster and film maker Michael Wood is the author of many bestselling books,  and has made 120 documentary films, among them In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great and The Story of India. Michael is currently professor of public history at the University of Manchester

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Preorder your signed copy


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