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BBC History Magazine’s 2019 History Weekends: what’s on?

BBC History Magazine’s 2019 History Weekend festival will visit Chester on 25–27 October, and Winchester on 1–3 November. Here's our guide to what's on…

BBC History Magazine will host two History Weekends in 2019.
Published: May 14, 2019 at 11:50 am
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This year, BBC History Magazine’s History Weekend festival will visit Chester on 25–27 October, and Winchester on 1–3 November.


Both events will welcome the biggest names in popular history over three days of talks, as well as book signings, walking tours, free History Fringe talks and fully stocked bookshops. Tickets are now on sale, with discounts available for subscribers to BBC History Magazine.

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Highlights of the History Weekend in Winchester

Our fourth Winchester History Weekend promises to be the best yet, bringing together many of the biggest names in popular history, alongside a number of experts who’ve never before appeared at our events.

Following the success of her talk in 2018, we’re delighted to welcome back Lucy Worsley. On this occasion, she’ll be speaking about the legendary author Jane Austen, who’s buried in Winchester Cathedral.

Lucy Worsley.
Historian Lucy Worsley will be speaking about Jane Austen.

Also returning this year is Max Hastings, whose upcoming history of the Dambusters raid is sure to be one of the autumn’s publishing highlights – and will be the subject of his talk. He’s joined on the line-up by another doyen of Second World War history, Antony Beevor, who will be speaking about Arnhem, 75 years after the disaster of Operation Market Garden.

Among the new faces for 2019 is the historian Sophie Ambler, who will be discussing Simon de Montfort and his role in the Second Barons’ War – a pivotal moment for Medieval England. Also appearing for the first time is BBC broadcaster Babita Sharma, whose talk will centre on the fascinating history of British corner shops.

Babita Sharma
BBC broadcaster Babita Sharma will talk about the history of the British corner shop.

The Tudors never fail to draw a crowd at our History Weekends, and this year’s event has the era well covered. You can take your pick from Alison Weir’s exploration of the life of ‘Anna of Kleve’ – aka Anne of Cleves – Tracy Borman’s novel take on Anne’s famous husband Henry VIII, Nicola Tallis’s biographical talk on the great Tudor matriarch Margaret Beaufort, and something a little different with Sam Willis and James Daybell’s presentation, ‘Unexpected Tudors’. Whichever lectures you choose to attend, you’re sure to be informed and entertained in equal measures.

Nicola Tallis
Nicola Tallis will speak about Tudor matriarch Margaret Beaufort.

Highlights of the History Weekend in Chester

For our first-ever Chester History Weekend, we’ve assembled some of Britain’s finest historians, authors and broadcasters to speak about everything from Ancient Egypt to postwar Britain.

Dan Jones, a perennial favourite at our events, headlines the Friday night, discussing his brand-new book on the Crusades, which he’ll be signing straight after his talk. And then on the Saturday afternoon, you’ll have the chance to hear from another familiar figure: Michael Wood, one of Britain’s best-loved TV presenters and, of course, our own monthly columnist. He’ll be offering a distinctive take on the Peterloo massacre on its 200th anniversary.

History Dan Jones meets visitors to the 2017 History Weekend in Winchester. (Image by Steve Sayers)
History Dan Jones meets visitors to the 2017 History Weekend in Winchester. (Image by Steve Sayers)

A second broadcasting legend to appear on the Saturday is Jenni Murray, the longstanding presenter of Woman’s Hour reflecting on some of history’s most important and inspiring women. This theme will be further developed on the Sunday morning when historian and broadcaster Suzannah Lipscomb will offer a fresh take on women of the 16th century, and historian Hallie Rubenhold will speak about her acclaimed new book on the victims of Jack the Ripper.

Hallie Rubenhold.
Historian Hallie Rubenhold will be speaking about the victims of Jack the Ripper.

On the year we mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, a number of our talks will be themed around this conflict. Historian and author Roger Moorhouse will be looking back at the opening salvoes of the war in 1939. Bart van Es will recount the unsettling tale behind his award-winning book The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found, which focuses on a young Jewish girl’s battle for survival in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. And military historian Peter Caddick-Adams will be revealing his research into the heroic and tragic events of D-Day.

You'll find a list of ticket prices – plus a full rundown of the programme and speaker details – at historyextra.com/events


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