We’ve got a tremendous line-up in store: Britain’s best-known historians will be speaking on an eclectic range of topics, from Viking kings and medieval mysticism to Second World War spies and Victorian sex.
“I’ve hugely enjoyed BBC History Magazine’s previous festivals,” historian Tracy Borman told History Extra, ahead of her talk about the private lives of the Tudor monarchs. “The audiences are always fantastic – so engaged and knowledgeable. And there could hardly be a more historic city setting.”
As the ancient capital of Wessex, Winchester is steeped in Anglo-Saxon and medieval history. We’re delighted to have two fantastic venues right in the centre of the town: the Ashburton Hall at the Elizabeth II Court, and the stunning 13th-century Great Hall, which houses a famous replica of King Arthur’s round table. “I’m excited to be speaking about King Edward I under the giant round table that was commissioned by Edward himself,” said historian Marc Morris, “Winchester is a splendid city for a medievalist.”
Michael Wood, whose talk will explore the achievements of Alfred the Great, added: “These events all the more pleasurable in a really atmospheric place where the history is all around you. I’m looking forward to hearing new ideas from the other contributors. And I always enjoy the interaction with the audience: that’s the most fun part!” Anna Keay, who will be discussing the rebellious life of the Duke of Monmouth, agreed. “I’m looking forward to the chance to meet and talk to other people who are as nerdy as me about British history!” she told History Extra.
Other highlights of the weekend include walking tours exploring Winchester’s Anglo-Saxon and royal past, and free ‘History Bites’ talks, showcasing history’s newest research and freshest ideas. On Saturday night, Tom Holland, Alex von Tunzelmann, Roger Moorhouse and Nigel Jones will be debating whether British history is too fixated on the two world wars, and history fans can test their historical knowledge – and win prizes – by taking part in our quiz.
You can see the full line-up of speakers for Winchester History Weekend and book tickets for talks here.