The Stenton Lecture and Symposium 2018

Thursday 22nd November marks the date of this year’s Stenton Lecture which is preceded by the Stenton Symposium. Both events take place on the Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading.

The 2018 Stenton Lecture was live-streamed at our departmental Facebook page, and the video is available here.

What is the Stenton Lecture?

The Stenton lecture is an annual lecture by an eminent historian, hosted by the Department and held in honour of its founders, Sir Frank and Lady Stenton, both of whom were responsible for building the reputation of the University of Reading as a centre for historical excellence.

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Fieldwork Notes: ‘Just smile and be friendly Beth, you’ll do fine…’

by Beth Rebisz, Ph.D. student

For the two months running up to my departure in July for Nairobi, Kenya, I did what I do best: worry. I worried (for no reason) that my visa wouldn’t be accepted. I worried that my transfer wouldn’t be waiting at the airport when I arrived in the early hours of the morning. I worried that I hadn’t bought or packed all the things I needed (even though I was headed to a cosmopolitan city filled with shops). I worried that I’d be lonely during my six weeks in Nairobi.


Fieldwork for the first time. Author’s collection.

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Department Seminar Series, autumn term 2018

All seminars are held on Wednesday at 4:30–6pm in Edith Morley 126. Refreshments are provided and all are welcome!

10h October, Professor Patrick Major (Reading): ‘Keep Calm and Carry On?: The Bomb, the BBC and 1984’s Threads’

31st October, Dr Hannah Newton (Reading): ‘”A Double Delight”: Spiritual Experiences of Recovery from Illness in Early Modern England, c.1580-1720’

14th November, Dr Laura Slater (Oxford): ‘Courtly Rumours and Reputation Management in Fourteenth-Century England’

The Stenton Lecture, Thursday 22nd November

Professor Nicholas Vincent (University of East Anglia): ‘The Letters of England’s Kings and Queens 1154-1215: A Vast New Resource?’

12th December, Professor Matt Worley (Reading): ‘Whip in My Valise’: British punk and the Marquis de Sade, c. 1975-1985’

Posted in British History, Cold War History, Cultural History, Early Modern History, Events, Medieval History, modern history, Research | Tagged , , , , , , ,

‘As you love your father so love her’: Remembering the marriage of Francis Sitwell and Harriet Augusta Manners, 26 September 2018

by Hilary Matthews, PhD student

My thesis explores the idea of an ‘agricultural friendship’ among a group of men, from different backgrounds, who were interested in progressive farming at the turn of the nineteenth century. I am especially interested in the regular attendees at the 1804 Woburn sheepshearing, whom George Garrard identified in his print of the same name. Most of these men are not well known; indeed, many are hardly known at all, which has made compiling biographical sketches of them challenging, to say the least. One of them, Francis (Frank) Sitwell (1774-1813), was a rich, young Northumbrian landowner, who fell on hard times.

Woburn sheepshearing

George Garrard, ‘Woburn Sheepshearing’ (1811 engraving, after his own painting). © Trustees of the British Museum

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Posted in Anniversaries, British History, modern history, News, Rural History, Students Page | Tagged , , , ,

A Life on the Ocean Wave: This Week in Maritime History

by Dr Richard Blakemore

The Golden Hind 'when Drake set off for the Spanish Main', PW7916

The Golden Hinde, Francis Drake’s ship in his 1577 circumnavigation, depicted in a later watercolour. © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Early modern maritime history has been in the news a lot this week.

On Monday, the BBC ran a story about the London, a seventeenth-century wreck in the Thames. On Tuesday, the Guardian revealed a new (and shocking) discovery from the manuscript autobiography of a sailor. On Wednesday, there was news of the possible discovery of the Endeavour, Captain Cook’s exploring ship, although this is not confirmed; and, of course, it was ‘Talk Like a Pirate Day’. Last night, a new show started on Channel 5, Great British Ships, which will feature the sixteenth-century Mary Rose and Golden Hinde, and the HMS Victory, among others.

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