Tudors & More

Chalke Valley History Festival 2021

It’s on!!!

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival 

Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 27th June 

One of the first major festivals to run this year! 

 

This year’s Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is like no other. A slightly  shortened version due to the pandemic, the organisers have none the less packed it with a more complete and wide-ranging programme than ever before. The full line up is now online and can be found at www.cvhf.org.uk.  

The festival promises to offer a full assault on the senses. Those attending will be  able to watch our greatest living playwright and learn how to build a Roman road. There will be a former Archbishop of Canterbury and political party leader alongside  some of the best-known and loved TV historians. There will be demonstrations from the Tudor kitchen, stone age flint-knapping and a Cold War-era armoured brigade headquarters. It will be possible to learn about the dark art of 19th century body snatching, how to make wattle and daub, and learn how to make a Tudor salve and  herbal cure. The head of the UK’s Armed Forces, the best-known shepherd in the  land, and the most eminent international human rights lawyer in the UK will all be speaking. There will be Sword School, a vintage fairground, some of the country’s  most brilliant, successful and eminent historians but also late-night storytelling  around the fire with Dan Snow and Michael Wood, and fast and furious fun with the History Tellers.  

And as with any English country festival, there will be food, glorious food – and  historical fast food too – as well as drink, camping, glamping and live music every  single day of the festival from 1920s flapper music to the ancient ballads of English  folk music. 

Those coming to the festival will be able to see history, touch history, taste history  and smell history too – and all in the stunning ancient downland of the Chalke Valley  – a place of immense history in its own right.  

Festival Chair, James Holland, says: “I’m really very excited about this year’s  festival. Despite the challenges of the last year we’ve been able to produce a really  inclusive and very wide-ranging programme that feels fresh, vibrant and fun. It will be  midsummer, lockdown will be over, and I can’t wait to unleash this historical  pageant.” 

The stellar list of historians and speakers at this year’s festival include: Tracy Borman, Sir Vince Cable, General Sir Nick Carter, Diana Cavendish, Niall FergusonAnne Glenconner, Sir Max Hastings, Charlie Higson, Tom Holland, Katja Hoyer, Cat Jarman, Hermione Lee, Professor Margaret Macmillan, Rana Mitter, Al Murray, Jim Naughtie, Neil Oliver, James Rebanks, Dominic Sandbrook, Dan Snow, Sir Tom Stoppard, Rowan Williams, Marina Wheeler and Michael Wood

Due to government guidelines, there may be restrictions on the number of tickets for sale at the festival this year. The festival strongly advises those wishing to attend to  book tickets early to avoid disappointment. All of the Outdoor Programme will be  available on a single daily ticket (with add-ons for Sword School and fairground  rides), and at a price that has been kept deliberately low and which promises  astonishing value for money awhile tented events will require an individual ticket, as  was the case in the past. Tented ticket prices will, however, also include access to  the Outdoor Programme. 

This year, there will be no Chalke Valley History Festival for Schools, although the  festival is producing a programme of curriculum-based films, ready for the start of the  academic year this September, and which will be entirely free for all teachers, pupils  and schools. A special and separate online portal will be created for this. 

All profits from the festival are ploughed back into the Chalke Valley History Trust,  which operates to promote the enjoyment and better understanding of history for all  ages but especially to school children. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday 19th May

Tickets will be released two days earlier (Monday 17th) May to the Friends membership

Talks given by incredible historians, taken from the past ten years of the festival, can  now be heard on the Chalke Valley History Festival podcast. Entitled #ChalkeTalk, the podcasts are released three times a week. 

For further information, please contact Alex Hippisley-Cox on mobile 07921  127077 or email her at alex@ahipcoxpr.co.uk  

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will take place at Church Bottom, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5DS.  

For more details about the Festival, and to see the full programme, please visit  www.cvhf.org.uk

Follow all the news on Twitter at @CVHISTORYFEST & on Facebook and Instagram. 

Image by Russell Emm 

John of Gaunt

The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster 

TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2021 

The Red Prince announces Helen Carr as one of the most exciting new voices in narrative history.’ Dan Jones 

Son of Edward III, brother to the Black Prince, father to Henry IV and the sire of all the Tudors. Always close to the English throne, John of Gaunt left a complex legacy. Too rich, too powerful, too haughty… did he have his eye on his nephew’s throne? Why was he such a focus of hate in the Peasants’ Revolt? In examining the life of a pivotal medieval figure, Helen Carr paints a revealing portrait of a man who held the levers of power on the English and European stage, passionately upheld chivalric values, pressed for the Bible to be translated into English, patronised the arts, ran huge risks to pursue the woman he loved… and, according to Shakespeare, gave the most beautiful of all speeches on England.

Review

‘In Shakespeare’s Richard II, John of Gaunt gives the “this scepter’d isle… this England” speech. This vivid history brings to life his princely ambitions and passion.’ — The Times, Best Books of 2021 

‘Helen Carr has captured the drama of [John of Gaunt’s] life and the tensions inherent in it in a compelling portrait. In so doing, she reminds us of the contradictions of a period remote from our own, not just in time but in values and beliefs too… Carr has brought to life one of the major figures of medieval England.’ — Linda Porter, Literary Review 

‘ The Red Prince is not…just a book of battles and wars. Carr’s John of Gaunt is a man who loved as passionately as he fought… Carr’s sensitive use of contemporary sources paints a poignant deathbed scene… in The Red Prince it is the towering figure of John of Gaunt, a thoroughly European Englishman, who takes centre stage and it’s a stirring and memorable performance.’ — Leanda de Lisle, The Times 

‘Helen Carr is a really exciting new talent in the world of history writing, whose work strikes a perfect balance between lucidity and scholarship. Her debut, The Red Prince, is a beautifully nuanced portrait of an oft misunderstood man.’ — Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire 

‘Superb, gripping and fascinating, here is John of Gaunt and a cast of kings, killers and queens brought blazingly, sensitively and swashbucklingly to life. An outstanding debut.’ — Simon Sebag Montefiore 

‘A long overdue reappraisal of one of medieval England’s greatest but most enigmatic figures. The Red Prince announces Helen Carr as one of the most exciting new voices in narrative history.’ — Dan Jones, author of the Plantagenets and The Hollow Crown 

‘Helen Carr is one of the most exciting and talented young historians out there. She has a passion for medieval history which is infectious and is always energetic and engaging, whether on the printed page or the screen.’ — Dan Snow 

‘Deploying vivid and compelling prose alongside her considerable scholarship, Helen Carr fully succeeds in restoring John of Gaunt to his rightful place – in the first rank of medieval princes. This is an excellent book, that brings the fourteenth century back to life through a thoughtful parade of intriguing characters – none more fascinating than John of Gaunt himself.’ — Charles Spencer, bestselling author of Blenheim and Killers of the King 

‘John of Gaunt is a name to conjure with – an English duke who sought to become a king in Spain, a complicated, controversial man to whom, as ‘time-honour’d Lancaster’, Shakespeare gives one of his greatest speeches. Helen Carr puts him centre stage:The Red Prince is the rattling good story of a life lived on an epic scale, told with care, insight and humanity.’ — Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves and Joan of Arc 

‘Helen Carr tells the gripping story of John of Gaunt’s dramatic and controversial career, from the wars he waged across Europe to the political intrigue and rebellion he faced at home, and above all the way in which his life was marked by profound love, and loss. This is an engaging and moving portrait of one of the leading figures of the Hundred Years War.’ — Sophie Thérèse Ambler, author of The Song of Simon de Montfort

About the Author

Helen is a medieval historian, writer and documentary history producer. She has produced history documentaries for leading channels such as the BBC, CNN and Sky, and worked in radio for BBC Radio 4’s weekly programme In Our Time. Helen is a regular features writer for BBC History Magazine and has contributed to the New Statesman and History Extra. She is now studying for a PhD in medieval history and runs her own podcast, Hidden Histories, available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @HelenhCarr

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