Intrigue, love and rivalry in historical English and French royal courts to be uncovered at public event

20 Jun 2018

International royal history experts are to reveal the drama and romance of the English and French courts during the Renaissance period at a public event on Thursday 12 July as part of the Kings and Queens Conference.

The roundtable discussion will focus on royal favourites and mistresses in the Tudor, Valois and Bourbon courts.

Noted academics include Dr Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States; Dr Joanne Paul, Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Essex; Dr Estelle Paranque, Lecturer in Early Modern History at New College of the Humanities; and Dr Jonathan Spangler, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Politics and Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University.

They will be joined by best-selling author and University of Winchester PhD student Nicola Tallis, who researched and wrote historical non-fiction books Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester.

Dr Elena Woodacre, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History and event organiser, said: “We are delighted to have such a fantastic line up for the roundtable talk. All speakers have in-depth knowledge of historical royal courts in the UK and abroad. Estelle Paranque and Jonathan Spangler offer a different viewpoint on the French court, covering everything from the 'mignons' of Henri III to the intrigues of Versailles, stories which some may familiar with from the popular BBC series, Versailles. The discussion promises to be thought-provoking and insightful.

“Likewise, Carole Levin is a noted expert on Elizabeth I, Joanne Paul has undertaken extensive research on the traitorous Dudley family and our own Nicola Tallis has a best-selling book on Lettice Knollys.”

Royal Loves and Rivals in Renaissance England and France takes place at 7.30pm on 12 July in the Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB. All are welcome. Tickets cost £2.50 and can be purchased online here: 

The roundtable discussion takes place as part of the seventh annual Kings and Queens Conference, hosted in Hampshire from 9 July until 12 July This year, the conference has a special focus on gender, sexuality and lesbian, bisexual, gay, trans and queer (LGBTQ) identities within the context of royal histories. The conference is hosted by the University of Winchester and Historic Royal Palaces. The four-day event connects experts whose research focuses on topics related to royal history, diplomacy, art history, political history, biographical studies, or any other issues included in the scope of royal studies.

During the conference, Winchester academics and students will present on a variety of topics including royal mistresses, the representation and construction of royal female identity and representations of royal sexuality.

Dr Elena Woodacre said: “The Kings and Queens conference series is a wonderful way to bring together cutting edge scholarship in the field of royal studies, across all periods and places. This year we are excited about our 'Ruling Sexualities' theme, which gives us an opportunity to examine LBGTQ histories in the context of the royal court. We are also delighted to be collaborating with Historic Royal Palaces to bring in the perspective of the Heritage sector. The day at Hampton Court is the perfect way to start the conference, including exclusive behind-the-scenes tours for our delegates.”

Kings and Queens 7 – Ruling Sexualities: Sexuality, Gender and the Crown takes place 9-12 July. The first day of the conference takes place at Hampton Court, Molesey, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. All remaining days take place at the University of Winchester West Downs Centre, West Downs, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire, SO50 5HT. Full residential packages and individual day rates for either the Winchester or Hampton Court days are available. Registration closes for the conference on 22 June. Book now: 

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