Seizing Power, Keeping Power, and Kicking up a Fuss in Early Medieval England and France

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Wednesday 27 November 2019, doors open 5.30pm for a 6pm lecture

The Stripe auditorium, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester SO22 4NR

Inaugural Lecture by Professor Ryan Lavelle

The early middle ages on both sides of the Channel is full of episodes of rebellion and opposition by many parties with an axe to grind, whether disinherited members of ruling families, sidelined aristocrats, or disgruntled peasants. These could lead to states of conflict which the late tenth-century abbot Ælfric of Eynsham characterised as 'very miserable and endless sorrow'; or could be short-lived episodes of sabre-rattling. In his inaugural lecture, Professor Ryan Lavelle draws from his forthcoming book, Places of Contested Power, to explore where, when and why acts of opposition could be so politically charged, as well as how successful rebels seem to have worked so hard at showing their legitimacy.
Ryan Lavelle studied at Royal Holloway and York before coming to Winchester for a PhD in 1997. The book of his thesis, on Royal Estates in Anglo-Saxon Wessex was published in 2007; Ryan has also published a biographies of the early medieval rulers Æthelred 'the Unready' (2002)  and Cnut (2017), as well as a major study of the warfare of the late Anglo-Saxon period, Alfred's Wars (2010). He was also historical advisor for the BBC/ Netflix TV series, The Last Kingdom. With interests in the study of conflict and politics of the early middle ages, Ryan's current book, Places of Contested Power, to be published next year, is the fruit of attempts to stretch beyond the confines of the Channel and 1066, drawing out the comparisons and differences between England and France in a period running to the mid twelfth century.
Free to attend, but please reserve your seat here.
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