Talks Archive

Programme 2011 - 2012

The Churchills
by Mary Lovell

Date: Tuesday 27 September 2011

In her talk on 'The Churchills' Mary Lovell returns to the 19th and 20th centuries to chart a saga of one of England's most prominent families

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World War I
by General Sir Robert Fry

Date: Tuesday 11 October 2011

Oh What a Lovely War - Why the reputation of World War I is about to be rehabilitated

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The People's Poet: William Barnes of Dorset
by Alan Chedzoy

Date: Tuesday 25 October 2011

Alan Chedzoy is a noted biographer and also an authority on West country dialect. Alan's new book, The People's Poet: William Barnes of Dorset, was published by the History Press in 2010.

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Samuel Frederick Cody 1867-1913
by Bill McNaught

Date: Tuesday 8 November 2011

Cody was an American cowboy, whose ancestors came from Weymouth, Dorset. He became a showman, dramatist, kite instructor and the first man to fly a heavier than air machine in the UK.

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Arthur Ransome – the local spy
by Dr Yvonne Varley

Date: Tuesday 22 November 2011

Arthur Ransome is now remembered as the author of Swallows and Amazons. However, during WWI he was in Russia and involved with the Special Intelligence Service. His second wife was secretary to Leon Trotsky.

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William Dampier
by Diana Preston

Date: Tuesday 6 December 2011

“A Pirate of Exquisite Mind" - Historian Diana Preston discusses the life of Somerset-born William Dampier, the remarkable 17th century buccaneer and naturalist whose travels and writings inspired Defoe and Swift, Cook and Darwin.

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A Glimpse of Byzantium
by Patrick Moule

Date: Thursday 12 January 2012

Byzantium – the longest continuous empire the world has ever seen. This talk will provide a few glimpses of Byzantium’s rich and varied history and of its heroic end.

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Heroic Hearts: the British Army's victory in Afghanistan in 1880
by Rodney Atwood

Date: Thursday 26 January 2012

The lecture describes the role of Frederick (Bob) Roberts in the 2nd Afghan War, culminating in his celebrated 300 mile march from Kabul to Kandahar with 10,000 picked British and Indian soldiers, to defeat the Afghan Army of Ayub Khan.

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Anthony and Cleopatra
by Dr Adrian Goldsworthy

Date: Thursday 9 February 2012

Antony and Cleopatra are famous, celebrated by Shakespeare, and more recently depicted by Burton and Taylor. How do we get to the truth, and understand the real people behind the legends?

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Understanding the Mystical Dimensions of Islam
by Professor Ian Nathan

Date: Thursday 23 February 2012

Islam today often gets a bad press, especially in the Western media. Professor Netton aims to refute popular misconceptions and explore the tolerant and peace-loving aspect of Islam by looking at Sufism which is Islamic Mysticism. Comparisons will be made with Western Christian mystical traditions with particular reference to Teresa of Avila, Juan de la Cruz and Therese of Lisieux.

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‘My God this is an awful place’
by Peter Warwick

Date: Thursday 8 March 2012

March 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott Royal Navy and this lecture is the heroic story of his fatal Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole. Peter assesses Scott’s leadership abilities and challenge the popular view that he was a bungler.

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Berlin and the Fall of The Wall - Days That Changed The World - a Personal Reflection
by Major General Sir Robert Corbett

Date: Thursday 22 March 2012

General Corbett was the twenty-first, and last, British Commandant in Berlin at the time of the fall of the Wall and the collapse of Communism. As the person with the ultimate legislative and executive responsibility in the British Sector of the divided City -  epicentre of change in 1989-90 - he is able to provide a unique insight into many of the extraordinary events that occurred during this pivotal moment in history.

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