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"Hail to the Chief!" History View details

Of the 45 US presidents (counting Grover Cleveland twice !) many have been forgettable nonentities, some have been slippery rogues and a number have had a dramatic and lasting impact upon the development of the USA and the world. This course is not intended to be a chronological history of the USA but will be a comparative account of the background, nature, style and achievements of a number of US presidents from the very early days of the Republic up to the modern period. To understand what is happening in the USA and to be able to evaluate the Trump Presidency you need to see it in context. Love “The Donald” or hate him you need to understand him ! There will certainly be plenty of scope for discussion and argument. It’s going to be great folks !

"Hail to the Chief!" History View details

The election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency came as a startling shock to both opponents and supporters in the USA, and one which reverberated around the world. In fact there are many precedents in American history for populist presidents. Of the 45 US presidents (counting Grover Cleveland twice !) many have been forgettable nonentities, some have been slippery rogues and a number have had a dramatic and lasting impact upon the development of the USA and the world. To understand what is happening in the USA and to be able to evaluate the Trump Presidency you need to see it in context. Love “The Donald” or hate him you need to understand him ! There will certainly be plenty of scope for discussion and argument. It’s going to be great folks !

"Today is a good day to fight!" View details

Cowboys and Indians, gold strikes and railroads, gunfighters and last stands - this course aims to introduce you to the far more complex, brutal and surprising history of the American West, a story replete with fascinating characters like Sitting Bull and George Armstrong Custer, fascinating locations like the Great Plains or Dodge City and fascinating campaigns and events like the Donner Party and the Wounded Knee Massacre. We will understand Indian-white relations and conflict and the settlement of the West between 1840 and 1900

10 Classic Albums of the 1950s and 60s View details

In this course, we hear music by some of the greatest musicians ever in the field of jazz, blues & popular music - and return to that time when vinyl was king & the LP came with outstanding artwork & sleeve notes. We explore in detail albums by such artists as Buddy Holly, Eric Clapton,The Beatles, Miles Davis, Elvis Presley - albums acknowledged as being classics of their style. Many of these are now being reissued today in their original form to a new audience.

100 Years: Women Writing and Voting View details

Each session will have a different starting point/theme relating to how womens lives have changed over the last 200 years or so relating to the vote. Reading from novels biographies short stories and poems and songs. Creative writing and performance skills will be developed throughout the course.

1930's Detective Fiction View details

This course will examine the enduring appeal of crime fiction from this decade, consider the formation of the Crime Writers Association and key figures in it, and explore the characteristics of the 'golden age'. It cannot be denied that female crime writers did dominate in this period but this course will look at male and female writers who published crime fiction in the 1930s and consider their enduring appeal.

19th Century Art, Architecture & Society View details

The nineteenth century was a dynamic period in English history and one in which the arts flourished. In this course we will make the connection between the buildings, paintings and other works of art and the society which they served.

55 degrees North: Music of Scandinavia and the Baltic View details

Grieg and Sibelius – certainly; Nielson – perhaps; Arvo Pärt – possibly; but “who else is there?” The answer is “far more than we are perhaps aware of”. This course explores in depth Scandinavian/Baltic music from Baroque times to the present day. We shall delve into both the known and the surprisingly large number of relatively unknown composers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Baltic States. The range of music available is vast, and the question arises as to why, in England, we are not yet more aware of, and familiar with, this huge musical library . This course will hopefully go someway to righting this wrong, exploring both the orchestral and choral repertoires, linking to influences from e.g. the bleak Scandinavian landcscapes and political backgrounds, where appropriate, Each session will include relevant audio/video examples and ample opportunity for discussion and further research.

70 Years that Transformed British Politics, 1637-1707 View details

in 70 years the British political world is turned upside down. One King is publicly executed and his second son flees into exile after the last successful foreign invasion of these isles. By the end of this period, Parliament is politically dominant, Protestantism is in the ascendancy, Ireland is a colony and a new political entity - Britain - has been created. None of this was inevitable. So whilst this course looks at what happened and why, it also examines movements that did not succeed. The political radicals - Levellers, Diggers- the messianic religious groups - the Ranters and Shakers - and try and see them in their own light. Whilst these 70 years are amongst the important decades in British history, dynamism is not limited to politics. With great literature - Paradise Lost, Pilgrim's Progress, Restoration comedies - pioneering science - Newton, Hooke, Royal Society - and fascinating insight into day to day life - Pepys Diaries,-this is history that resonates down the ages.

900 Years of British Agriculture View details

Our present landscape is the product of human activity in the past. The changes in farming over the period 1066-1945 has left its imprint on the countryside and the people who live there. We will trace technological development, the contribution of significant individuals and changes caused by population growth and the demands of two World Wars.

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