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"Epic and Enchanted Landscapes Painters" View details

In the early 19th century in Britain paintings of epic, historical and mythic events, in suitably awesome landscapes, were contrasted with enchantingly diminutive vistas of fairy land, both encapsulating a complex relationship between man, nature, and the supernatural. These paintings expressed responses to the tumult following Napoleon's defeat in 1815 with images embracing the Wild, Millenarian hysteria, garden design and 'panoramania'.

"Laura Knight: Staithes, Newlyn and London" View details

Laura Knight's career began in earnest at Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast, with her husband-to-be, Harold, and other artists inspired by outdoor painting. In paint and prose she expressed her admiration and solidarity with the hardy fisher folk of Staithes whilst developing her own painting techniques. The Staithes painters were part of the 'plein air' movement that erupted in the 1870s with artists travelling to find and paint traditional communities threatened by industrialisation.

"Scandalous Women" Famous British Women in History View details

The course will cover the lives and achievements of some remarkable women who played, for good or bad, a significant part in British history. They will be considered in their own right but will also be used to access the wider context. they will include Boudicca, Emma and the Vikings; Isabella the She Wolf; Eleanor of Aquitaine; Jane Digby; Annie Besant; Kitty O'Shea; Emily Hobhouse; Mata Hari and possibly others

"The Russian Doll" History View details

"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest." (Winston Churchill, October 1939) The course will be a chronological history of the development of Russia from the early Swedish Rus period up to the period of Glasnost and Perestroika. The methods employed will include segmented powerpoint presentations and discussion of the themes identified, as well as the usual class interaction.

"The Russian Doll" History View details

"I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest." (Winston Churchill, October 1939) The course will be a chronological history of the development of Russia from the early Swedish Rus period up to the period of Glasnost and Perestroika. The methods employed will include segmented powerpoint presentations and discussion of the themes identified, as well as the usual class interaction.

"Visionary and Dreamer: William Blake and Samuel Palmer" View details

William Blake, renowned for his poem 'Jerusalem' is England's greatest spiritual poet/painter. Samuel Palmer, a young disciple of his found his spirituality in the English landscape, painting images unique to British art. Blake's complex theology and dramatic images are in stark contrast to the gentle pastorals of Palmer's English countryside.

100 Years of Political Assassinations View details

We will be looking at the traditions of tyranny from Caesar via Henri IV to Perceval, Lincoln, Cleveland. We will cover a wide range of topics including: propaganda of the deed, dynamiters, false flags, policing and anarchists, violence and fascism’s roots - Sarajevo and Jaures, Rasputin, Barthou, Darlan and Albion perfidre syndrome - Lumumba, Hammarskjold, Kennedy, Palme and Jo Cox

1816, The Year Without a Summer View details

Lord Byron's poem 'Darkness' sums up this turbulent year, but 1816 also saw the writing of 'Frankenstein', Austen's 'Persuasion', and the first published poems of John Keats. Against a background of rain, storms, August frosts and devastating famine, these and other works of art bring an era to life.

1816-The Year without Summer View details

Lord Byron's poem 'Darkness' sums up this turbulent year, but 1816 also saw the writing of 'Frankenstein', Austen's 'Persuasion', and the first published poems of John Keats. Against a background of rain, storms, August frosts and devastating famine, these and other works of art bring an era to life.

1918 - Armistice and Aftermath View details

These sessions will examine the events of 1918 as we commemorate the centenary of a watershed in modern history. We will examine how the allies won what seemed at the beginning of the year an unlikely victory. As well as discussing the fighting of 1918 we will also consider other important events such as the devastating influenza pandemic and the British 1918 election which saw some women vote for the first time. We will also investigate the afterwar settlements as the defeated central powers were reshaped and the map of the world redrawn. The group will also examine how these dramatic changes of a century ago still influence our own world today.