John Rylands Research Institute Annual Lecture 2017
The Anglo-Saxons and the making of England
The Institute's Annual Lecture for 2017 is to be given by Professor Michael Wood, Professor of Public History, University of Manchester. Professor Wood will deliver a lecture entitled: 'The Anglo-Saxons and the Making of England'.
It is often forgotten, but the roots of England lie before the Norman Conquest: the foundations of the English state were laid by three generations of the Wessex royal family; Alfred the Great, his son Edward and daughter Aethelflaed, and his grandson Aethelstan.
In this illustrated talk - which will include not just the manuscript treasures of The University of Manchester's Special Collections at The John Rylands library but also Ladybird books and cigarette cards - Michael Wood shows how these rulers made their England by using the ideas of Europe's first renaissance, the Carolingian. Even more than the Tudors, he will argue, they were the most gifted and influential royals in English history.
Without them, the story of Britain might have been radically different: no English state perhaps; no English law, nor English ideas about government; and maybe the English language would not be the world's language?
Professor Michael Wood
Role: Professor of Public History
Organisation: The University of Manchester
Biography: Historian and filmmaker Michael Wood is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester. In November 2015 he received the British Academy President’s Medal for outreach in History. Originally from Moss Side in Manchester, Michael has made well over a hundred documentary films and is the author of numerous best-selling history books. His most recent documentary series, The History of China, has been a hit in the UK, China and the US – where the Wall Street Journal recently described his work as ‘the gold standard’. Other documentary highlights include In Search of the Trojan War, Art of the Western World, King Alfred and the Anglo Saxons, Shakespeare, The Story of England, the Great British Story and In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great. His best selling books include In Search of the Dark Ages, Domesday and In Search of Shakespeare. This lecture sees him return to his first love and the subject of his postgraduate research, Anglo-Saxon England.
Travel and Contact Information
Historic Reading Room
John Rylands Research Institute and Library