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A Tudor Christmas with Alison Weir & Siobhan Clarke

9th December 2019

19:30 - View all performance times

Southampton Central Library , Civic Centre

Information: 023 8083 3007

Christmas in Tudor times was a period of feasting, revelry and merrymaking ‘to drive the cold winter away’. A carnival atmosphere presided at court, with a twelve-day-long festival of entertainments, pageants, theatre productions and ‘disguisings’, when even the king and queen dressed up in costume to fool their courtiers. Throughout the festive season, all ranks of subjects were freed for a short time from everyday cares to indulge in eating, drinking, dancing and game-playing.

We might assume that our modern Christmas owes much to the Victorians. In fact, as Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke reveal in this fascinating book, many of our favourite Christmas traditions date back much further. Carol-singing, present-giving, mulled wine and mince pies were all just as popular in Tudor times, and even Father Christmas and roast turkey dinners have their origins in this period. The festival was so beloved by English people that Christmas traditions survived remarkably unchanged in this age of tumultuous religious upheaval.

Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke reveal how many of our favourite Christmas traditions date back to the Tudor period. Carol-singing, present-giving and mulled wine were just as popular, along with Father Christmas and roast turkey dinners. Discover how and why many of these traditions came about.

Alison Weir is the United Kingdom’s most popular and best-selling female historian, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. Rich in detailed research, Alison’s engaging prose has captured the interest and imagination of countless people, instilling a love of history that has influenced the career paths of historians, historical novelists and teachers, while also greatly increasing knowledge of medieval and Tudor English history among people throughout the world. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an honorary life patron of Historic Royal Palaces.

Siobhan Clarke

Siobhan has worked for Historic Royal Palaces for 18 years and is based at Hampton Court . She specialises in 16th Century dress and lectures on Hampton Court, The Tower of London and the Banqueting House. She has featured on the BBC Radio Women’s hour PBS television’s secrets of Henry VIII palace. Her book The Tudors: an illustrated history was published in August 2019 by Carlton Books.

An event to appeal to anyone who likes writing, the Tudors, Christmas, history, or a thought-provoking evening out, this showcase will also be attended by Waterstones who will be selling copies of 'A Tudor Christmas' for those who wish to buy.

This event is part of the SO:Write Literature Development project, in partnership between ArtfulScribe and Southampton Libraries, supported by Arts Council England and other project partners.

Event Dates


Dates Performance Duration Tickets Links
9 Dec 2019 - 19:30 1.5 hours Standard - Min: £5.00 Book Tickets
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