Hampstead & North West London Branch Programme

Hampstead & North West London Branch Programme 2021-22

We normally meet in Fellowship House (FH) at 8pm on the third Thursday of the month. We hope FH will re-open by September but, if not, we will substitute Zoom meetings.  At David Stevenson’s request, we have in any case agreed his presentation on 18th November will be on Zoom. Details will be provided before each meeting.



16th September 2021


Professor Michael Hicks: “Warwick the Kingmaker”


Michael Hicks has taught at The University of Winchester since 1978, most recently as Professor of Medieval History and Head of the History Department. He was appointed Emeritus Professor in September 2014.  He is a historian of Late Medieval England, and his primary research interests are in late medieval English political, noble, and religious history, especially the Wars of the Roses and Bastard Feudalism. He has written biographies of all the Yorkist kings, and in 2010 Yale University Press published his authoritative book on the Wars of the Roses. His subject will be Warwick the Kingmaker, a fascinating and important participant in these wars who was killed at the decisive Battle of Barnet, the 550th anniversary of which is being celebrated this year. The Barnet Medieval Festival - London’s only medieval festival of its kind - will this year have particular significance and, Covid permitting, will be held at the nearby Barnet Elizabethans’ RFC ground on the weekend of 11th/12th September.  Michael’s talk on the following Thursday could hardly be more timely.



21st October 2021


Dr Rachel Foxley: “The Levellers: radicalism and print in the English Revolution”


Rachel Foxley is Associate Professor in Early Modern History and the Director of Postgraduate Studies in History at the University of Reading.  She has published many papers, chiefly on the history of political language and political thought, especially as it developed in seventeenth century England under classical and other influences.  She has a particular interest in the development of ideas about democracy and their dissemination in the writings of republican writers such as John Milton.  The Levellers, a radical “grassroots” movement, emerged from the upheaval of the civil wars of the 1640s. Through direct action combined with effective propaganda, notably during the Putney debates, they became one of the most distinctive intellectual and political movements of the period.  Their ideas continue to influence many of today’s debates on government, democracy, and equality.



18th November 2021 (On Zoom)


Professor David Stevenson: “The Cuban Crisis Revisited”


Professor Stevenson is Stevenson Professor of International History at the London School of Economics.  His main fields of interest lie in international relations during the 19th and 20th centuries. He is the author of numerous publications mainly on aspects of war and, two years ago, he made a memorable presentation to our branch on how the First World War ended.  In 2016, he edited for OUP (with Thomas Mahnken and Joseph Maiolo) the first comprehensive history of the Arms Race Phenomenon: Arms races in international politics: from the 19th to the 21st century”.  The book reviews experience from before the First World War up to the arms race in nuclear and conventional weapons since 1945. It asks the questions: what causes arms races? and what is the connection between arms races and the outbreak of wars? He is ideally qualified to place the Cuban Missile Crisis in a historical context and to evaluate its implications for the present day. Besides his direct academic interests, he is adviser to the learning website http://europeana1914-1918.eu/en which has had more than a million individual visits; is a member of the academic advisory committee for the Imperial War Museum’s new First World War Galleries; and has often appeared on television. 



16th December 2021


(If we are back in Fellowship House) “Historical Quiz Night”



20th January 2022


Dr Carey Feiner: “Propaganda and Warfare - the Feminine Touch in the late Roman Republic: The Women of Mark Anthony and Octavian”


Carey Fleiner is Senior Lecturer in Classical and Early Medieval History at the University of Winchester. She has written and lectured on a wide variety of topics in ancient and early medieval history – and on the 1960s pop group, The Kinks.  Her most recent publication for Manchester University Press is “A Writer's Guide to Rome”. She has delivered highly appreciated lectures to our branch before, most recently on Hannibal’s war with Rome.  Dr Carey’s new subject will be a rarely examined aspect of the final convulsions of the Roman Republic.  The lives of leaders such as Octavian (Augustus) and Mark Antony are well known but the women in their families also had an important part to play, either as dynastic ‘bargaining chips’ or actively by influencing their husbands, brothers, and sons.  And some of them became faction leaders – and even warriors in their own right.  Dr Carey will introduce us to these dangerous Roman women; included amongst them are Octavia Minor and Livia, and Fulvia and Cleopatra…



17th February 2021


Dr Benjamin Pope:City States and Noble Societies in the Holy Roman Empire


Dr Pope is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester, and was in the news when he discovered that a magnificent 16th century manuscript in the university's library is linked to the workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder. He studied at Oxford University and University College London and researched and taught the social and political history of the later medieval Holy Roman Empire at the Universities of Durham and Tübingen before taking up his present position. The Holy Roman Empire is traditionally conceptualised as a patchwork of tiny polities within an arcane constitution. But the Empire can also be understood by exploring the ways in which social and political cohesion were achieved in such a decentralized world. Alliances and associations were just as important as territorial fragmentation. Finding friends, however, often involved identifying common enemies. The talk will approach the Holy Roman Empire through some of the fault lines which ran through its society, with a focus on the opposition between ‘town’ and ‘nobility’ which arose in the fifteenth century.



17th March 2022


Professor Lawrence Goldman: “Slavery in the USA”


Lawrence Goldman is Emeritus Fellow in History at St. Peter's College, Oxford and has addressed us to great acclaim several times in the past.  He studied the history of American slavery at Yale University and taught the subject for three decades in Oxford where he ran the undergraduate Special Subject on 'Slavery and the Crisis of the Union 1854-1875'. He was latterly Director of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Though the new United States of America, created at the end of the 1780s, outlawed the slave trade in 1808, slavery itself remained legal in the new republic and was only abolished in the Civil War of the 1860s. By that time there were 4 million black chattel slaves in 15 states of the Union. This lecture will examine the history of slavery in America: how the slaves lived, what they grew on the plantations of the American South, how they experienced slavery, and how historians have written about that experience.  



21st April 2022


Dr Marisa Linton: " Robespierre: The Path from Democrat to Terrorist in the French Revolution "


Professor Marisa Linton is a historian of one of the most fascinating periods of history – the French Revolution and, to many, the most fascinating episode of that Revolution, the Reign of Terror 1793/4. The period has inspired authors, film directors and composers. Professor Linton will discuss the career of the supreme architect of the Terror, Maximilien Robespierre, and how he (in company with his fellow leaders - Danton, Marat, St Just, Desmoulins) started out as a humanitarian idealist but came to regard Terror as a legitimate policy.  Professor Linton has written numerous books and articles on The French Revolution including “Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution” and has also made many media appearances and given public talks.  She is Professor Emerita in History at Kingston University.