Your HA Virtual Branch

Keep learning with our online programme of talks

Your branch from home

The HA Virtual Branch is a great way to keep your history up-to-date, whether you are working or relaxing, all from the comfort of your home. The branch is available to everybody, and recordings of the talks are made available online after the event for HA members.

Upcoming talks 

* LIVE - Wednesday 20 July, 7.30pm

Seen but not heard? The ladies-in-waiting who served the six wives of Henry VIII with Dr Nicola Clark

Every queen had ladies-in-waiting. Her confidantes and chaperones, they are the forgotten agents of the Tudor court. Ever present and yet hidden behind the scenes, these women held the secrets and the hearts of some of the Tudor period’s most powerful men and women. Experts at survival, negotiating the competing demands of their families and their queen, the ladies-in-waiting of Henry VIII’s wives were far more than decorative ‘extras’: they were serious political players who changed the course of history. This talk takes us into their world: who were these women? How did they gain these positions, and what did they do there? As Henry VIII changed wives, and changed the country's religion besides, these women had to make choices about loyalty that simply didn't exist before and would never exist like this again. By the end of Henry’s reign, being a lady-in-waiting was far more dangerous than it had been at the beginning.

Dr Nicola Clark is a Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of Chichester. Her first book, Gender, Family, and Politics: The Howard Women, 1485-1558, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018, and she also writes for public audiences, with work featured in History Today and on the History Extra website. She has spoken about her research at events for Historic Royal Palaces, the National Archives, various schools, and academic institutions, and was a contributor on the 2020 three-part BBC series The Boleyns: The Power and the Passion. She is currently finishing her second book on the women who served the six wives of Henry VIII, to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson next year.

Book here

* LIVE - Wednesday 14 September, 7.30pm

Churchill's Great Game: Rethinking the origins of the Cold War with Professor Richard Toye

Richard Toye is Professor of Modern History at the University of Exeter. He is a specialist in the history of rhetoric and is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Rhetoric: A Very Short Introduction and The Roar of the Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill’s World War II Speeches. His book Winston Churchill: A Life in the News was published in 2020. 

In his talk Richard will explore Churchill’s response to the USSR and how his actions during the early Cold War years intersected with his views of traditional Anglo-Russian tensions and the legacy of the ‘Great Game’.

Book here

Past lecture recordings

If you missed our Virtual Branch talks from earlier this year, recordings of a number of the talks are available here:

Local HA Branches at the Virtual Branch

The HA has over 45 local branches around the country. Some of these have been able to return to their venues for their monthly talks around lockdown. Others have decided to make their branch programmes online via Zoom – this provides a wonderful opportunity for you to see some of the great lectures that occur across the country as part of the HA. Check our branch calendar for full listings.

About the HA Virtual Branch talks

Your HA virtual branch is open to all – whether you are a member or not; for general interest, teachers and students alike. Some of the talks are pre-recorded, and others allow you the opportunity to listen live and pitch your questions to the historian presenting. This page will be updated as new talks are agreed.

If you're a teacher don't forget that we will also continue to run our regular calendar of CPD webinars - view the secondary webinar calendar here and the primary calendar here.