Dr Simon Johnson is Director of Heritage at Downside Abbey, a Benedictine Abbey and school in Somerset, England. Established in the 19th century, Downside is home to one of the best collections of religious manuscripts in the world. A recent Heritage Lottery Fund grant has enabled the library and archives to be modernised. Dr Simon brings us up to date with many interesting insights into the work that has been involved, and gives an outline of future hopes and plans.
Click on the arrow to listen to this talk or go to the image above to find the talk in our free iTunes podcast 46 minutes
Lady Clare Asquith published her acclaimed book ‘Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare’ in 2005, a study of how Shakespeare secretly addressed the most profound political issues of his day, and how his plays embody a hidden history of England. In this fascinating talk she leads us into this hidden world. With precision and scholarship supported by examples from the texts, we begin to understand something of the terror and sadness in which our Elizabethan forebears lived, a world in which drama was one of the very few mediums which gave the possibility of an outward expression of an interior faith, if one knew how to listen.
Click on the arrow to listen to this talk or go to the image above to find the talk in our free iTunes podcast 62 minutes
The North West Catholic History Society has digitised all the volumes of its annual journal dating back to 1969. These are now available to members of the Society for viewing and downloading on the society’s new web site:
Dr Claire Fitzgerald of Warwick University will be giving this free lecture – inside Shrewsbury Catholic Cathedral – in front of the huge stained-glass windows by Margaret Rope that can be found there. The talk is in the afternoon, to ensure the windows can be seen in full light – and all are welcome!
The talk takes place on Saturday 24th September, at 2pm.
Dr Fitzgerald is particularly knowledgeable about the craft techniques used by Margaret Rope; such techniques were important in giving her glass the range of rich colours and the dazzling effect that so characterised this ‘Arts & Crafts Movement’ style.
There will also be a profile of Margaret Rope’s place in the history of stained glass, and a discussion of Margaret Rope’s religious life-journey from convert to Catholicism to entering a convent and how that made its way into her designs.