From Cardinal Newman to General Gordon, Mary Carpenter to Rudyard Kipling, British life in the C19 was studded with great men and women in all walks of life. We explore these and many others.
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Course Dates 2018 – 2019
These courses take place at Stoke Lodge
Wednesdays 1.15pm to 3.15pm John Stevens
- 8 sessions from 24 April £100 / £60 HBT1
New course dates will be available in our next Course Guide 2019 -20 from Summer 2019
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Tutor – John Stevens
A lawyer by profession until my retirement in 2013, I have a lifelong interest in history and an enthusiasm to communicate and share this interest by both the spoken and written word.
My interests are wide and include in particular the Stuart era in Britain and nineteenth century English and European political history.
I have also published work, and lectured on, aspects of Bristol history in the period 1800-1850.
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Our History Tutors
Learn more about our brilliant tutors.
When the Roman Catholic Church lost its ability to hold European Christendom together in the 1520s, a variety of reforming movements strove for supremacy with the Papacy and frequently with each other. We tell the story of Luther, Calvin and many others, of the Catholic Church’s attempts to reform itself from the inside and of […]
This is the story of the age of empire, the imperial rivalries of the great powers and the effects- for good and ill – on those countries which were colonised. Africa, Australasia and India of course figure prominently in the story. China and Japan, ancient civilisations for long a closed book to the west but […]
Following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Europe’s rulers and diplomats strove to damp down dynastic rivalries and revolutionary tendencies within states. But international tension was not so easily controlled and new movements – nationalism, liberalism, socialism – presented fresh challenges. This course looks at the post-1815 world, the events leading to the “year of […]
From Lord Shaftesbury in the C17 to Nye Bevan and Enoch Powell, we look at famous figures who have challenged the political establishment. Some are Right-wing, some Left-wing, others harder to categorise. All are fascinating. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Tuesdays […]
An overview of the key events, laws, and people in the decades leading to the American Civil War. A look at causes, politics and missed chances that resulted in the bloodiest war in American history, the role slavery played, and its consequences still at play in American life today. Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 […]
An overview of the men who fought for independence, led the new nation and drafted the US constitution—1776 to 1812. Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Tuesdays 7pm to 9pm Russell Walker 10 sessions from 25 September £124 / £76 AHFF1 10 sessions from 23 April […]
We study an era of Regency dandies and penniless workers threatened by industrialisation, earnest reformers and Romantic poets, and see the stage being set for world-wide empire in the Victorian age. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Wednesdays 7pm to 9pm John […]
In the era between the premierships of Disraeli and Neville Chamberlain, middle and even working-class men rose to the heights of power. How did they compare to their aristocratic predecessors? We explore change and continuity over 75 eventful years. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place […]
So much begins in this period- Parliamentary government, modern banking, the British Empire- but it is also an era of great poetry, theatre and architecture. We explore all these aspects and more. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Mondays 7pm to 9pm […]
We explore a turbulent era, in which the English fought a civil war, executed their King, endured Puritan military dictatorship- and then restored the dead King’s son amidst general rejoicing. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Mondays 7pm to 9pm John Stevens […]
We explore these crucial years, in which hard won peace and stability triumphed over Jacobite and French threats, Pope and Gray wrote their greatest poetry, and England acquired dominion over Canada and India. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Mondays 7pm to […]
In the first of two illustrated talks, ‘Working Class History from Below’, the lives of ordinary women who lived in English port cities such as Bristol during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will be examined. Key issues to be covered are social constraints, political prejudice and economic burdens. Drawing on extraordinary examples, and with an […]
We get to know the men who governed the nation in peace and war during eighty turbulent years: how they rose and fell, their public deeds and their- sometimes colourful – private lives. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Wednesdays 1.15pm to […]
Continuing the story of Europe in the nineteenth century, we see how Bismarck in his later years sought to maintain a balance of power and how his successors, and Kaiser Wilhelm II, upset this through policies of naval and colonial expansion among other things. We also consider how France’s desire for “revenge” on Prussia, Russian […]
Two revolutions dominate this course- the Industrial Revolution, which set Britain on the road to prosperity, and the French, against which the nation fought a war of twenty-three years. The poets and writers of the age also feature. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at […]
Few of today’s political issues are wholly new. We look at questions like Northern Ireland, devolution, EU membership and many others, adopting a historical perspective going back two or three hundred years, or even longer. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Tuesdays […]
The second talk focuses on the draconian workhouse system that pre-dates the modern welfare state. For the vulnerable poor the workhouse often became their only means of support. Unemployment, sickness, old age, death of a parent and, for women in particular, the workhouse institution typically caused great hardship and even death in some cases. The […]
Ancient artefacts abound in The West Country, particularly in Somerset and Wiltshire. These sites provide a fascinating picture of our ancestors’ lives, spiritual beliefs, and capabilities. This journey into our past will be an inspiring and memorable experience.. Enrol online here. Course Dates 2017 – 2018 These courses take place at Stoke Lodge Fridays 1pm to […]
Whilst the political and military aspects of the American problem dominate this period, it was also the era of Dr Johnson, David Garrick and Sir Joshua Reynolds, which means there is much more to be studied and enjoyed this term. Visit the tutor’s profile Enrol online here. Course Dates 2018 – 2019 These courses take […]
Did you enjoy reading or watching Wolf Hall or similar novels and films? This course tells the true story of the first two Tudors – every bit as absorbing as fiction, as we see Henry VII establishing the dynasty in the face of threats from Pretenders, to leave a secure throne to his son. We […]