Our season of talks 2015-2016 starts on Tuesday 20th October 2015
After a briskly dispatched AGM (most paperwork has been sent in advance to current members either via letter boxes or email), we welcome back Tim Porter to start off our season on Prominent Women with a talk on The Empress Matilda. (It is going to be hard for later speakers to outdo that level of social distinction with their subjects!)
Until I came to live in Oxford I knew nothing of Matilda – except (thanks to Sellar & Yeatman) – she was also Maud. Below is an image from a C12th manuscript (now in Corpus Christi Cambridge) showing the wedding feast of Matilda/Maud with the then King of the Romans.
Since coming to Oxford, and benefiting from the educational tourism of Oxford Castle Unlocked, I now know that she had to get her skates on! But clearly a proper talk on her whole life will repair a glaring bit of ignorance on my part…
Last month, during the Open Doors weekend, I went up both the towers of St Michael’s Northgate and St George’s, and the Castle Motte. But I was not looking anxiously for a besieging army of enemy soldiers. It was with pleasure that I realized how distinct Iffley church tower still is from the Castle – why you can even trim your photo so most of modern life disappears… and the centuries roll back