Tom Holland is joined by the author of Britain Against Napoleon The Organisation of Victory, 1793-1815, Professor Roger Knight and the leader of a new oral history project which is capturing the social and cultural impact of National Service, Dr Matthew Grant from the University of Essex.
Nearly 200 years ago, in April 1814, King Louis XVIII of France left Hartwell House near Aylesbury to reclaim the throne of France after more than twenty years in exile. Seven of these were in England, two at Gosfield Hall in Essex and five at Hartwell. The biographer of Napoleon's Josephine, Dr Kate Williams, went to Hartwell to find out more about Louis in England.
As Louis traipsed around Europe, the Continent was in turmoil. Britain had been humbled just a few years earlier in the War of American Independence so how did she reorganise to fight the French?
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Louis XVII at Hartwell House
Nearly 200 years ago, in April 1814, King Louis XVIII of France left Hartwell House near Aylesbury to reclaim the throne of France after more than twenty years in exile. Seven of these were in England, two at Gosfield Hall in Essex and five at Hartwell. Making History listener Neil Rees plans to mark this largely forgotten bi-centenary by organising a reunion of people descended from the court of Louis in Buckinghamshire.
The biographer of Napoleon’s Josephine, Dr Kate Williams, went to Hartwell to find out more. She spoke with Neil, Louis’ biographer Dr Philip Mansel and local historian Carole Fryer.
Louis XVIII by Philip Mansel
The French Emigres in Europe and the Struggle Against Revolution, 1789-1814 by Philip Mansel
The Organisation of Victory
Whilst Louis and his court were traipsing around Europe, the Continent was in turmoil. Britain had been humbled just a few years earlier in the War of American Independence but she came through two decades of warfare to defeat Napoleon. Just how she achieved this is the topic of Roger Knight’s book Britain Against Napoleon The Organisation of Victory, 1793-1815 and he spoke to Tom about it.
Oral History of National Service
Did you do National Service? Did your partner? If so, then the University of Essex wants to hear from you. Surprisingly, the social and cultural impact of National Service is little-researched and now Dr Matthew Grant and his team want to change this. They see it as an important part of twentieth century history and want you to get in touch with them.
Email email@example.com and we will pass your information on. Or go to Matthew Grant’s page at the University of Essex website
Restored French Frescos
Making History listener Julianna Lees got in touch with the programme after last week’s item on the threat to mediaeval rood screens in East Anglia. She lives in the Perigord region of France and wanted to point out that it wasn’t just English churches that were damaged by sixteenth century church reformers. It happened in France too during the Wars of Religion 1562-1598.
There are frescos in her local church at St Méard de Drône which were whitewashed over or damaged and were undiscovered for centuries. Now, there is a restoration project in place which, when complete, Julianna thinks will re-create one of the most impressive church interiors in France.
You can find more on Julianna’s Facebook page
History Learning Site
Henry V – wastrel to icon?
How accurate is Shakespeare’s take on Prince Henry’s life before he succeeded his father Henry IV and won that iconic victory over the French at Agincourt? Did he spend his time in taverns with characters such as Falstaff? If so, how did he then become such an effective leader? Helen Castor went to the Tower of London, England’s fifteenth century arsenal, to talk to Professor Anne Curry who has been working on these questions.
Professor Anne Curry
Agincourt: A New History Anne Curry