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Stories of London Day: A Day of Talks Exploring London’s History

Date: April 29th 2017
Time: 10am to 5pm

Southwark Cathedral presents a day of talks about London, looking at its stories, old and new.

Speakers include Matthew Beaumont, discussing about his extraordinary book on Nightwalking and Ted Sandling exploring the joys of mudlarking.

With other speakers to be announced this is a must for anybody interested in London history!

Ted Sandling - London in Fragments - A Mudlark's Treasure
Based on his book, London in Fragments, Ted Sandling’s illustrated talk offers an introduction to mudlarking and an exploration of history found along the banks of the River Thames. Mudlarks used to the impoverished Londoners, eking out a living from foraged scrap. Today’s mudlarks unearth treasured relics of past London. The talk celebrates the beauty of small things, and makes sense of the intangible connection that found objects give us to the individuals who lost them.

 'Exhilaratingly curious and entertainingly knowledgeable’ Evening Standard
‘Sandling's aim is to increase inquisitiveness, and he undoubtedly achieves this’  Times Literary Supplement
'Hypnotic — yet infectiously jolly’ Spectator

After studying History of Art at The University of Bristol, Ted Sandling moved to London and became a garden designer and landscape historian. In 2008 he returned to the fine arts when he joined Christie's. He now works at Christie's Education. He first went mudlarking in 2004 and was instantly hooked.

Matthew Beaumont - London at Night: A Brief History
'Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night,' wrote the poet Rupert Brooke. This talk takes us on a brisk stroll through the history of nocturnal London since the Middle Ages, in the hope that it reveals the city in an unfamiliar light, one that emanates, paradoxically, from the darkness. It begins in the late 13th century, when the crime of 'nightwalking' first appeared on the statute books, and leads us on a journey through various legal, social and technological changes that transformed London and contributed to the creation of its distinctive nightlife. It will reconstruct this story through a series of literary representations, from Chaucer to Dickens, of the mysterious, sometimes dangerous city after hours.

Matthew Beaumont, a Professor of English Literature at University College London, is the author of several books, including Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London (2015).

Gillian Tindall - The Tunnel Through Time: A New Route for a an Old London
Crossrail, the ‘Elizabeth’ line, with its spacious, light-filled stations, is simply the latest way of traversing a very old east-west route through what was once countryside to the old City core and out again. Visiting Stepney, Liverpool Street, Farringdon, Tottenham Court Road (alias St Giles-in-the-Fields) and the route along Oxford Street (alias the Way to Oxford and also Tyburn) this richly descriptive book traces the course of many of these historical journeys across time as well as space. Archaeology disinters layers of actual matter; one may also disinter the lives that walked where many of our streets, however altered in appearance, still run today. These people spoke the names of ancient farms, manors and slums that now belong to our squares and tube stations. They endured the cycle of the seasons as we do; they ate, drank, laughed, worked, prayed, despaired and hoped in what are essentially the same spaces we occupy today.

Gillian Tindall is a master of miniaturist history, well known for the quality of her writing and the scrupulousness of her research; she makes a handful of people, a few locations or a dramatic event stand for the much larger picture, as her seminal book The Fields Beneath, approached the history of Kentish Town, London. She has also written on London's Southbank (The House by the Thames), on southern English counties (Three Houses, Many Lives), and the Left Bank (Footprints in Paris), amongst other locations, as well as biography and prize-winning novels. She has lived in the same London house for over fifty years.

Stephen Alford - London's Triumph: Merchant Adventurers and the Tudor City
Life in Europe was fundamentally changed in the 16th century by the astonishing  discoveries of the New World and of direct sea routes to Asia.  To start with  England was hardly involved and London remained a gloomy, introverted medieval  city.  But as the century progressed something extraordinary happened.

Stephen Alford will bring to life the network of merchants, visionaries, crooks and sailors who  changed London forever.  In a sudden explosion of energy English ships were  suddenly found all over the world - trading with Russia and the Levant,  exploring Virginia and the Arctic, and fanning out across the Indian  Ocean. 

London's Triumph is above all about the people who made this possible  - the families, the guild members, the money-men who were willing to risk huge  sums and sometimes their own lives in pursuit of the rare, exotic and desirable.  Their ambitions fuelled a new view of the world - initiating a long era of  trade and empire, the consequences of which we still live with today.

Stephen Alford is the author of the acclaimed biography Burghley: William Cecil at the Court of Elizabeth I and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He taught for fifteen years at Cambridge University, where he was a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of History and a Fellow of King's College. He is now Professor of Early Modern British History in the University of Leeds.

A ticket for the day allows entry to each talk. Books for each talk will be available to purchase. This event costs £10. To book, please follow this link

Tickets are also available in the shop. For further information, telephone 020 7367 6734.