Tudor Renaissance: Genius in the Tudor World - A Day of Talks

Talk Heritage
  • Venue


  • Time

    10:30 AM

  • Price

    £22.50 plus booking fee

  • Book Tickets

Step into the fascinating world of the Tudor era and immerse yourself in a day of captivating talks celebrating the genius of this period

Musicians and mathematicians, poets and painters, saints, sinners, and scientists: the Tudor age was filled with remarkable people, far beyond just the famous royal family and its courtiers.

In this day of talks by four experts from different fields, find out about the immense social, economic, and religious changes that allowed so much genius to flourish, and about the greatest musicians, writer, and painter of the century.

Southwark Cathedral are delighted to host this day of talks in partnership with Tudor Times, the online repository for all things Tudor and Stewart (1485–1625).

Doors open at 10.00am for a 10.30am start and this event will take place in the Cathedral library. The day will include a lunch break where attendees are encourage to use the Cathedral cafe, Borough Market or coffee shops, cafes and pubs within the vicinity of the Cathedral.

Publications by the speakers will be available to purchase on the day.


Our speakers include;


Melita Thomas - A Changing World

How did the Tudor world change between 1485 and 1603? Melita’s talk begins with an exploration of various agricultural, religious, legal, scientific, and monetary factors that changed Tudor society, before highlighting some of the most interesting and quirky characters, drawn from all walks of life, who fill the pages of her book, 1000 Tudor People and can tell us so much more about our Tudor forebears.

Melita Thomas has a Master’s in Historical Research from the Institute of Historical Research, and is a doctoral candidate at UCL, examining the social and political networks of Mary I. The co-founder and chief content writer for the popular website Tudor Times, she is the author of three book, The King’s Pearl, The House of Grey, and her newest release, 1000 Tudor People.


Franny Moyle - Hans Holbein the Younger

Franny will reveal how Hans Holbein the Younger came to England, and discuss his defining portraits of the Tudor Court. She will consider how he successfully negotiated the dangerous politics of Henry’s quixotic reign unlike so many of his famous sitters, and to what extent the myth of Henry has been perpetuated by his powerful, symbolic work. With the opportunity to look closely at some of the most fascinating portraits in the history of Art and engage in discussion with the author, this talk is for history and art lovers alike.

Franny Moyle is an author, art historian, curator and former television producer. Her biography of Hans Holbein, “ The King’s Painter”, was Radio 4’s Book of the Week and described in The Times as “Wolf Hall but with pics”! Franny has also written biographies of JMW Turner; of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (dramatized for BBC 2), and the much overlooked Constance Wilde in her account of The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde - also a Radio 4 Book of the Week.


Dr Chris Laoutaris - Shakespeare's Book: The Interwined Lives Behind the First Folio

2023 marked the 400th anniversary of Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, known today simply as the First Folio. It is difficult to imagine a world without The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale and Macbeth, but these are just some of the plays that were only preserved thanks to the astounding labour of love that went into creating the first collection.

in this talk, Dr Chris Laoutaris charts, for the first time, the manufacture of the First Folio against a turbulent backdrop of seismic political events and international tensions that intersected with the lives of its creators. Chris uncovers the friendships, bonds, social ties and professional networks that facilitated the production of Shakespeare ’ s book, as well as the personal challenges, tragedies and dangers that threatened its completion. And he considers how Shakespeare himself, before his death, may have influenced the ways in which his own public identity would come to be enshrined in the First Folio, shaping the transmission of his legacy to future generations and determining how the world would remember him ‘not of an age, but for all time’.

Dr Chris Laoutaris is an Associate Professor at The Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham), in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio (William Collins), which was a BBC History Magazine Book of the Year and a Financial Times Best Summer Book. In addition to his many academic publications, he has written Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe (Penguin), which was shortlisted for the Tony Lothian Prize for Biography, was an Observer Book of the Year, Telegraph Book of the Year, one of the New York Post’s ‘Must-Read Books’, and one of the Daily Telegraph’s top ten history holiday reads. Laoutaris is the recipient of the Morley Medal in English, two prestigious Post-Doctoral Fellowships (a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship and a Birmingham Fellowship), and his first poetry collection, Bleed and See (Broken Sleep Books),


Andrew Gant - Music from the Tudor Age

The Tudor era was a time of great cultural and artistic flourishing in England, and music played a significant role in this golden age. From the iconic sounds of Tudor courtly music to the popular melodies of the day, Tudor music captured the spirit of a royal era and continues to inspire and enchant us to this day.

Whether it was performed in grand palaces or humble taverns, Tudor music was a vibrant and diverse art form that reflected the social, political, and religious currents of the time. It was a time of transition and experimentation, as musical styles and instruments evolved to reflect changing tastes and influences.

Andrew Gant is a notable composer, conductor, and university lecturer. He has directed many leading choirs, including those of the Guards' Chapel, Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Her (now His) Majesty's Chapel Royal based at St James's Palace in London, where he led the choir at many state events. Andrew has published several books on musical topics. He lives in Oxford, where he is also involved in local politics.