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TALKING OF HISTORY by Berwick Coates Number 2
CARDINAL WOLSEY The Last Great Medieval Minister
‘Built Hampton Court, didn`t he?’
It seems odd that people can say so little about a man who ran the country so comprehensively that he was once described by an observer as a ‘second king’.
Henry VIII, as everyone knows, or thinks he knows, spent his reign getting married and divorced or chopping off his wives' heads. But for the first twenty years of his reign,he was in fact married to the same woman all the time, nor did he chop off her head in the end.
And for most of those twenty years, he was served - very well served - by the same man.
Why is it that Wolsey is not better known?
Berwick Coates holds an honours degree in History from Cambridge University, and has been studying, teaching, writing, and talking about History for forty years. He has presented History to all abilities, all ages, and all walks of life.
He has published five books, and is working on a trilogy of historical novels about eleventh-century Normandy, as well as a historical whodunit about the Crusades.
‘After a lifetime spent getting people interested in History, it is my belief that there is no substitute for the spoken word. People like being talked to. And they like to know where they come from. History gives us our roots; without roots, nothing grows.'
‘It is also my belief that people will tackle the most complicated topics if those topics are presented with care, timing, sympathy, and humour. These talks may start with a light touch – even perhaps a superficial one – but that is only to get you on board. From then on, all I ask you to do is listen, and enjoy the ride.'
‘After many of my previous talks, people have come up to me and said, “I wish I had had History presented like this when I was at school.” Well, now is your chance to catch up.’
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