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We are delighted to partner with Guildford Book Festival for History Day on 2nd October. 

Four Renowned historians

We will be joined by four renowned historians to talk about their latest books. The day will include an opportunity to meet the authors and have your books signed as well as a light lunch. 

Author talks will take place in Place Farm Barn, with an opportunity to tour our medieval manor house and gardens at lunch time. 

What better place to explore history than at a house full of 1000 years of stories? Indeed, two of the History Day books touch directly on the history of West Horsley Place! Elizabeth I's favourite Sir Robert Dudley came to stay at WHP during the Queen's visit in 1559. One of our more famous stories is that of Sir Walter Raleigh's head,which found its way to WHP after his execution in 1618. 

The House of Dudley Book CoverJoanne Paul: The House of Dudley- A new History of Tudor England

Every Tudor monarch made their name with a Dudley by their side – or by crushing one beneath their feet. The Dudleys thrived at the court of Henry VII, but were sacrificed for the popularity of Henry VIII. Rising to prominence in the reign of Edward VI, they lost it all by advancing Lady Jane Grey to the throne over Mary I. Under Elizabeth I, the family were once again at the centre of power. This time they would do anything to remain there. With three generations of executed favourites, what caused this family to keep rising so high and falling so low? In the first ever biography of this ruthless, dashing and daring clan, and using the family as a prism for the Tudor world, Dr Paul challenges our perception of the most treacherous decades in English history.

Patriot or Traitor book coverAnna Beer: Patriot or Traitor- The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh

More than 400 years since the adventurer, poet and writer, was executed historian Anna Beer offers a fresh perspective on one of the most colourful characters of the Tudor and Stuart age. Ralegh’s social quick-wittedness and charm, as well as his seamanship, led him to become a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, one of the few permitted to enter The Privy Chamber. So how did he end up consigned to the Tower by her successor? This pacy and well-researched biography seeks to uncover the truth behind this problematic national hero, who polarised opinion, in his lifetime, and still creates controversy today.

Sir Walter Ralegh’s family lived at West Horsley Place after his death.

Marc Morris: The Anglo-Saxons- A History of the Beginnings of England

Marc Morris makes a welcome return to continue the story of the Anglo-Saxons. Ever since the Norman Conquest, the English have looked back to the Anglo-Saxon era with nostalgia. As a result, the period between 450 and 1066, when England first came into being, has always tended to be regarded as a golden age. Its kings were elected and its Church was more pristine. Women had better rights than they did later, and people in general enjoyed greater freedom. But how much of this is true, and how much of it is the product of wishful thinking? In this talk, historian Marc Morris examines the history behind these and other claims, sifts the contemporary evidence, and asks whether the reality bears any resemblance to the legend.

Essex Dogs book coverDan Jones: Essex Dogs

Global bestselling author, and one of our most entertaining and informative historians, Dan Jones makes his historical fiction debut with Essex Dogs, the explosive first instalment in an epic new trilogy set during the Hundred Years War. 

It’s 1346. The Hundred Years' War has begun, and King Edward III and his lords are on the march through France. But this war belongs to the men on the ground. Swept up in the bloody chaos, a tight-knit company from Essex must stay alive long enough to see their home again. With sword, mace and longbow, the Essex Dogs will fight, from the landing beaches of Normandy to the blood-soaked field of Crécy. Some men fight for glory. Others fight for coin. The Essex Dogs? They fight for each other.