Three Lions (with Blue Tongues)


Residential course

Jonathan Rodell

25 November 2022 to 27 November 2022

4:00 pm to 2:00 pm

From £252 Non-residential fee

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History is not, as Alan Bennett once teased, ‘Just one ****** thing after another’ but rather a carefully crafted narrative of necessarily selective facts.

The National Curriculum in English schools is unapologetic in setting out its aim to give children a history that traces the development of ‘Church, State and Society’ and Britain’s ‘place in the world’ up to the crowning glory of ‘the Second World War and the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill’.  Other histories of England, however, are possible…..

We will discuss the history of another England, the common people, the nonconformists, women, and the struggle for change against vested interest – the  English history of EP Thompson, Asa Briggs and Raphael Samuel’s History Workshop.  As well as looking at the work of a new generation of historians who are trying to create a narrative that takes account of England’s interaction with the wider world through migration and the grim centuries of empire.

Jonathan will be offering the three narratives and asking questions about what difference it makes to the here and now which one of them we teach our children and commemorate.

Many years ago Channel 4 produced a ground-breaking history of Wales in which a Whig historian and a Marxist argued over every century of Welsh history – it was called The Dragon Has Two Tongues.  Three lions with their blue tongues are obviously a nod to that title, but they also amuse because, of course, this emblem of modern English nationalism began its life as the heraldic emblem of the Dukes of Anjou.

Residential Fees From: £376.   Non Residential: £252

Course runs from Dinner on Friday to Lunch on Sunday.

Tutor information

Dr Jonathan Rodell studied History at Pembroke College, Cambridge before going on to complete a PhD on popular religion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  He was a Visiting Fellow at Southern Methodist University, Dallas and is a tutor at Madingley Hall, the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education.  His published works include The Rise of Methodism: a study of Bedfordshire 1736-1851 and he is currently working on a volume about religion in Victorian London tentatively titled City of God.

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