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The John Rylands Research Institute

Annual Lecture 2017

8 February 2017

Professor Michael Wood to deliver the Institute's 2017 Annual Lecture

Professor Michael Wood, Professor of Public History, University of Manchester will deliver a lecture entitled: 'The Anglo-Saxons and the Making of England'.

It is often forgotten, but the roots of England lie before the Norman Conquest: the foundations of the English state were laid by three generations of the Wessex royal family; Alfred the Great, his son Edward and daughter Aethelflaed, and his grandson Aethelstan.

In this illustrated talk - which will include not just the manuscript treasures of The University of Manchester's Special Collections at The John Rylands library but also Ladybird books and cigarette cards - Michael Wood shows how these rulers made their England by using the ideas of Europe's first renaissance, the Carolingian.

Even more than the Tudors, he will argue, they were the most gifted and influential royals in English history.

Without them, the story of Britain might have been radically different: no English state perhaps; no English law, nor English ideas about government; and maybe the English language would not be the world's language?

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