David Starkey talk at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange: The Tudors and Us

David Starkey
David Starkey

Those who think history is a dry and boring subject should have gone along to David Starkey’s lecture in Lynn Corn Exchange.

Eminent historian Dr Starkey was funny and fascinating as he outlined the similarities between ourselves and the society of Henry VIII in his Tudors and Us show.

The Tudors is always an enduring historical period for us with more blood, sex and treachery than any modern soap opera. I think of it as Dallas with codpieces rather than shoulder pads.

It is hard to believe that we could be seeing any social changes similar to those witnessed by Tudor society but I was wrong.

On the night after his appearance on the BBC’s Question Time, Dr Starkey compared the impact of printing on Tudor society to how the internet has revolutionised our lives.

He also made his points accessible by comparing modern characters to Tudor counterparts, such as Fergie to one of Henry VIII’s wives, Kathryn Howard, and, surprisingly, Henry VIII to UKIP leader Nigel Farage!

But Henry VIII was an equal opportunist – he welcomed women’s involvement in politics but was also happy lopping off their heads for treason.

One of the other interesting facts which I have been reeling out to my friends and family since the talk on Friday, was the popular image we have of Anne Boleyn is an Elizabethan fabrication! Apparently the unlucky Queen had a double chin. Maybe my hopes of attracting Prince Harry does not mean I have to give up the doughnuts!

During this talk and the proceeding question and answer session, Dr Starkey gave a fascinating window into the lives of these immense historical figures.

With no props or aides, he kept the audience fascinated with his passion for the period. A real treat to watch!