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Dr Starkey Lecture

The Norton Knatchbull School was very lucky to host a lecture on the Reformation, by Dr David Starkey, at the school on Friday 26th July. David Starkey is probably the most famous British historian of the last forty years and his inspiring lecture, won him a number of new fans. Although Dr Starkey gave NKS students a glimpse of the provocative and charismatic personality which made him famous, it was his vast expertise, intellect and mastery of the historian’s craft which reminded everyone in the audience that he is far more than a TV and radio personality. The discursive talk, given as part of the NKS ThiNKS lecture programme, covered Luther, the Tudors and the printing press but set them into the context of the last one thousand years of English, British and European History. His lecture took in a variety of reference points including the Norman Conquest, the anatomy of Henry VIII, President Macron and Brexit. A number of students were able to meet with Dr Starkey after the event and debate his ideas with him. A parent of a Year 13 commented on their son’s experience,  “He seemed impressed by Dr Starkey’s overall breadth and depth of knowledge – not just on the particular topic. He was very appreciative of the opportunity and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, so 'thank you' to the school from us.” The event reminded students that the best historians in the public eye, like AJP Taylor before him, provoke discussion by probing tired assumptions and forcing the reappraisal of commonly held beliefs.  The school is very grateful to Dr Starkey for giving up his time to visit and also to the NKS Chair of Governors, David Race, for the idea in the first place.

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