While I was in Saskatoon last week, CTV news visited my book signing at the University of Saskatchewan. I was interviewed about the my book Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights and the cultural impact of Magna Carta.
While Magna Carta is on display at Fort York in Toronto, I will be delivering a series of lectures based on my book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights, at the historic Blue Barracks, which will be transformed into the Runnymede pub for the duration of the Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy exhibition. Here is the lecture schedule:
October 7 and 8: King John and the Making of Magna Carta
Wednesday, October 7, 2 – 3 p.m.
Thursday, October 8, 8 – 9 p.m. (Pub open 6 – 10 pm)
When King John’s rebel barons presented him with terms of Magna Carta, they did not see themselves as revolutionaries but as guarantors of traditional English rights and customs. King John’s predecessors issued Coronation Charters promising to uphold traditional English customs and the rights of the barons and clergy. When King John refused to uphold these traditions and his barons rebelled, he was presented with Magna Carta, the first example of a king accepting limits on his power imposed by his subjects. Tickets are available here.
October 14 and 15: King Edward I “Longshanks” and Magna Carta in 1300
Wednesday, October 14, 2 – 3 p.m.
Thursday, October 15, 8 – 9 p.m (Pub open 6 – 10 pm)
Today, Edward I – known as Longshanks for his great height – is best known as the villain of Mel Gibson’s 1995 film Braveheart but in his own lifetime, he earned the respect of his English subjects through his military victories in Scotland and Wales. The King’s wars required the financial and military support of his people. In exchange for taxes and troops, Edward I’s subjects expected him to accept the terms of Magna Carta and Edward I reissued the document numerous times during his reign. Clauses from the Edward I’s Magna Carta remain on the Statute Books in the UK. Tickets are available here.
October 21 and 22: Magna Carta and the Making of the Modern World
Wednesday, October 21, 2 – 3 p.m.
Thursday, October 22, 8 – 9 p.m. (Pub open 6 – 10 pm)
In Tudor times, Magna Carta fell into obscurity and became an obscure legal document. A strong monarch seemed necessary to protect England for external threats and Shakespeare’s play, King John, does not even mention the Great Charter. Magna Carta emerged from obscurity because of the legal writing of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) who argued that document was the foundation of all English liberties. Coke’s interpretation of Magna Carta informed the American and French Revolutions and the development of modern Canada, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Tickets are available here.
Click here to purchase my book Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights
My article on Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the cousin of King Charles II who became the first Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, is the cover story for the October-November issue of Canada’s History Magazine. In the article, I discuss Rupert’s adventure filled life including his escape from Prague during the 30 Years War as a child, his victories and defeats as a cavalier general during the English Civil Wars, his time as privateer in the royalist navy and his meeting with explorers Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers that led to the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Here is my schedule of Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights book signings and lectures in Saskatchewan September 28 and 29, 2015. All are welcome:
September 28: Saskatoon
September 29: Regina
7pm “Magna Carta and the Making of the World” lecture at the University of Regina, Dr. John Archer Library
Click here to purchase Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights
Czar Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) wanted to open up Russia to the rest of Europe. In 1703, he ordered the building of a new capital on the Baltic Sea that was unlike any other Russian city. St. Petersburg would be Peter the Great’s window to the west and the setting for some of the most dramatic moments in Russian history. The lecture will include images of Imperial Russian art and architecture as well as photographs from my 2013 visit to St. Petersburg.
I will be signing copies of my book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights at Chapters Moncton, New Brunswick on Wednesday September 16 from 6:30-8:30pm. All are welcome!
My column in today’s Globe and Mail, The Queen of Canada marks a special anniversary, compares the impact of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II on Canadian politics, history and culture. As female heads of state, their example encouraged other women to enter the political realm, campaigning for votes for women in Victoria’s reign and running for office in Elizabeth II’s reign.
The Magna Carta Canada exhibition opens at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg on August 15. I will be in Winnipeg from August 13 to 16 signing books and giving talks about impact of Magna Carta on history, politics and law. If you’re in Winnipeg, come to the McNally Robinson bookstore or the Canadian Museum of Human Rights for a book talk and signing!
Here’s my schedule:
Friday August 14 2015 7:00 pm: Speaking and Signing at McNally Robinson bookstore
Saturday August 15 2015 2:00pm: “Magna Carta and the Modern World” lecture at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Sunday August 16 2015 2:00pm “Women and Magna Carta” lecture at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Click here to purchase the book:Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights
My most recent interview with Janet Davison at CBC news discusses the Royal Archives and Canadian history. The archives contain documents concerning Queen Victoria’s 4th daughter, Princess Louise that are currently inaccessible to researchers. These restrictions have fueled speculation that the Princess had a secret son before she married Lord Lorne, who was Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.
I do not believe the rumors about Princess Louise’s personal life because she was present at Queen Victoria’s court and made public appearances during the period when the supposed pregnancy and birth took place. Nevertheless, this speculation has informed a recent popular biography of the Princess and contributed to interest in making the contents of the Royal Archives more accessible to researchers.
For more on Princess Louise and her impact on the Canadian monarchy, see my book chapter, “Royalty at Rideau Hall: Lord Lorne, Princess Louise and the Emergence of the Canadian Crown” in Canada and the Crown: Essays on Constitutional Monarchy
Click here to see The Canadian Non-Fiction Globe and Mail Bestseller List
Click here to purchase a copy of Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada: Democracy, Law, and Human Rights