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Between 1648 and 1660, England became a new country. The change was little short of apocalyptic and altered the nation more than in any decade before or since. The king was executed, the monarchy and the House of Lords abolished, and the Church of England changed beyond all recognition.
Using a series of contemporary men and women as vantage points, Anna Keay charts the extraordinary story of the republic of Britain.
Ranging from the corridors of Westminster to the common fields of England, from the radicals in power to the banished royalists and from the dexterous mandarins to the trembling religious visionaries, she illuminates a world in which a new ideology struggled to take root in a scarred landscape. It is the story of what happened when a conservative people tried revolution.
‘We are delighted to welcome Anna Keay back to the Royal Hospital for the 2022 Chelsea History Festival. Anna has an in-depth knowledge of 17th century history – and in particular the period during which the Royal Hospital was founded.
‘In this talk, she throws new light on what life was like in a country where the structures of power had radically changed. This made me realise how what we think has been here forever has been through many changes and may not be as permanent as we assume.’
CEO, Royal Hospital Chelsea
Anna Keay has worked as a curator for Historic Royal Palaces, and as Properties Presentation and then Curatorial Director of English Heritage, responsible for curating and presenting to the public 420 historic sites across England, from Stonehenge to Kenwood House. She is now Director of The Landmark Trust.
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