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Durham University

Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Subscribe to our monthly North East Literature Events newsletter and we'll keep you posted. If you are a staff member or student and want to publicise your event, contact

Late Summer Lectures 2020

The Political Magnetism of Charles I

26th August 2020, 17:30 to 19:00, Online (Zoom), Kathleen Foy (Durham University) and Kimberley Foy (Durham University)

The second lecture in our Late Summer Lectures series is a panel which discusses the politics and intricacies behind the physical proximity of Charles I and his court from 1625-1640.

‘Thou hast wak’d/ A Lyoness’: Rousing the Vox Populi in James Shirley’s The Politician

Kathleen Foy (Durham University)

Charles I’s court kept all but his closest advisors at arm’s length. James Shirley, house dramatist to Queen Henrietta’s men, uses his plays, including his 1639 tragedy The Politician, to explore the relationship between the mind of the monarch and the body of his subjects. This lecture examines the dynamic between the body politic and the voices that shaped the push and pull of Charles I’s magnetic polarities.

The Caroline Re-Formation: Space, Choreography and Royal Iconography at the English Court

Kimberley Foy (Durham University)

‘Public’ and semi-’public’ diplomatic exchanges took place in the highly contrived spatial arrangement of Whitehall and other royal stages of the early Stuart court. Public proximity to the monarch was highly prized by courtiers and visitors alike. This lecture considers the transformative spatial choreography of Charles I’s court through the experience of visiting ambassadors.

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