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Durham University

Centre for Catholic Studies


An evening with Roy Hattersley on his new book 'The Catholics'

(9 October 2017)

Roy Hattersley

Durham University is to present an evening with Roy Hattersley, a prolific writer and former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, on Monday 16 October.

Roy Hattersley will discuss his new book The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and author of 25 books, the atheist peer was moved to write the book “because it is a great adventure story”.

The Catholics is a ‘tale of high drama and high stakes, by turns horrifying, romantic and ultimately hopeful’ (Peter Stanford, The Observer), telling the fascinating story of the survival of Catholicism in Britain and Ireland from the Reformation to the present day.

Roy Hattersley will be in conversation with Professor Paul D Murray, Dean-Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University.

The event is the first in the 2017/18 Ushaw Lecture Series. Organised by the University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Series celebrates the cultural and research significance of the remarkable bibliographical, archival and material-cultural collections at Ushaw, near Durham City, and the wider history of which they are expressions. The lectures cover music, art, drama, poetry and literature, architecture, material-culture, politics, science and theology.

Professor Murray said: “An evening of conversation with Roy Hattersley, prompted by his fascinating history of Catholicism in these isles, promises to be enlightening, entertaining and provocative in equal measure.

“It is the perfect start to this year’s Ushaw Lecture Series and would be an excellent introduction for any who have not previously had the opportunity to share in one of these very enjoyable events in the wonderful surroundings of the Exhibition Hall at Ushaw.”

The talk will take place at Ushaw at 6.00pm, starting with a drinks reception at 5.30pm.

Entry is free and open to all. Please register online at or by calling 0191 334 1656. For more information, please visit; and for more information on Ushaw, please visit