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Historical writing explored at Warwick Words History Festival

Warwick Words FestivalWarwick Words History festival will showcase three University of Warwick academics in venues around the historic town of Warwick.

David Taylor, Associate Professor of English, Dr Kate Astbury, Reader in French Studies and Mark Philp, Professor of History and Politics will be holding free talks on the rich history of literature and history themed topics that are open to the public.

The Festival will host authors and guest speakers in the beautiful historic buildings of Warwick and will focus on history and historical writing, fact and fiction.

David TaylorDavid Taylor, Associate Professor of English at the University of Warwick will discuss A Shakespearean History of the Political Cartoon on 29 October at 4:00pm. He said:

“Political cartoonists have been quoting and parodying Shakespeare’s works since the mid-eighteenth century. Looking across three centuries of these images, which refer to plays such as Macbeth and The Tempest again and again, this talk will explore just how profoundly Shakespeare’s narratives and characters shape the way we see and understand the political world.”

David’s work focuses on British literature and culture of the eighteenth century and is especially concerned with the relationship between literature, visual culture, and parliamentary politics.

To reserve a place:

Kate AstburyDr Kate Astbury, Reader in French Studies at the University of Warwick, will discuss Napolean’s Theatrical Body on 5 November at 4:00 pm. She said:

“While Napoleon was Emperor he carefully controlled the way his image was used but once he was removed from power in 1814, French print makers and pamphleteers were finally able to represent him satirically. They repeatedly portrayed the former Emperor as a theatrical character, as a source of popular fairground entertainment in order to heighten the contrast between him and King Louis XVIII. This talk will show how Napoleon was then able to turn the theatrical imagery to his advantage when he audaciously returned to power in 1815.”

Last year in the run up to the bicentenary of Waterloo Dr Astbury co-curated an online exhibition on Napoleon’s return to power and is currently leading a research team looking at French theatre during the Napoleonic era.

To reserve a place:

Mark PhilpMark Philp is Professor of History and Politics at the University of Warwick will discuss Justice and Family Care for the Aged on 26 November at 4:00pm. He asks,

“Can historical and philosophical insights help us better to understand the difficulties that arise for families in caring for their ageing parents and to identify approaches and solutions that are more sensitive to the difficulties that many families face as their parents reach old age?”

Mark works across a range of areas in 18th century history and culture, and on contemporary political theory, especially with respect to ethics and standards in public life.

To reserve a place:

It is hoped the festival will bring together authors and readers in the town to celebrate not just the rich history and literature of Warwick itself and the county of Warwickshire, but also to showcase thought provoking history-themed topics.

The full Festival programme is now available:


Alex Buxton: Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick

Tel: 02476 150423
Mob: 07876 218166