Diary for 2006

See a list of our past events

At a glance: Summer School on "Shakespeare's Secret"   Oxford Tolkien Conference


Summer School at St Benet's Hall, Oxford

Thursday 27 July to Thursday 3 August 2006

Shakespeare's Secret
Catholic Imagination in Elizabethan England

Tutor: Clare Asquith
author of Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
With guest lecturers including Peter Milward SJ, David Skinner, Joseph Milne, Robert Asch

Fr Peter Milward, himself one of the most world-renowned authorities on the Catholic interpretation of Shakepeare and author most recently of Shakespeare the Papist (Sapientia Press, 2005), writes as follows: "The name of Clare Asquith is gradually taking a leading place in a new wave of Shakespearian criticism that has come to characterize the academic world over the past twenty years, a wave that may be traced back to E.A.J. Honigmann's study of Shakespeare, the 'Lost Years'. The distinguished Thomas More scholar John Guy records it as his opinion (printed on the inner jacket of the book) that "Even if only half of Clare Asquith's argument turns out to be correct, she's written the most visceral, challenging, compelling book on Shakespeare's place in history we've had for over twenty years."

Provisional contents
Introduction to Elizabethan England
Introduction to William Shakespeare
Guided Tour of Oxford
Introductory Lecture by Clare Asquith
Excursion to Stratford – to see the RSC's production of The Tempest with Patrick Stewart
The Plays – a series of seminars with opportunities for discussion

Background reading: Clare Asquith on Shakespeare's Hidden Code
An interview with Clare Asquith

To reserve a place, print out and fill in this registration form

Further detailed information


Oxford Tolkien Conference

The Lord of the Rings: Sources of Inspiration

Exeter College, Oxford
Monday 21st to Friday 25th August 2006

Exeter College Oxford is the college where J.R.R. Tolkien was an undergraduate. In the year after his graduation he married, and served in the Battle of the Somme. The great mythopoeic work for which he would become famous was already germinating in his mind.

C.S. Lewis said of The Lord of the Rings: "The book is like lightning from a clear sky... To say that in it heroic romance, gorgeous, eloquent, and unashamed, has suddenly returned at a period almost pathological in its anti-romanticism, is inadequate... It marks not a return but an advance or revolution: the conquest of new territory. Nothing quite like it was ever done before." But how and why did the lightning strike? This international conference with speakers from Poland, France, Italy, Romania, and the USA will examine Tolkienís extraordinary achievement from a variety of angles, asking some of the leading specialists in the growing field of Tolkien Studies to discover the main sources of his inspiration and influences upon the work.

The Oxford Tolkien Conference website