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Friday, 1st December &
Saturday, 2nd December 2017
8pm - 10pm
Doors open at 7:30pm, licenced bar
St Leonard's Church, Catworth
Church Road, PE28 0PA
Tickets: Adults £6.50/ Under16s £4.00
Wenceslaus Duke of Bohemia has invited the lords and ladies for Christmas feasting at his Castle. Ruling over a Duchy in this period of Christianisation is hard when some do not want change and resolutely stick to pagan beliefs. Harder still when some oppose his Ducal Authority and his decision to place Bohemia under the protection of Henry, the Saxon King of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. Yule and Christmas were celebrated by feasting for more than the twelve days of Christmas the two beliefs being intertwined.
Having taken control from his mother Drahomira a few years earlier the Duke allows her back from exile for Christmas. Boleslav his younger brother and his mother’s favourite, is cruel jealous and thinks Wenceslaus too weak to rule Bohemia. They scheme to overthrow Wenceslaus, Boleslav is prepared to go above and beyond to get what he wants and even Drahomira has a change of heart.
For Boleslav blood ties mean nothing. Wenceslaus must realise that being a good leader requires a different sort of strength and face the fact that kinship counts for nothing in the eyes of his brother.
There is much feasting to celebrate Christ’s birth at the table of Duke Wenceslaus and for those who celebrate the spirits of Christmas. When it goes wrong he sees that some people are just evil through and through and no amount of kindness and leniency will change them.
Robert Winder, The Last Wolf
Saturday, 2nd December, 7:45pm
St Peter's Church, Oundle, PE8 4AL
What sort of a place is England? And who are the English? As the United Kingdom turns away from its European neighbours, and begins to look increasingly disunited at home, it is becoming necessary to ask what England has that is singular and its own.
In 1290 a Shropshire knight named Peter Corbet killed the last wolf in England’s western shires. The impact was immediate and profound: England became a vast and wealthy sheep farm, landholding on a grand scale became possible, commercial life was transformed, and a recognizable national culture began to emerge.
Revisiting the themes of his seminal book about immigration in Britain, Bloody Foreigners, Robert Winder’s The Last Wolf travels across modern England, looking deeper into history and nature to explore the origins of modern England and Englishness. It is often assumed that a national identity must be a matter of values and ideas but, in this brilliantly written account, Winder reveals a land built on a lucky set of natural ingredients.
Robert Winder was literary editor of the Independent for five years. His works of nonfiction include Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain and The Little Wonder: The Remarkable Story of Wisden