28. November 2019 - 19:00 till 20:00
Share it on:

The Song of Simon de Montfort - With Sophie Ambler (The London History Festival) | Kensington Central Library | Thursday, 28. November 2019

Welcome to the 11th annual London History Festival.
We are proud to present Sophie Ambler, the author of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry, in interview with Richard Foreman.

This is the story of an extraordinary man: Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, who in 1258 marched on the king's hall at Westminster and seized the reins of power. He established a council to rule in the king’s name, overturning the social order in a way that would not be seen again until the rule of Oliver Cromwell in the seventeenth century. Having defeated King Henry III at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, he and his revolutionary council ruled England for some fifteen months, until the enmity between the two sides exploded in August 1265, at Evesham. When the fighting was over, Montfort and a host of his followers had been cut down on the battlefield, in an outpouring of noble blood that marked the end of chivalry in England as it had existed since the Norman Conquest. 
Come along, enjoy a glass of wine and what promises to be a fantastic treat for all history buffs.

About the speaker: 
Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler is a historian of medieval Europe and the Crusades. She is a Lecturer in Medieval History at Lancaster University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She has appeared on radio and TV for BBC and Channel 4, and written for BBC History Magazine and The Historian. She divides her time between Lancaster and London.


"An astonishingly assured debut by an extremely talented young historian"

The challenges of writing a medieval biography are obvious. The sources are scant and the mindset of the subject is alien. Ambler succeeds triumphantly, however, by deploying a surprisingly rich variety of records, chronicles and letters – some never used before – to “reveal how Simon conceived of his identity, and his career in England, within the Montfort family tradition”... This is an astonishingly assured debut by an extremely talented young historian. Exhaustively researched and beautifully written, it traces the remarkable life of a military and political giant of the medieval period who has never been more convincingly portrayed.
-The Telegraph