We meet monthly, during term time, on Wednesdays following the General Meeting between 12:30 and 14:00 at Hasbury.
The topic for the following term is chosen by the group discussing ideas that members of the group have suggested. Once the group have decided on a topic members volunteer to research a particular aspect within the topic and report their findings back to the group.
In the Spring Term we are looking at novels, biographies, history books, which show aspects of a particular period of history.
The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan.
Thomas Flanagan an American professor of Irish extraction wrote a trilogy of novels which are set at points in Irish history.
This book is based on a little known episode in 1798. There was a large scale revolt against British Rule. The novel concerns how the French revolutionary government sent a number of troops to land in Mayo on the opposite coast.
Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory.
It is the story of John Tradescant, a renowned naturalist, gardener, collector, and traveller who worked for several famous men.
The book gives an indicator of the political life at the time, including the Royal Court particularly the reigns of James 1st and Charles 1st. These two strands run in tandem throughout the novel.
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict.
The other Einstein looks at the life and times of the forgotten woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow.
She was Albert’s first wife who he promised to treat as an equal in both love and science. But is there room for more than one genius in a marriage?
The Seal Woman’s Gift by Sally Magnussun
The book concerns an almost completely unknown piece of 17th Century history.
Barbary pirates from the Mediterranean plundered coastal areas around Northern Europe (and America) taking and enslaving inhabitants in places like Algiers and Tunis in Northern Africa.
It was odd to think of this slave trade going both ways across the Atlantic.
Iceland was particularly hard hit.
Malcolm X, visits abroad, April 1964 – February 1965 by Marika Sherwood
Malcolm X after a troubled childhood and imprisonment became a Muslim on his release in 1952.
A gifted speaker he became the major spokesman for the Nation of Islam, indicting white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against African Americans.
On the 12th February 1965 Malcolm visited Smethwick. Smethwick was considered a hotbed of racial tension. Some residents of Marshall Street, where Malcolm visited were calling on the council to buy empty houses and make them available to white families only.
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