Festival talks by Sam Willis

99. HISTORIES OF THE UNEXPECTED

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How is the history of the beard connected to the Crimean War? What links zebras to the Second World War? How is the history of bubbles all about the French Revolution? Sam Willis and James Daybell will take us on a journey of discovery that tackles some of the greatest historical themes – from the Tudors to the Second World War, from the Roman Empire to the Victorians – but via entirely unexpected subjects.

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78. THE SPANISH ARMADA

In 1585 Spain was the most powerful empire in the known world. As tensions between Protestant England and Catholic Spain grew, Spain decided to invade England and so launched the Spanish Armada. Sam Willis will give a thrilling account that will explain how the English managed to overthrow the Spanish invasion; who the key figures were and the tactics, triumphs and failures on both sides.

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