Tudor talk concludes ‘Then and Now’ series

Another edition of the Then and Now lecture series ended in style with a mix of education, Halloween tricks and treats that marked a fitting end to the 2012 Fanfare season.
Dr. William Robison, department head for the department of History and Political Science, presented his annual Halloween lecture on Oct. 31 in Pottle Auditorium at 1 p.m. The title of this lecture was “Battling, Bedding, Burning and Beheading: True Tales of Terror from Tudor Times,” where Robison mixed video, pictures and speech to present bone-chilling stories from the Tudor period of English history.
With a bit of theatricality and humor, Robison presented a lecture that was informative, funny and well received.
“I try to mix them up. I try to do it in class among other things,” said Robison. “This is just a chance to be silly; I mean it is Halloween.”
True to his word, there were plenty of instances when the Auditorium was filled with laughter. The lecture also tied in with the upcoming release of Robison’s new book that he co-authored with Sue Parrill, professor emeritus of English, titled “The Tudors on Film and Television.”
Robison used a number of video clips to relay his stories of terror. He talked about war and the gruesome medical practices of the time, sex and the rampant spread of Syphilis, burning at the stake and the use of the chopping block to remove the heads of traitors. Robison pointed out how the film and television portrayal of the Tudors did not fit with the reality.
Robison ended the series with the traditional throwing of candy to the crowd.
Looking back on the lecture series, Robison was pleased with how well they were received.
“I thought it went really well. We really didn’t have any that weren’t well attended or that didn’t go down well,” said Robison. “Rebecca Murray did that one on Harry Potter, which was really well received. David Kennedy from Stanford was fabulous. Charles [Elliot] was very good. Joe Burns was just fabulous and of course Mike Kurtz is always good so I’m really happy with all of them.”
Students who missed the opportunity to see the Halloween lecture this year will undoubtedly have the chance next year.
“They keep letting me do this, so as long as they keep letting me, I will,” said Robison.
The department of History of Political Science will be hosting their next lecture on Nov. 12 in honor of Veterans Day.