Secondary GCSE

Some of the syllabuses offered by AQA and Edexcel reiterate Key Stage 3 topics, such as Early Elizabethan England. Germany from Weimar to the Nazis is a popular topic, as are The American West, Medicine through Time, or Crime and Punishment through Time. The Normans, elements of protest through the ages (Power and the People, 1170 – today), including Chartists and the more recent treatment of minority groups, come into it, and there is some overlap here with the Black Lives Matter movement and Black History Month.  Here the traditional Historical Association talks by experts can offer up-to-date scholarship to enhance study, although it is important to be aware of how different levels of understanding might depend on the need to build supportive frameworks of content knowledge as prior learning. The use of Zoom or live-streaming can bring experts into the school remotely, and this website can host pre-recorded talks for them to be accessed at a later date. Debate and discourse are important elements of historical learning, and questioning or even challenging an expert can be a rewarding experience. As with A-level inputs, help from an expert can be enhanced by the provision of reading lists that might be more up-to-date than on the course ‘blurb’ provided by the examination boards. Also, suggestions about useful sources and resources, including those available online, some of which may even be in the form of film, especially when provided by experts with experience of the cut-and-thrust of recent debates, can help both students and teachers.  

Here is an audio recording of The Early Elizabethan Crisis 1558-1569 by Dr Rebecca Emmett of the University of Plymouth. Please see details of the talks below.

Here are two other ways to access the talk: [Apple ID needed for access]

Or access through Google Drive: [a Google account may be needed for access]

This website was recommended by Dr Emmett: The Acts and Monuments Online [Foxe’s Book of Martyrs with images]:

This document was referred to: Henry VIII’s Last Will and Testament [note: Suzannah Lipscomb has written: The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII (2015, Head of Zeus).]

This book (available second-hand) was referred to (and recommended) in the talk: Mortimer Levine (Levine, M.) (1973) Tudor Dynastic Problems 1460-1571. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Thursday 11 March 2021 @ 5 pm (London time)

Exeter Branch of the Historical Association 

Topic: The Early Elizabethan Crisis 1558-1569

This supports doing aspects of Early Elizabethan England 1 – ‘Queen, Government and Religion 1558-1569’: Using sources and finding different interpretations 

Speaker: Dr Rebecca Emmett, School of Humanities and Performing Arts, University of Plymouth. Dr Emmett will focus on the early Elizabethan succession issue, Mary Queen of Scots and the nature of the religious dimensions affecting the course of events. A couple of primary sources for each sub-topic will be introduced. Dr Emmett has also been involved in advising about resources for next week’s session. 

Thursday 18 March 2021 @ 5 pm

Exeter Branch of the Historical Association 

Topic: Doing aspects of Early Elizabethan England 2 – ‘Elizabethan Society in the Age of Exploration 1558-1588’: Using sources and finding different interpretations

Time: Mar 18, 2021 05:00 pm (London time)

Speaker: Dr Robert Guyver, Branch Secretary and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter. This will examine two sets of contemporary sources (Hakluyt’s Voyages and, significantly, the work of Stephen Parmenius, see below) related to Elizabethan trade, exploration, colonisation, contact and associated tensions and conflicts. Following advice from last week’s speaker Dr Rebecca Emmett, this will explore two sets of interpretations. The first is Erzsébet Stróbl’s chapter: ‘A Vision on Queen Elizabeth’s Role in Colonizing America: Stephen Parmenius’s De Navigatione (1582)’. This was published in Colonization, Piracy, and Trade in Early Modern Europe – The Roles of Powerful Women and Queens, edited by Estelle Paranque, Nate Probasco, and Claire Jowitt (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 195-222, a volume in the ‘Queenship and Power’ series). The other scholarly interpretation is Ken MacMillan’s chapter: ‘Exploration, trade and empire’, in The Elizabethan World, edited by Susan Doran and Norman Jones (Routledge, 2014, pp. 646-662). To some extent this talk will tentatively seek to place these developments in frameworks that reflect European humanist thought (Parmenius was Hungarian) and anticipate the development of distinctive imperial modus operandi (Macmillan).

Here is an updated copy of the PowerPoint: