2020 marks the 500th anniversary of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, one of the most extraordinary diplomatic events of the late medieval period. Although commonly regarded as a ‘peace festival’, the meeting might more usefully be described as a two-week long war game.
The lecture will set the Field in context, examine the crucial role played by Cardinal Wolsey in organising it, and the spectacular temporary structures built to house the event. It will offer insights into the history of sixteenth-century Anglo-French relations, and of the European Renaissance monarchy more generally.
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