Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Agitators and the Rise of Democracy

If you are in the Saffron Walden area over the next week do come along to some of the events being organised to commemorate the creation of Britain's first democratic movement 360 years ago when the New Model Army was billeted in and around the town in 1647. These events include a Dayschool, and also an evening of English Civil War poetry in the King's Arms:

"The tavern was the focus of social life and political intrigue in the 17th Century, and the clash of ideas that shook society during the Civil War were reflected in the literature of the time. Poetry was one popular outlet for emotions and ideas and this evening will feature poems from supporters of both Parliament and the King.

For the first time in over 300 years some of the bawdy tavern poems of the Saffron Walden Royalist William Winstanley will be read in their natural surroundings. Winstanley took part in the battle of Linton (1648) and went on to become one of the most prolific Restoration authors.

Among the other poets whose work will be read during the evening are Milton, Cleveland, Lovelace, Andrew Marvell and Aphra Behn. There may also be one or two surprises as members of the audience are invited to read their own favourite (short) poems from the period."

For details of these and all other events taking place during the week: