On the evening of Tuesday 14th May, a group Sixth Form historians gathered to hear a talk by Alex Courtney, who having completed his doctorate at Cambridge is currently teaching at the Perse School. Following appearances on TV he has established himself as one of the country’s leading authorities on James I.
After a convivial dinner, Alex gave a brilliant and truly enlightening presentation on James’s ideas of kingship. Whilst some of the examples, case studies and arguments may have been familiar to students from A Level lessons, Alex delved into James’s intellectual hinterland in ‘undergraduate level’ depth, substantiating his points with forensic references to contemporary documents, and by doing so, he gave students a valuable insight into the nature of the subject at university.
Following the talk, which was very well received, there were a number of thoughtful questions and speaking personally, I have been left with much to ponder concerning individuals such as Anna of Denmark- James’s wife- who is clearly much more important than I had hitherto suspected! I shall also look forward to discussing with our A Level historians the extent to which Charles I’s ideas of kingship derived from his father. We shall await Alex’s biography of James I, which is due out next year, with interest!
Mr Rakesh Pathak
Felsted's Head of History