The Day Parliament Burned Down – Caroline Shenton

In the evening of 16th October 1834 huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament.  In front of thousands of witnesses the conflagration destroyed Parliament’s glorious old buildings and their contents.    This lecture takes the audience through the gripping hour by hour story with a particular focus on the oils and watercolours of the scene produced by JMW Turner.

Dr Caroline Shenton is an archivist and historian. She was formerly Director of the Parliamentary Archives in London, and before that was a senior archivist at the National Archives. Her book The Day Parliament Burned Down won the Political Book of the Year Award in 2013 and Mary Beard called it ‘microhistory at its absolute best’. Its acclaimed sequel, Mr Barry’s War, about the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, was a Book of the Year in 2016 for The Daily Telegraph and BBC History Magazine and was described by Lucy Worsley as ‘a real jewel, finely wrought and beautiful’. Caroline was Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library in 2017, has appeared at the Cheltenham, Hay and Henley literary festivals and on BBC radio and TV.

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