Charles II is one of England's most instantly recognisable monarchs: flowing dark ringlets and sumptuous Cavalier costume renders his distinctive image a byword for the Restoration's flamboyant court culture, lascivious lifestyle and theatrical productions.
Charles II was, however, also an individual who experienced traumatic upheaval in his early life and, during the civil wars, saved his life precisely by disguising his royal majesty and posing as a humble servant. Spending more than a decade in foreign exile during the Cromwellian republic of the 1650s, Charles became an instinctively guarded and secretive political operator, later described by Gilbert Burnet as having 'the greatest art of concealing himself of any man alive'.
This lecture considers Charles II's consummate capacity for performance in the light of the brief attached to the Penguin Monarchs series: to write 'innovative and provocative histories of Britain's rulers'.
Dr Clare Jackson is Senior Tutor of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. After leaving Loretto School in Edinburgh, she studied History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, researched a master's degree at the University of Aberystwyth and returned to Cambridge for her PhD.
She moved to Trinity Hall as Director of Studies in History in 2000, where she is currently the College's Senior Tutor. Interested in the rich and complex history of 17th century Britain, 'Charles II' (2016) is her most recent book in the 'Penguin Monarchs' series. She is currently writing a history of Continental European perceptions of Stuart England from c.1585 to c.1715 for Penguin.
As well as contributing regularly to BBC Radio 4 programmes such as 'In our Time', she presented a three-part BBC2 series on 'The Stuarts' in 2014 and a two-part sequel on 'The Stuarts in Exile' in 2015.
Blue Badge parking is available in the East Car Park. The doors to East Building are automatic and there is level access to the lecture theatre.