In the last episode, David Dimbleby looks at how the 20th century saw ordinary Britons upturning ancient power structures and class hierarchies. The catalyst was the First World War, which embroiled the whole nation and called traditional values into question.
The story of the British Empire from 1750 to 1900, revealed through its art and treasures. David Dimbleby travels through Britain, America and India, tracing the descent from adventure and inspiration into moral bankruptcy as the Empire became a self-serving bureaucratic machine.
In the 18th century, the triumph of commerce led to the emergence of a new ‘middle’ class, a group of people who craved pleasure and novelty, and developed its own tastes in art. The result was a golden age in painting, with Hogarth, Reynolds and Gainsborough reinventing the British style.
In the 17th century, when the people of Britain learned to question everything. The result was the Civil War, in which everyone, including artists, had to take sides. Out of it came a reinvented monarchy, a scientific revolution and, ultimately, the great Cathedral of St Paul’s.
This episode looks at the Tudors and spans from Henry VIII’s accession in 1509 to the first performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII exactly 100 years later.
Queen, lover, mother, outcast, victim and survivor – this is how historian and series narrator David Starkey assigns the roles of the six wives of Britain’s most famous monarch Henry VIII in the sexual intrigue and cut-throat power politics of his long reign from 1509 to 1547. The series The Six Wives of Henry VIII takes a fresh approa...