Monthly Archives: July 2017

  1. Book of the Month

    Our book of the month for July is Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years by John Guy; one of the most revealing biographies of Elizabeth I to be released in recent years. 

    John Guy is well respected as one of Britain’s great historians, with an expert knowledge of the Tudor period. As a Fellow of Clare College he has undertaken lots of scholarly research, with his PhD focussing on Cardinal Wolsey. He has written various books about the Tudor period including the award winning biography of Mary Queen of Scots, ‘My Heart is My Own’. He still teaches at Cambridge University, however he does this part time to give him the opportunity to work on his writing alongside his broadcasting career.

    Read more »
  2. CD of the Month

    Our CD of the month for July is William Byrd: The Great Service which was recorded by the Westminster Abbey Choir in February of 2005.  The recording was conducted by James O’Donnell and features Robert Quinney playing the Westminster Abbey organ.

    William Byrd was born in England around 1540 and lived through the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, Elizabeth I and James I, all of whom are buried in Westminster Abbey. He was famed as a Renaissance composer who wrote sacred music to be used in Anglican services. It is thought that he may have been a chorister as a child and his first known compositions can be seen to date back to his teenage years. Despite being raised as a Protestant and composing Anglican music he...

    Read more »
  3. Jane Austen 200

    This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen. To mark the occasion, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Jane Austen’s House Museum and various institutions around the country are holding a special series of events throughout the year. To honour their celebration, this week’s blog is all about the life and work of Jane Austen and the legacy she left behind for generations to come. 

    Austen’s father, George, was a country clergyman and so she was born in the rectory at Steventon in Hampshire on 16th December 1775. She lived the first 25 years of her life in Hampshire and it is thought that her life there provided her with the inspiration to create many of her most colourful characters and romantic locations.  In 1801, following her father’s retirement, the family moved to Bath which also provided inspiration for...

    Read more »
  4. World Chocolate Day

    Today marks World Chocolate Day celebrating one of the most beloved foods in the world. Chocolate has been enjoyed by people as far back as 1900BC, when fermented beverages were made from it. It didn’t spread to Europe until the sixteenth century, however despite this late start its popularity has grown so much that around half of the chocolate consumed in the world is eaten by Europeans.  There have been many claims to the therapeutic benefits of eating chocolate due to it containing chemicals which can relax you; however as with all good things it should be enjoyed in moderation. 


    Westminster Abbey Chocolate Bars

    Here at Westminster Abbey we stock many sweet treats for...

    Read more »