Professor Sir Richard Evans delivers 2014 All Party Group lecture

World War One lecture delivered in Houses of Parliament on 25 November

Professor Sir Richard Evans gave the 2014 All Party Group on Archives and History annual lecture on 25 November in the Houses of Parliament.

lecture2014RE249x166Professor Evans, a historian of modern European History spoke on Politics and the Great War: A European and Global Perspective to an audience of MPs, Lord,  historians and archivists in the Grand Committee Room.

This was the fourth All Party Group annual lecture: in 2011 Lord (Peter) Hennessy spoke about government records; in 2012 Professor Michael Slater spoke about Charles Dickens and his links with Parliament as a reporter and as a campaigner; and in 2013 Professor Malcolm Chase spoke about the Chartists,  175 years since the People’s Charter. As Chair of the All Party Group Dr Hywel Francis MP said, introducing Professor Evans: ‘this year, rightly, we have a lecture about the First World War’.

Professor Evans spoke of the first global war as the ‘Pandora’s Box of the 20th century – letting loose chaos’. He touched on the military, diplomatic and social aspects of the  war, making the point that no single country involved in the conflict had an aim or vision ‘when they started’. He dispelled some common misunderstandings: that England was democratic and that Germany was not; that Japan was an enemy of England in WWI. 

lecture2014HFREone240x166Professor Evans is Regius Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cambridge, President of Wolfson College and Provost of Gresham College, London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was knighted in 2012 for Services to Scholarship.  Among his highly acclaimed publications are his three volume history of the Third Reich published between 2003 and 2008: The Coming of the Third Reich; The Third Reich in Power; and The Third Reich at War. This trilogy has been described as the most comprehensive history of the rise and fall of Hitler’s regime ever produced by a single scholar. Antony Beevor called his work ‘a masterpiece of historical scholarship’.

Photographs: Simon O'Connor for the ARA. Above: Professor Sir Richard Evans. Below: with Dr Hywel Francis MP.