The White Ship: an online talk by Earl Spencer

Thursday 10 June 2021 16:00 - 17:00

To coincide with the day on which 'The White Ship' is released in paperback, Charles Spencer will take up the themes of his book: conquest, anarchy and the wrecking of Henry I's dream.

Charles Spencer will chart the lead-up to, and focal point of, one of the greatest disasters that England has ever suffered and its repercussions which continue to affect Europe to this day.

In 1120 of Henry I’s ship was rammed into rocks by its drunken helmsman, drowning Henry’s son and heir William in the process. Violent civil war followed; a game of thrones witnessing English and Norman barons, rebellious Welsh princes and the Scottish king all playing a part in a bloody, desperate scrum for power.

A history graduate and former American television on-air journalist, Earl Spencer began his history writing career publishing books about his own family. He has appeared recently on the BBC to present a three-part series Charles I: Downfall of a King.

Earl Spencer served as a Page of Honour to HM the Queen in the 1970s and has been one of her Deputy Lieutenants for Northamptonshire since 2005. He is the brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and his family seat is Althorp in Northamptonshire. His family is the nineteenth generation to live in the five-hundred-year-old house.

Tickets and times

Full ticket details, including the opportunity to order a signed and dedicated copy of The White Ship, are coming soon.

  • Thursday 10th June 2021 at 4.00pm (UK time)
    The 45 minute talk will be followed by questions from the audience.

​To receive an email alert as soon as tickets go on sale, please email

A Zoom link to the talk will be sent to ticket holders just before the event.

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