Toni Talks

I'm an experienced speaker with many topics to interest your group - for special events I can dress in authentic period costume too.

...from a 20 minute chat to a 20 week course...

Everyday life in medieval England is my specialist subject:

Medieval Housewives*

This is my most popular talk, with anecdotes, recipes and shopping, we look at the lives of ordinary folk in the middle ages, including the instructions given by an elderly husband to his new young wife, plus child care, food and fashion.

October 2017

Thank you so much for coming to our Women of Weald (WOW) meeting yesterday. You certainly has us all enthralled....especially at the notes written by a [medieval] husband for his wife!!

Other popular Medieval talks include:

  • 1066 and all that - King Harold II, the last Saxon King
  • Hereward the Wake - Mythical Legend or freedom fighter?
  • Magna Carta 1215-2015 - 800 years of democracy
  • Medieval Merchants & Men of Trade - some well known names from the middle ages
  • Everyday Life in Medieval London* - how people lived in our biggest city
  • Medieval Medicine* - a fascinating and frightening subject
  • Medieval Food - what did people eat before potatoes, tomatoes and chillies

*This is also the subject of one of my books

  • Christmas in the Middle-ages - Christmas without turkey, roast potatoes, crackers, cards and Father Christmas

December 2017

The talk was so enjoyable, giving an insight as to how our Christmas customs have been passed down the ages from Medieval times. You tell it in such an entertaining way. A splendid talk.

NWKFHS Datford

  • The Apothecary’s Tale - what was in the medieval chemist's' shop?
  • Medieval Gravesend - despite what you think the name dates from before the Doomsday book, look back to Anglo-saxon Greivsham and the surrounding parishes
  • Richard III – King of Controversy* - he reigned for little more than two years but his reputation has stretched over 500 years

*This is also the subject of one of my books

Tudor and Elizabethan Subjects:

  • Henry VIII - Hero or Villain? Henry had more reasons than lust to divorce and behead, could he have been a hero, or was he just a villain?
  • The English Reformation
  • 'Bloody Mary' Tudor - England's first Queen regnant, why did she marry a Spanish king?
  • Tudor & Stuart Dining
  • Tudor Medicine
  • Princess Pocahontas - this Disney Princess had a much more important role in American history - meet the real woman

Victorian Britain

  • Mrs Beeton’s Victorian Christmas*

or

  • Mrs Beeton’s Summer Picnics You may have an image of Mrs Beeton as a little frumpy old lady, dressed like Queen Victoria but that was not quite the case
  • Murder Most Foul the gruesome tales of crime, punishment and Policing in Victorian Britain
  • They Dared to be Doctors* the fascinating story of the first Victorian ladies to succeed in a man’s world…
  • Votes for Women It seems incredible but less than 100 years ago British women still could not vote. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the Peoples Act, when property owning women aged over 30 got the vote. In the General Election of that year only 58% of adult men were eligible to vote as they too had to be property owning and 'educated'
  • Charles Darwin - his life, voyages and his 'Origins of Species'

*This is also the subject of one of my books

Other subjects:

  • Adventure in Writing - my "author talk" about writing fiction and the creation of my Seb Foxley medieval murder mystery series.


  • The Apothecary’s Garden - the history of natural remedies up to modern times

Sebastian Foxley

  • A Guided Tour of Historic Rochester (either on foot, including refreshments if you wish, or fully illustrated)
  • Restoration London 1660-1785
  • Restoration Rochester (including the Dutch raids on the Medway)
  • The History of Colours (including colours in nature, art and history)
  • Edith Cavell WW1 Spy? Executed in Belgium in 1915 was she a spy or an inspiration to us all?
  • Ration-book Britain - how we lived in the 40s & 50s and how the modern housewife was taught to look after her husband!
  • 17th century Men of Science the rivalry between Isaac Newton and Robert Hooke (for a longer talk I can include Boyle & Halley too)
  • The Birth of Modern Science a longer version of the above looking in detail at the lives and careers of Robert Hooke and Edmund Halley

Here I am speaking to the Dartford Historical Society recently about Tudor & Stuart Food (it takes a couple of minutes to get going)

All my talks come with a fully illustrated presentation, but can be given without illustrations if preferred. They are based on many years of my personal research; I bring all my own equipment and have personal liability insurance.

Visit my Facebook page click here

Many of the talks can be presented in period dress to - to see me in costume visit my 'Living History Gallery' here

To get in touch please click here

You can find me and other available speakers listed here:

www.diannemannering.co.uk

or

www.speakernet.co.uk

Reviews:

Dec 2017: NW Kent Family History Society

The talk was so enjoyable giving an insight as to how our Christmas customs have been passed down the ages from Medieval times. You tell it in such an entertaining way ... A splendid talk.

Sept 2017: Horsmonden Historical Society

Your talk went down an absolute treat! Every one of our members thought it was one of the best talks we have had for a very long time.

Thank you very much.

May 2017: On behalf of the Rosewood Ladies Club I would like to thank you for a fascinating talk tonight about the life of a medieval housewife.

Thank you for a very thought provoking evening.

May 2017: Richard III Society Gloucester Branch Thanks for providing such a wonderful day full of information and interest. Feed back from attendees has been excellent and everyone spent a superb day enjoying the wealth of information you packed into the occasion.... an absolute “treat” - thanks for making our Study Day so special.

March 2017: NWKent Family History Society.... we would like to thank you for a very enjoyable and entertaining talk. It was interesting to be reminded of the rations we were allowed during the 2WW and after, it made us appreciate how well families coped. Some members told me of how much they enjoy reading your books, thank you for bringing them with you.