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The Private Lives of the Saints
Janina Ramirez

© flickr, Jules and Jenny
  • Saturday 11 June 2016, 1.00PM to 1.50pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
  • St Helen's Church, St Helen's Square (map)
  • Wheelchair accessible

Event details

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Explore the lives and times of some of the Early Medieval period’s best known, but least understood characters: the saints. Cuthbert, Bede, Brigit and Patrick are known for their sanctity, piety and place in heaven. However, they were also real people who walked the same terrains as we do, lived in buildings we can still make out today, and handled objects that we can still see for ourselves.

Because they lived over a millennium ago, and their lives were recorded in often formulaic hagiographical texts, the facts about who they really were have become clouded across time. By studying the broadest possible range of evidence, and bringing her own unique approach to Anglo-Saxon England, author Janina Ramirez attempts to unravel the private lives of these most public figures: the movers, shakers and decision makers of their day.

About the speaker 

Dr Janina Ramirez is a Course Director in the History of Art Department at the University of Oxford. She is passionate about teaching and has found enthusiastically sharing ideas face-to-face with students fed perfectly into television and media work. In 2010 she presented Treasures of the Anglo-Saxons which aired on BBC Four, before going over to BBC Two. This was followed by a documentary on Icelandic literature, The Viking Sagas, and an hour-long film on the stained glass of York Minster, Britain’s Most Fragile Treasure. She has also appeared as an on-screen expert for documentaries, including The Staffordshire Hoard for BBC One (West Midlands).

In 2012 Janina wrote and presented a three-part series on the Royal Manuscript collection of the British Library entitled The Private Lives of Medieval Kings. Another three-part series on The Hundred Years’ War, was broadcast on BBC Four in 2014, and her latest series, Britain’s Millenium of Monasteries aired in 2015. She is a regular panelist on BBC’s The Quizeum, and has presented a range of documentaries for Radio 4 and BBC Worldwide. She writes for BBC History Magazine and is President of the Gloucester History Festival. Her latest book is The Private Lives of the Saints: Power, Passion and Politics in Anglo-Saxon England (WH Allen).


The book will be available to buy from the Waterstones' stall at this event.


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