Sunday, October 25, The Beacon, 4.45pm: Historian Allan Ledger tells us about a scandal that rocked 18th century society and resulted in the banishment of the 4th Duke of Marlborough’s daughter from Blenheim Palace.
A Spencer Love Affair is the true story of the affair and marriage between the duke’s favourite daughter, Lady Charlotte Spencer and the Reverend Edward Nares, a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.
The couple fell in love while acting together at Blenheim’s newly created and highly fashionable private theatre.
As Jane Austen described in Mansfield Park, these private theatricals often led to dangerous intimacies. In Lady Charlotte’s case, her marriage resulted in her being forced to leave the family home.
A Spencer Love Affair is a portrait of how ‘top people’ in Oxfordshire lived and reacted with each other during that age of excellence.
History graduate Allan Ledger’s love of the subject stems from being a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, which included singing at Her Majesty’s Coronation Service and The Garter Ceremony of Sir Winston Churchill.
As a teacher, he continued his special interest in the history of theatre, and on his retirement as a deputy head teacher he worked as a guide at Blenheim Palace, currently the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough.
Ledger now lectures on 18th Century private theatricals, the world of Jane Austen in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and on Turkey in the 21st Century.
He is a past member of The Society of Theatre Research, the Royal Central Asian Society and the Anglo-Turkish Society. Ledger also enjoys singing and choral music and is a qualified Lawn Tennis Association umpire.
Sunday, October 25. 4.45pm. The Beacon. Tickets: £6
Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.
Online booking closes on October 22.