Professor Bates presenting the University with a copy of his new book.

Exeter alumnus presents biography to University

On 16 November, the University of Exeter Centre for Medieval Studies, the Exeter Branch of the Historical Association, and the University of Exeter Student History Society joined together to present an evening with Professor David Bates, Professorial Fellow at the University of East Anglia and a former Director of the Institute of Historical Research in the University of London.

Professor Bates (BA History, 1966; PhD, 1970) was presenting the University with a copy of his new biography, William the Conqueror in the Yale University Press English Monarchs series, a book that has been 15 years in the making.

During the evening, Prof. Bates discussed his landmark reinterpretation of the life of this pivotal figure in both British and European history, and paid tribute to the University’s contribution to his career, talking about his PhD supervisor, the distinguished Professor Frank Barlow, and other members of the University who had contributed to laying the foundations of his career.

Dr Helen Birkett, Lecturer in Medieval History said: “The event was a very special occasion for David and allowed him publicly to express his gratitude to a department and institution that played such a major role in shaping his approach to history. His thought-provoking talk and the wine reception afterwards helped to bring current staff and students into dialogue with their predecessors in a way not often seen at History events - and made it a particularly memorable and enjoyable evening.”

David Bates said: “For me a deeply moving occasion that I shall remember for the rest of my life. The decision that a current undergraduate receive the book on behalf of the University made the evening a forward-looking one in exactly the right way”.

Date: 21 November 2016

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