Ocean's Love: Sir Walter Ralegh and the Sea

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
23 October | 5.15pm, wine reception from 6.30pm
Talks & courses

Join us for a free talk in central London on Sir Walter Ralegh by historian Dr Anna Beer, followed by a wine reception. All are welcome and there is no need to book. 

Our first Maritime History & Culture Seminar of 2018/19 reflects on Ralegh as we approach the 400th anniversary of his execution.  

Ralegh, by his own admission, was an unlikely naval hero. He found it hard to sleep onboard ship, complaining ‘I shall never sleep night if I be here till Christmas’ and joking that he was ‘an excellent watchman at sea’ since his eyes never closed. Yet the sea was vital to Ralegh - in the day-to-day reality of Elizabethan and Jacobean war and peace, but also to his imagination: he called himself 'Ocean' in a remarkable poem written to his queen, Elizabeth I. 

Ralegh's achievements (and failures) are notoriously wide-ranging - he was explorer and poet, soldier and historian, courtier and scientist, parliamentarian and political prisoner - but the ocean remains a constant, a key to understanding this complex, elusive man and his time.

Dr Beer's book, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh, is out now and will be available to purchase at the event.

Beautifully written ... offers a fresh perspective on one of the most colourful and controversial characters of the Tudor and Stuart age.

Tracy Borman, author of The Private Lives of the Tudors

Maritime History & Culture Seminars 2018/19:

All seminars start at 5.15pm in Wolfson Room I, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London, WC1E 7HU. 


For more Ralegh events see the website of St Margaret’s Church at Westminster: