Lectures & Talks


WI Box Hill - The Fashionable Face of the RestorationThis talk looks at the women and fops in high society who risked disfigurement and sometimes death in their desire to look fashionable. Learn about the fascinating products sold to them by their wigmakers including false eyebrows, patches, and plumpers – their version of Botox. Hear the story of the tragic beauty, totally addicted to her own beauty, who died from the Ceruse paint which was used to create her perfect complexion.

It also looks at the elaborate hair styles of the 17th and 18th century, how they were achieved at a time with no hairspray and the horrors of changing them.

The talk is accompanied by a Powerpoint Presentation and can also include a demonstration of the Make-up.

‘ The potted history of Charles II, the Restoration, wigs and their owners set the scene for your make-up demonstration when you transformed one of our members into a Lady of the Court. What a transformation it was – with patches, wig and the palest of faces she was hardly recognisable ! Our members thoroughly enjoyed the demonstration, thank you ‘

The Secretary, Ewell Court W1, Surrey



High society in Restoration England had strict rules of etiquette which you ignored at your peril. Learn the rules for taking snuff in company, the language of the fan and how to behave in the presence of people of higher status. Using the wonderful Samuel Pepys as our guide discover life in 17th century London – it’s pleasures and it’s pitfalls.

Presentation with Powerpoint images

* this talk can be combined with the Fashionable Face of the Restoration to become a longer lecture on Restoration London


American graduate students LAMDA One of four lectures on the 17th Century

American graduate students LAMDA One of four lectures on the 17th Century

Louis XIV learnt early on in his reign the perils of kingship and quickly took personal control of even the smallest details of matters of state and everyday life at his court. Fearful of his nobles he controlled them by establishing the most glittering Court in Europe where they became trapped in the everyday rituals which he established. Style was everything at Versailles and this lecture tells how Louis bankrupted the French aristocracy with fashion and then lent them the money to lead them further into his debt.

Lecture with Powerpoint images


James 1st was called the wisest fool in Christendom but he was a a clever man. During his reign he supported theatre and the Arts and William Shakespeare wrote some of his finest plays to be performed at Court for the King. James was the guiding force which created the King James Bible but he fought in vain against the growing fashion for smoking tobacco. This talk/lecture looks at Jacobean society and it’s King.

Lecture/talk with Powerpoint images



Coming as a country bumpkin to England’s Tudor capital. William Shakespeare had much to learn if he was to succeed both as a playwright and actor. 16th century London was a violent and treacherous place to navigate. Every playwright’s goal was a Court performance but first you needed to learn the social etiquette, what to wear and most importantly of all to impress the Master of the Revels who controlled every aspect of Royal productions. Learn how he succeeded and retired a wealthy man aged fourty nine.

Lecture with Powerpoint Presentation


The FIWAL Annual President’s lunch on 9th November 2016 at the Park Tower Hotel was delighted with speaker, Rosemarie Swinfield’s, lively and fascinating presentation about Shakespeare and his theatrical world. She produced all kinds of unusual nuggets of information about the great man and the society he operated in, which kept the ladies riveted. We want her back for more.
Thank you Rosemarie for an excellent piece of entertaining history.

Caroline Muir

Rosemarie Swinfield is a lecturer, make-up designer and author with an international reputation. After many years working in film, commercials, photography and theatre she has also used her extensive knowledge of period productions to develop a unique series of illustrated talks and lectures on the fashions, make-up, style and etiquette of European high society in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Rosemarie’s lecturing work has taken her to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and nationwide in the United Kingdom.

Rodney Cottier, Head of Drama School, Lamda

I have had the pleasure of working with Rosemarie for well over thirty years and have observed not only the sheer breath of knowledge that a lifetime in the theatre has brought us, but also the wonderful way in which she communicates the detail to young people. Rosemarie’s work is essential in bringing together all the contextual elements that inform an actor when researching the life and times of a play and its characters. An actor needs to be inspired to find out more, and that is best done by someone who knows and understands actors and their craft. To that end, the more practical and the less academic the lecture can be, the more engaging is the result. I cannot recommend Rosemarie too highly.

Rodney Cottier
Head of Drama School



Lectures in Fashion and Etiquette

Rosemarie’s current lectures came out of the work that she has done at LAMDA on period productions. In 2015 Rodney Cottier, Head of Drama asked her to development a series of lectures to support students working on the plays of 17th Century Spain, England and 18th Century France. These lectures included The Golden Age of Spain, Jacobean England , the Restoration and the reign of Louis XIV. From this beginning she has created a portfolio of lectures and talks looking at society from the time of Elizabeth the 1st to Versailles under Louis XIV. These range from short talks suitable for groups and societies to longer lectures developed for students studying these periods in depth.

If you can’t find the right Lecture/Talk, feel free to contact Rosemarie as she is happy to customise existing one’s or set up a brand new one depending on your requirements.