The English-Speaking Union

News and Events

Online Happy Hour Series

Welcome to ESU Happy Hour! The ESU has planned a series of programs to connect and reach out to our members through programs that are engaging, fun, and informative on a wide variety of topics. Happy Hour programs bring to you guest speakers live and free of charge.  Speakers may also suggest a unique cocktail for you to create and enjoy at home. These programs are designed so ESU members and guests can learn and interact with our outstanding speakers. Many speakers will provide exciting participation opportunities with fun give away books and products at the end of each program.

We invite members to suggest topics for future ESU Happy Hour Programs at this link. Cheers!

Watch Previously Recorded Programs

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 4 PM (ET) 

Flora Macdonald: Scottish Heroine, American Loyalist and My Namesake, by Flora Fraser

Hosted by ESU Chairman, Dr. Quinn Peeper

Join our next ESU Happy Hour on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 4:00 pm ET hosted by ESU Chairman Dr. Quinn Peeper. Dr. Peeper will be introducing Flora Fraser, a historical biographer specializing in 18th-century women. Fraser invites you to raise a Highland Whisky or whisky-less sour to Scottish heroine, Flora Macdonald, the subject of her latest book.

The author grew up in the Highlands and was named, like many there, after this Scottish heroine. When Bonnie Prince Charlie was a fugitive in the Western Isles in 1746 after the disastrous defeat of his Jacobite army at Culloden, Flora Macdonald and he escaped from Hanoverian redcoats "O'er the sea to Skye". Author Flora Fraser will share with you, historical images of the Stuart prince dressed as Flora's Irish maidservant and of the heroine herself, painted by leading London artists.

Flora Macdonald's fame justly endures to this day, in poetry, song and dance, in Outlander, and on Walker's shortbread biscuit tins. She was not born into wealth or great rank, nor did she have a superior education. Nevertheless, she managed to negotiate civil war on either side of the Atlantic and receive, in her final years on Skye, a Royal pension from a Hanoverian prince too! Flora Fraser hopes you will enjoy surveying with her this remarkable life.

Flora Fraser is a historical biographer, based in London, specializing in archival research on women of the eighteenth century in Europe and in America. Her books include Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton, The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline, Princesses: The Daughters of George III, and Venus of Empire: The Life of Pauline Bonaparte.

Her recent book, The Washingtons: George and Martha, won the 2016 George Washington Book Prize. Her new life of Scottish heroine, Flora Macdonald is available in the UK as Flora Macdonald 'Pretty Young Rebel' (Bloomsbury) and in the US as Flora Macdonald: "Pretty Young Rebel": Her Life and Story (Knopf).

Read More  Register Here! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 4 PM (ET) 

A Bourbon Tasting: Evan Williams Virtual Bourbon Experience

Hosted by The ESU Kentucky Branch with Co-Host Kate Nitzken

Learn about the history of Evan Williams and Louisville, Kentucky. We will taste 3 award-winning Bourbons from the Evan Williams family of products [Evan Williams Signature Black Label, Evan Williams 1783, and Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond]. We will end by making an Old-Fashioned cocktail using a recipe from another famous Louisvillian, Tom Bullock.

One of our award-winning Bourbon Educators from Kentucky will be leading you through this historical tasting and cocktail demonstration!

Read More  Register Here! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 5 PM (ET) 

A Special ESU Happy Hour of Coronation Tributes

Hosted by The ESU Happy Hour Committee

King Charles III's Coronation will be a historic occasion celebrated all over the world and, for most, will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Because of the close ties with The English-Speaking  Union of the United States and Great Britain, ESU Branches around the U.S. are marking this important occasion with special events, parties, and shared coronation experiences as a tribute to  King Charles III. 

A special ESU Happy Hour on Wednesday, June 21, will be devoted to ESU Branch tributes to  King Charles III's Coronation. We cordially invite ESU Branches to be part of these special  Happy Hour Coronation Tributes. Learn more about what you can contribute.

Please send your branch tributes no later than June 5.

Read More  Upload your submission