The way of the book and the way of the wild: a review of Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake

there is ways to see this world i saes.  there is the way of the boc and the way of the wilde there is the god of the boc and the gods of the mere there is the way of the crist and the eald ways of this land Paul Kingsnorth, The Wake, p. 334 Be … More The way of the book and the way of the wild: a review of Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake

Strange beings: translating some Exeter Riddles

I saw four strange beings travel together: black were their tracks, very dark traces.  Fast on its journey, bolder than birds, it flew in the air, dived beneath the waves.  The labouring fighter suffered restlessly, he who shows all four of them the paths over ornamented gold. The four strange beings, if you were wondering, … More Strange beings: translating some Exeter Riddles

Bizarre beasts and naked acrobats! A look inside the Winchcombe Psalter

In recent months, I have been tweeting the occasional image from a manuscript shelved as Cambridge, University Library MS Ff. 1. 23, known as the Winchcombe Psalter.  Intrigued by its miniatures, its bilingual nature, and the rather bizarre initials which are used to open the psalms, I have found myself coming back to this manuscript … More Bizarre beasts and naked acrobats! A look inside the Winchcombe Psalter

Have mercy, guide me, guard me: an eighth- (and eleventh-) century prayer

It’s Lent, and time for something a bit more penitential than some of the glorious manuscripts and linguistic fun that I have been writing about in recent posts.  It happens that a lot of my current work (adapting my doctoral thesis for publication) has been on confessional prayers of various kinds, which is pretty convenient.  … More Have mercy, guide me, guard me: an eighth- (and eleventh-) century prayer

Quid gloriaris? Psalm 51 in early medieval manuscripts

Quid gloriaris in malitia, qui potens es in iniquitate?  Why do you glory in malice, you who are mighty in iniquity?  Whatever the answer to the question posed in Psalm 51, it was important enough that medieval illuminators opened it with a glorious display page of its very own.  This is because the 150 psalms … More Quid gloriaris? Psalm 51 in early medieval manuscripts