‘That change sank into my heart’s root’: Hoccleve’s Complaint

I am rather fond of Stephen Fry, and have enjoyed his books, film and TV work very much, but in one of his books he wrote something that is guaranteed to raise the hackles of many a medievalist.  The one in question is The Ode Less Travelled, an introduction to writing poetry.  In the chapter … More ‘That change sank into my heart’s root’: Hoccleve’s Complaint

Let your works be dead: the haunting House of Fame

In the summer of 2002, in preparation for my final-year university module on the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, I started reading a rather odd sort of poem.  The House of Fame made little immediate impact on me, other than the image of a magnificent (and truculent) eagle bearing the poet up to the heavens and … More Let your works be dead: the haunting House of Fame

‘This land is so hard it maketh unlusty and irked!’ Mankind and motivation

Hello.  This is a post about the late medieval play called Mankind.  I appeared in HIDden Theatre‘s productions of it in November 2015 and April 2016 and had absolutely every intention of writing blogposts about the play at both those times.  Honest.  I just never quite got around to it. Today, the sixth of September, … More ‘This land is so hard it maketh unlusty and irked!’ Mankind and motivation

Solutions for snakes

I recently wrote a blogpost about fruit in Anglo-Saxon England, including the fruit in the Garden of Eden, and that got me thinking: whose idea was it to eat the fruit in the first place?  Snakes are abundant in medieval manuscripts if you know where to look – tempting Eve, biting people, generally causing a … More Solutions for snakes