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

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

Have mercy on me, O God: Psalm 50 in the Anglo-Saxon church

I have a new article out!  ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’ is part of a special edition of English Studies on the psalms in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo -Norman England, edited by Helen Appleton and Francis Leneghan, and I am grateful to both of … More Have mercy on me, O God: Psalm 50 in the Anglo-Saxon church

Lots of Wynn

It is one year to the day since my first ever post on For the Wynn!  Thanks to all of you who have read my posts, commented on them, and passed them on.  Today I’m celebrating my bloggiversary by writing about the letter Ƿ (wynn).  Ƿ is the Anglo-Saxon letter w, meaning ‘joy’; and, as … More Lots of Wynn

‘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