Devotion and Digitisation: Medieval Prayer Manuscripts and their Online Images

On the 8th of March, I gave a keynote paper at a two-day workshop at Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, titled ‘Devotion and Digitisation: Medieval Prayer Manuscripts and their Online Images’.  I’ve written elsewhere that, whenever I publish a formal academic work, I back it up with a ‘non-identical twin’, an accompanying blogpost which handles the same subject…

Now open: Anglo-Saxon Exhibition at the British Library

Hwæt!  The British Library’s new exhibition, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War, has now opened.  I have had the great privilege of working alongside the curators, being one of the first to see the completed exhibition, and of celebrating the official opening. A number of the manuscripts which I have written about in my blogposts are…

Living on loaned time

Autumn has come to London: a mostly hot summer suddenly turned in the final week of September. I like early autumn, the time just before and just after the emniht (or ‘equal-night’, as an Anglo-Saxon would have called the equinox), when there is still some warmth and plenty of sunlight, but a slight nip in…

Not Angles but angels

According to the Venerable Bede, the evangelisation of the southern English was proposed by a Pope with a pun.  In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People,  the story goes that Pope Gregory I was walking through the market of Rome when he saw some slave boys with striking looks and hair.  What people, he…

Scorpio, that is suffering: a natural history of a medieval Zodiac symbol

It’s incredibly frustrating when you know you have read something somewhere and can’t remember where.  Such as the time I read an article or book which made an excellent point about Anglo-Saxon zodiac illustrations. Most medieval psalters and other liturgical books begin with a calendar, the primary purpose of which is to list the feasts…

The Vespasian Psalter

As mentioned in my last post, I have a new publication out – an entry in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, on the Vespasian Psalter, the manuscript now shelved as London, British Library Cotton MS Vespasian A. i.  So how better to celebrate this than by dedicating a blogpost to the manuscript…

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…

Faithful cross, gate of heaven

Today is Good Friday, the day which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  For today’s blogpost, I’ve decided simply to post and translate some Anglo-Saxon texts dedicated to the Holy Cross: a hymn, a poem, and two prayers.  As my research is all about how texts were adapted and reused in different contexts, in each…

Keep fit with medieval Pilates

Good morning, everyone!  Feeling energised today?  I’ve been trying to wake myself up in the mornings by doing a little bit of Pilates first thing.  Years of sitting at a computer poring over medieval prayers have left me horribly unbendy, so I’ve been taking classes for over a year now in order to get a…