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

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

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

Naming names in Ælfwine’s Prayerbook

It’s strange how you think you know a manuscript well and then realise that there are things in it that you didn’t even know were there.  Take London, British Library Cotton MS Titus D. xxvii + xxvi (originally one manuscript, later divided into two), a compendium of liturgical prayers, private prayers, and scientific information.  It’s … More Naming names in Ælfwine’s Prayerbook

New article published: ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’

My latest article is now available online in a special issue of English Studies! ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’ English Studies, 98:1 (2017): 35-48 This article examines the use of the Psalms in sixteen short prayer programmes, found in tenth- and eleventh-century English … More New article published: ‘Which Psalms Were Important to the Anglo-Saxons? The Psalms in Tenth- and Eleventh-Century Prayer and Medical Remedies’

Solidify us unto Thy charity: the medicinal and liturgical uses of cheese

On this blog, I write about some of the most important aspects of Christian spirituality in early medieval England.  The feast of Easter.  The healing of the sick.  Confession.  Expressing one’s deepest yearnings to God in prayer. And now: cheese. I’ve written before about Ælfric of Eynsham, abbot and homilist, and also the author of … More Solidify us unto Thy charity: the medicinal and liturgical uses of cheese

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