Loveliest of women, work of God

At the start of June, I took place in a dramatised version of the Old English poem known as Genesis B, staged as part of the conference Down There: Uncovering the Infernal in the Early Middle Ages at University College London. Now that the play is over, I thought it might be time for a…

Naming a royal baby

Together with my colleague Alison Hudson, I have written a blogpost for the British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts Blog on early medieval royal names.  Enjoy! Naming a royal baby

An Old English Alphabet (part 2)

In my previous post, I took a journey through the Old English language, exploring a single word beginning with the letters from A to L, using each one to explain a particular characteristic of the language.  Here, I will carry on from M until the end of the alphabet … M is for Micel Micel…

Wealthy Wynflæd’s wonderful will

A couple of months ago, I was poking through the Electronic Sawyer, an online version of the classic catalogue of Anglo-Saxon charters and wills.  I was throwing in some random search terms related to my research – prayer, cross, crucifix – hoping to find references to people leaving prayerbooks to their beneficiaries, but not coming…

Galba A. xiv: the Cinderella of medieval prayerbooks

I research medieval prayerbooks.  When I say that, it conjures up an image of a gorgeous, multicoloured, exquisitely-decorated Book of Hours.  Like this one: Unfortunately, they’re not all like that.  Some of them look more like this: That is London, British Library Cotton Galba A. xiv, an eleventh-century English manuscript which, for convenience’s sake, I…

The highs and lows of editing medieval manuscripts

As a medievalist, I have ample reason to be grateful for the work of nineteenth-century scholars. Many of the great series of medieval texts were founded at that time, including some which are still going, such as the publications of the Early English Text Society, and the liturgical editions produced by the Henry Bradshaw Society….

Finding women between the lines

One of the pleasures of blogging is that it gives you a space to tie up a few loose ends that you’ve been unable to find space for in more formal research. My doctoral thesis wasn’t really about gender all that much, and yet gender did and does come into my research, usually via the…