Exeter Medieval Studies Blog

A musical, medieval thank-you: on Yolanda Plumley’s retirement

A heartfelt thank-you to Yolanda Plumley from her friends and colleagues in the Centre for Medieval Studies.

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Posted by Edward Mills on 20 October 2023


Honouring Nicholas Orme

A new book, Education and Religion in Medieval & Renaissance England, honours our colleague, Emeritus Professor Nicholas Orme, for his outstanding contribution to the study of cultural and religious life...

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Posted by jc584 on 27 August 2023


Tips for Mature Scholars and Distance Learners

Dr John Slevin, former Exeter PhD student and editor of the newly published History of Alfred of Beverley, completed his doctorate as a mature student and distance-learner. Beginning and completing...

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Posted by hb332 on 8 August 2023


New Edition of the History of Alfred of Beverley

We are very happy to announce the publication of an edition and translation of The History of Alfred of Beverley by one of our former PhD students, Dr John Slevin,...

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Posted by hb332 on 2 August 2023


The other women of the coronation in medieval England

In medieval England Queen Consorts were not the only women whose status and style of life were changed forever at the coronation of a king. Crowning conferred on the monarch...

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Posted by jc584 on 6 May 2023


Mothers and daughters: a snapshot from early Tudor England

The relationship between a mother and a teenage daughter is often represented as inherently volatile. It has a long history as a trope in drama and fiction and in spite...

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Posted by jc584 on 22 December 2022


Popeye and Curly: 120 Days in Medieval Baghdad

Emily Selove, Senior Lecturer of Medieval Arabic Literature in the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, has published a book of cartoons about the medieval city of...

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Posted by Mark on 21 October 2022


Research Postcard: Saint Urith and the survival of Saxon saints in late medieval Somerset

The Douce manuscripts and printed books, held in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, are one of the most remarkable medieval collections to have been put together by a single bibliophile. In the...

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Posted by jc584 on 1 March 2022


The upside of virtual research

Just when Lockdown 1 began I’d started to think about the acknowledgements I would include at the front of my new book, The Dissolution of the Monasteries. A New History....

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Posted by jc584 on 24 September 2021


In conversation with… Alice Taylor, Part II: “Culture Wars”, the State, and Overlordship in Twelfth-Century Scotland

This is the second part of the students’ interview with Alice Taylor, an expert on medieval Scotland. This part of the discussion covers the concept of “culture wars”, the impact...

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Posted by hb332 on 22 March 2021


In conversation with… Alice Taylor, Part I: Scottish Identity, Intermarriage, and “Revolts”

Last month, students on the Special Subject module ‘The Celtic Frontier: Post-Conquest England and her Celtic Neighbours’ were given the opportunity to interview Dr Alice Taylor, an expert on medieval...

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Posted by hb332 on 15 March 2021


Podcast on the Albigensian Crusade

Have you ever come across mysterious references to medieval heretics and their violent repression and wished to know more?  Have you ever wondered about those signs welcoming you to the...

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Posted by gel203 on 8 March 2021


Study Abroad before Erasmus

As the present benefits of study abroad (and the Erasmus programme in particular) are in the spotlight, it is worth considering a past example: a beautiful manuscript book copied and...

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Posted by jc584 on 31 December 2020


Medieval Books and Harry Potter at the 2020 ‘Being Human’ Festival

Being Human is an annual festival in celebration of the humanities, organised by the School of Advanced Studies at the University of London. Exeter’s medieval studies community has a history...

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Posted by Edward Mills on 20 November 2020


The Ghosts of King John

Today, Tynemouth Priory looks a likely place for a haunting. The ruin stands tall and gaunt at the high point of the windswept Northumberland coastline. Advancing towards its hollow east...

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Posted by jc584 on 29 October 2020


Congratulations, Prof. David Bates! Distinguished Alumnus Wins Prestigious Prize

David Bates, who received his PhD from the University of Exeter in 1970, has been awarded the prestigious Prix Syndicat national des Antiquaires du Livre d’Art 2020 for the book La...

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Posted by hb332 on 21 October 2020


‘Learning French in Medieval England’: The Encoding Begins!

Five months on from our previous post, work has been proceeding apace at the ‘Learning French in Medieval England’ project — or, as literally no-one is calling it, ‘Tretiz Towers’. Our primary...

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Posted by Mark on 6 October 2020


Research Postcard: Rebel Canons in the Lincoln Registers

On 1 October 1536 a crowd of worshippers which had just spilled out from the parish church of St James at Louth (Lincs.) was stirred into shouts of angry protest...

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Posted by Mark on 30 September 2020


Medieval Research Seminars 2020/21: We’re Back and We’re Online!

It’s the start of a new academic year at Exeter and many things are different. We can’t teach, research, or meet together as a community in quite the same way...

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Posted by hb332 on 23 September 2020


‘All the timber and wood is wasted’: Devon’s Monastic Woods Before and After the Reformation

Writing in 1879, the great Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins bemoaned the recent felling of the poplars at Binsey near Oxford: ‘All felled, felled, are all felled’. To him, those...

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Posted by dpa206 on 4 August 2020


The Field of the Cloth of Gold and the West Country

Five hundred years ago this week the monarchies of England and France met in the meadowland of the Pas-de-Calais. Today these flatlands are largely nondescript for the traffic that flashes...

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Posted by jc584 on 12 June 2020


Social Media for Students and Scholars

Since I have the dubious honour of being the most active member of staff (here at Exeter) on social media, I’m periodically asked how students and scholars new to this...

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Posted by lr299 on 19 May 2020


A New Charter from the Fourth Crusade

Almost ten years ago, during my doctoral research, I was rifling through boxes at the Archives nationales in Paris for the first time. Guided by preliminary references I had found...

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Posted by gel203 on 23 April 2020


‘Learning French in Medieval England’: The First Three Months

Just over two months ago, we announced the start of a new project based at the Centre for Medieval Studies here in Exeter: Learning French in Medieval England. Our aim...

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Posted by etfm202 on 17 April 2020


Pregnancy Advice from Medieval Preachers

Since I’ve been on maternity leave I’ve not surprisingly been pondering all things to do with pregnancy and baby care. I’ve also been thinking about medieval pregnancy advice, since it’s...

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Posted by crr205 on 2 April 2020


Thietmar of Merseburg – Archforger or Anachronist?

One of the most striking discoveries of modern scholarship on medieval European documentary traditions has been just how widespread forgery was. Almost every major religious house was involved in falsifying...

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Posted by lr299 on 24 March 2020


‘Learning French in Medieval England’: Introducing an Exciting New Project!

Vestez vos dras, biau douz enfaunz, Chaucez vos brais, soulers, et gaunz. […] De une corroie vous ceintez — Ne di pas ‘vous enceintez‘, Car femme est par home enceinte Et de une ceinture est ele ceinte. Put on your clothes, my sweet child: don your breeches, shoes, and gloves. Lock up...

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Posted by etfm202 on 14 February 2020


Emma Cayley: merci et à bientôt!

One of the pillars of the Medieval Studies community at Exeter, Emma Cayley, left the university over the summer to take up a post as Head of School of Languages,...

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Posted by tgh203 on 31 January 2020


News in the Middle Ages: Read all about it!

As my colleagues at Exeter know, I have spent the past few years looking at the concept of news in the Middle Ages. I’ve been considering what the idea of...

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Posted by hb332 on 25 January 2020


New Year’s Gifts

Five hundred years ago, Henry Courtenay, earl of Devon (d. 1539), marked the coming of the New Year with a rare and costly gift for his king, Henry VIII: oranges...

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Posted by jc584 on 5 January 2020


Noblesse oblige? II: Call for Papers

University of Exeter, 30 April-1 May 2019 The traditional—and still popular—image of the ‘feudal’ political order of the Middle Ages is one of anarchic knights and overmighty barons pursuing selfish...

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Posted by gel203 on 21 November 2019


Starting an Inquisition Database Project

I’m at the beginning of a new project on ‘Popular Healing: Christian and Islamic Practices and the Roman Inquisition in Early Modern Malta’ (not medieval, but you can’t have everything),...

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Posted by crr205 on 24 October 2019


750th Anniversary at Westminster Abbey

This week marks the 750th anniversary of the last translation of the relics of Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey, in 1269, to the new shrine created at the direction...

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Posted by jc584 on 16 October 2019


Society for Medieval Archaeology Annual Student Colloquium, University of Exeter, 27th-29th November

This year’s annual student colloquium for the Society for Medieval Archaeology is being organised by a group of our CMS PGRs and will be held here at the University of...

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Posted by Mark on 2 October 2019


Medieval History in the Classroom: An Interview with Jack Pettitt

Jack Pettitt, an Exeter graduate and secondary school history teacher, has spent his summer filming a series of online videos to help his students learn about the Normans. To make...

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Posted by Mark on 27 September 2019


Movement and Mobility in the Medieval Mediterranean (6th-15th centuries): Society for the Medieval Mediterranean 6th Biennial Conference in Memory of Simon Barton

Alun Williams reports on the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean conference, held in the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC), Barcelona. The 2019 Conference of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean took...

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Posted by crr205 on 20 September 2019


Exploring Late Medieval Links Across the Seas at Exeter

This week we have a guest post from Sheila Sweetinburgh at Canterbury Christ Church University, who is reporting on the Fifteenth Century conference, held in Exeter last week, with a...

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Posted by crr205 on 11 September 2019


Grandisson 650

Tuesday 16 July 2019 marks the 650th anniversary of the death of John Grandisson (1292-1369), Exeter’s longest-serving bishop. The cathedral and the diocese have been shaped by many hands over...

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Posted by jc584 on 12 July 2019


Forging the Past in Medieval Exeter

May is an exciting month for Exeter’s Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. As a part of Dr Levi Roach’s AHRC funded grant ‘Forging Memory: Falsified Documents and Institutional History in Europe, c.970-1020’, a...

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Posted by Mark on 10 May 2019


River Hunting with the History Channel

The scorching summer of 2018 was a great gift for archaeologists. For the first time in almost two decades an unbroken dry spell brought features below the surface of the...

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Posted by Mark on 31 March 2019


River Hunting with the History Channel

The scorching summer of 2018 was a great gift for archaeologists. For the first time in almost two decades an unbroken dry spell brought features below the surface of the...

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Posted by jc584 on 31 March 2019


‘I was a Historian by the Age of Six…’ An Interview with Prof. Nicholas Orme

The Centre for Medieval Studies at Exeter hosts a lively programme of activities throughout the year, a number of which are only possible through the generous support of Emeritus Professor...

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Posted by hb332 on 25 March 2019


Saintly Monarchs and Cities of Strangers at the Annual ‘Orme Day’

The Centre for Medieval Studies here at Exeter is well-known for its sense of community, and for the value it places on the exchange of ideas in an informal and...

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Posted by Mark on 20 March 2019


The Routledge History of Medieval Magic: Reflections on a Big Editing Project

I’m very pleased to announce that the Routledge History of Medieval Magic, edited by Sophie Page (UCL) and me, has been published. As editors we’re very happy with it and...

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Posted by crr205 on 20 February 2019


Announcing a New Project: Warhorse: The Archaeology of a Military Revolution?

We’re happy to announce that the new Warhorse project in Archaeology, led by Prof. Oliver Creighton, now has a website and blog up and running. ‘Warhorse: the Archaeology of a...

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Posted by crr205 on 6 February 2019


Two Exeter books shortlisted for 2019 Current Archaeology Awards

We’re pleased to announce that two books with medieval themes written by Exeter academics have been shortlisted for the 2019 Current Archaeology Awards, in the ‘Book of the Year’ category...

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Posted by Mark on 23 January 2019


Fifteenth Century Conference 2019: Calling Academics and PhD Students with 15th-Century Interests

Exeter will be hosting the Fifteenth Century Conference this September, an annual conference for anyone with interests in the Fifteenth Century. This has come about mainly because of the hard work of...

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Posted by crr205 on 9 January 2019


Research Postcard: An Exeter Life of Thomas Becket

John Grandisson, the bishop who presided at Exeter in the turbulent middle years of the fourteenth century – the age of the papacy’s Avignon exile, the Black Death and the...

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Posted by jc584 on 29 December 2018


PhD Students Wanted Again: Funding Opportunities at Exeter

It’s that time of year again – funding deadlines for students applying for PhD study are coming up.  Staff at the Centre for Medieval Studies are always keen to hear...

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Posted by Mark on 18 December 2018


Breaking the Silence: An Interview with Rachel Rose Reid, Part 2

In my previous post for the Centre for Medieval Studies blog, I promised a much-needed follow-up to my interview with the storyteller Rachel Rose Reid, whose retelling of the medieval...

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Posted by etfm202 on 31 October 2018


Ex Historia – Call for Papers

This week, we’re advertising a call for papers for Exeter’s postgraduate history journal, Ex Historia.  Over the years quite a few of our medieval PhD students have been involved with Ex...

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Posted by crr205 on 16 October 2018


Ex Historia – Call for Papers

This week, we’re advertising a call for papers for Exeter’s postgraduate history journal, Ex Historia.  Over the years quite a few of our medieval PhD students have been involved with Ex...

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Posted by Mark on 16 October 2018


Medieval Romance, Modern Storytelling: An Interview with Rachel Rose Reid

It’s not all that often that some news genuinely makes you jump out of your seat in excitement. One such occasion came for me a couple of months ago, when...

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Posted by Mark on 5 October 2018


Welcome to a new academic year of Medieval Studies!

Well, term has started and campus is suddenly full of students again.  Here in the Centre for Medieval Studies we’re catching up with existing colleagues and students, as well as...

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Posted by crr205 on 27 September 2018


More Leeds Sessions – Fertility and Infertility

Inspired by Levi’s call for Leeds and Kalamazoo papers on the blog a few weeks ago I thought I’d post one of my own for Leeds 2019… I’m currently in...

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Posted by crr205 on 8 August 2018


Researching with the Exeter Cathedral Library & Archives: Making a Student’s Guide

In June and July 2018, Julia Hopkin, an MA student in experimental archaeology at Exeter, spent some time in Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives, funded by the university as part of the...

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Posted by crr205 on 26 July 2018


K’zoo and Leeds Forgery Sessions

As part of my ongoing project on medieval forgery, I am pleased to anounce the following Call for Papers on ‘Forging Memory: False Documents and Historical Consciousness in the Middle...

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Posted by Mark on 12 July 2018


Sharing Medieval Research with the Community

A couple of weeks ago, on Saturday 17th March, a few staff in the Centre had a stall at the University’s Community Day to showcase some of the research we...

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Posted by crr205 on 29 March 2018


Research Postcard: Erasing the Past in Medieval Worms?

As a part of my AHRC-funded project on forgery, I had the singular pleasure of visiting the Hessisches Staatsarchiv in leafy Darmstadt last term. There are many reasons why archival...

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Posted by lr299 on 19 March 2018


Research Postcard: Erasing the Past in Medieval Worms?

As a part of my AHRC-funded project on forgery, I had the singular pleasure of visiting the Hessisches Staatsarchiv in leafy Darmstadt last term. There are many reasons why archival...

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Posted by Mark on 19 March 2018


Research Postcard: Courtesy Books and College Libraries

As an undergraduate, I spent quite a lot of time in and around Emmanuel College, Cambridge. One of my best friends was a student there, and in the spirit of...

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Posted by Mark on 1 March 2018


Research Postcard: Talking about Gender and Healthcare in Cologne

At the end of January I went to a workshop at the University of Cologne, run by a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School for the Humanities and expertly organized by Eva-Maria Cersovsky and...

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Posted by crr205 on 20 February 2018


Medieval History on screen: Consulting on White Princess

Eminent Churchillians have been all a-quiver. Darkest Hour has carried their subject far beyond his familiar home in the Culture pages of the serious newspapers to set him trending, everywhere....

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Posted by jc584 on 5 February 2018


In Conversation with Conrad Leyser on Medieval Church Reform

Interviewers: Tom Douglas and Max Blore (3rd year undergraduates)   On Wednesday 22 November 2017, Professor Conrad Leyser (University of Oxford) visited the Centre of Medieval Studies here at the...

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Posted by Mark on 23 January 2018


In Memory of Simon Barton, 1962-2017

As many of you will know by now, our former colleague Simon Barton died suddenly just before Christmas. Simon had been at Exeter for many years, first in Modern Languages...

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Posted by crr205 on 17 January 2018


An Abbot Returns

‘We’ve found a body. We’d like you to help us with our enquiries’. An unnerving telephone message to pick up amid the usual end-of-term pressures, but as it turned out...

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Posted by jc584 on 8 December 2017


An Abbot Returns

‘We’ve found a body. We’d like you to help us with our enquiries’. An unnerving telephone message to pick up amid the usual end-of-term pressures, but as it turned out...

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Posted by Mark on 8 December 2017


Visiting a PhD Crime Scene

In my PhD research, I am looking at the local pasts that were communicated through liturgy in the tenth century in a metropolitan city on the Moselle river: Trier. My...

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Posted by crr205 on 6 December 2017


Research Postcard – More Magical Activities in Malta

Appropriately – given that it was Halloween – I spent part of reading week in the archives researching the history of magic.  Dr Alex Mallett (formerly of Exeter, now based...

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Posted by Mark on 13 November 2017


Research Postcard – More Magical Activities in Malta

Appropriately – given that it was Halloween – I spent part of reading week in the archives researching the history of magic.  Dr Alex Mallett (formerly of Exeter, now based...

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Posted by crr205 on 13 November 2017


Helen Birkett in Middletown, CT: Collaborating with the Traveler’s Lab

This term I am based at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, working with the Traveler’s Lab research group. The Traveler’s Lab is a small network of scholars interested in medieval...

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Posted by Mark on 7 November 2017


Helen Birkett in Middletown, CT: Collaborating with the Traveler’s Lab

This term I am based at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, working with the Traveler’s Lab research group. The Traveler’s Lab is a small network of scholars interested in medieval...

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Posted by hb332 on 7 November 2017


PhD Students Wanted!

Thinking about doing a doctorate in Medieval Studies, but unsure how to turn that initial idea into a formal funding proposal? This post offers some guidance on the process –...

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Posted by crr205 on 25 October 2017


On Tour with the Normans: Four Unmissable Sites in Sicily

Having finally submitted my thesis on Norman ethnic identity, I decided to celebrate by taking a holiday. And what better place for a young Norman historian to visit than Sicily?!...

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Posted by thc207 on 4 October 2017


The Devon and Exeter Institution and its Medieval Resources

Last July Cheryl Cooper, who had just completed a History degree at Exeter, did a student internship (funded by the College of Humanities and the Widening Participation scheme) looking at resources for...

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Posted by Mark on 5 September 2017


The Devon and Exeter Institution and its Medieval Resources

Last July Cheryl Cooper, who had just completed a History degree at Exeter, did a student internship (funded by the College of Humanities and the Widening Participation scheme) looking at resources for...

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Posted by crr205 on 5 September 2017


Building your CV, One Castle at a Time

When I started my PhD in medieval archaeology the reason was simple. There was a very clear gap in the understanding of medieval castles I wanted to address and formalising...

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Posted by Mark on 30 August 2017


Enter the World’s Largest Photo Competition!

Medievalists love their subject. As a medievalist, you not only spend most of your working week researching the medieval past, but you probably visit medieval sites in your spare time...

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Posted by rn256 on 24 August 2017


Forgery comes to Exeter!

It brings me great pleasure to announce that the Arts and Humanities Research Council has seen fit to fund my new project, ‘Forging Memory: Falsified Documents and Institutional History in...

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Posted by lr299 on 31 July 2017


Conference Report: the Ecclesiastical History Society Conference 2017

Last week I went to the annual summer conference of the Ecclesiastical History Society, which was held here in Exeter.  This year’s theme was Churches and Education, and it attracted...

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Posted by Mark on 25 July 2017


Leeds Report 2017

The annual International Medieval Congress hosted by the University of Leeds in July (and known affectionately as the ‘IMC’ or ‘Leeds’) is the highlight of the European medieval calendar –...

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Posted by hb332 on 7 July 2017


An Afternoon Talking about Medieval and Reformation Parishes

Recently, on 24 June, I went to the annual mini-conference of the Devon and Cornwall Record Society, held at the Guildhall in Exeter.  This year’s theme was Late Medieval and Reformation...

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Posted by Mark on 3 July 2017


After Empire: Revisiting Europe’s Iron Age

What happens after empire? In an age in which Europe continues to grapple with its colonial past, there could scarcely be a more timely question. Yet while the Fall of...

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Posted by Mark on 16 June 2017


Self-Defenestration, Squatting and Structural Stress: The History and Conservation of St Nicholas’ Priory, Exeter

For some years now St Nicholas’ Priory, in the area of Exeter off Fore Street known as ‘the Mint’, has been closed to the public. However, conservation work continues and...

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Posted by thc207 on 10 June 2017


Anchorites, Monks and Medievalists: A Day Trip to Haselbury Plucknett and Forde Abbey

What better way to celebrate the end of exam marking at Exeter than to spend a summer’s day wandering around medieval sites in the Southwest? On 1 June, two PhD...

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Posted by hb332 on 3 June 2017


Sarah Hamilton, New Haven, CT: What’s the Use of Cursing?

It’s unusual for British universities to be in a position to buy medieval manuscripts. Yet the recent publicity given to the discovery of a unique leaf from the Sarum Ordinal...

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Posted by smhamilt on 22 May 2017


Digital Resources for Medieval Research and Teaching

There has been a huge proliferation of online resources for research and teaching in Medieval Studies in recent years, so much so that it’s hard to keep track of them...

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Posted by Mark on 11 May 2017


Digital Resources for Medieval Research and Teaching

There has been a huge proliferation of online resources for research and teaching in Medieval Studies in recent years, so much so that it’s hard to keep track of them...

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Posted by crr205 on 11 May 2017


Widening Participation: Exploring the MEDIEVAL and Early Modern Worlds

I recently participated in a campus visit for Year 9 and 10 school pupils as part of Exeter’s Widening Participation scheme to encourage a larger pool of students to consider...

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Posted by zc243 on 8 May 2017


James Clark in Champaign, IL: A French Noblewoman Makes her Monastic Vows

In the heart of the American Mid-West, two and a half hours from Chicago, in the University twin town of Urbana-Champaign is a rare gem of a collection of medieval...

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Posted by Mark on 30 April 2017


James Clark in Champaign, IL: A French Noblewoman Makes her Monastic Vows

In the heart of the American Mid-West, two and a half hours from Chicago, in the University twin town of Urbana-Champaign is a rare gem of a collection of medieval...

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Posted by jc584 on 30 April 2017


Family History and the Cistercians in Late Medieval and Reformation Devon

In just a few years, family history research has become something of a cultural phenomenon. Proof of this will be apparent to any professional researcher arriving at the National Archives...

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Posted by jc584 on 8 April 2017


The Feast of Orme

Wednesday 29th March saw medievalists from across the University and the city gather for the climax of the Medieval Studies calendar in Exeter. This annual day of events, generously sponsored...

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Posted by Mark on 1 April 2017


Mapping the Troubadours: Miriam Cabré at the Centre for Medieval Studies

The Medieval Research Seminar has been particularly active of late. Hot on the heels of Anne Lawrence-Mathers’ fascinating discussion of medieval magic and Sarah Hamilton’s insight into reading and understanding rites, we...

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Posted by etfm202 on 25 March 2017


Anne Lawrence-Mathers on Medieval Magic, Part II

Interviewers: Éléonore Raymakers, Emma Prevignano and Lauren Lloyd The second part of the interview conducted by our undergraduate magic specialists with Prof. Anne Lawrence-Mathers, when she presented a paper at...

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Posted by Jennifer Farrell on 17 March 2017


Anne Lawrence-Mathers on Medieval Magic, Part I

Interviewers: Éléonore Raymakers, Emma Prevignano and Lauren Lloyd On Wednesday 15 February, Professor Anne Lawrence-Mathers (University of Reading) visited the Centre for Medieval Studies here at the University of Exeter....

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Posted by Mark on 10 March 2017


A New Book on Demons and Illness

Demons appear in all kinds of medieval sources, but often feature particularly in the records kept by saints’ shrines of miracles performed by the saint. Among many other illnesses and...

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Posted by crr205 on 2 March 2017


Arabic in the Archives: Keeping Up with the Canons of Medieval Toledo

Arabic has not tended to be regarded as a language of medieval Europe, despite being spoken across parts of the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years and indeed elsewhere too...

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Posted by Mark on 28 February 2017


Mediterranean Saints in Early Medieval Rome

I’m very much looking forward to joining the community at Exeter this coming autumn, and I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself and my work. Currently I’m...

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Posted by lr299 on 18 February 2017


Rendering unto Caesar…: Tithes and Lordship in the Middle Ages

The following is a review of John Eldevik’s Episcopal Power and Ecclesiastical Reform in the German Empire (CUP, 2012). It was originally produced for an online review platform; but, since...

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Posted by Mark on 12 February 2017


Anarchy in the UK?

I’m delighted to see the fruits of a recent Exeter-based archaeological research project on the conflict landscapes of the 12th century published in book form. The co-written title Anarchy: War...

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Posted by ohcreigh on 3 February 2017


Thinking about Medieval Infertility

I’m on research leave this term and working on an ongoing project which looks at attitudes to infertility and childlessness in medieval England.  Although there has been a great deal...

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Posted by crr205 on 28 January 2017


‘Ugly’ Manuscripts: MS Douce 210, Oxford

Not all manuscripts are pretty. Many, of course, are absolutely gorgeous: one need only look at the British Library exhibition on the Royal Manuscripts collection from 2011, or the accompanying...

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Posted by etfm202 on 20 January 2017


2017: A Year of Reformation

As any veteran of the funding process knows, the next best thing to the elusive gold dust of ‘reveIance’ is the calendar-bound quality of ‘timeliness’. And nothing demonstrates timeliness or...

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Posted by Mark on 2 January 2017


The Spanish Inquisition Revisited

Commenting on the inability of human societies to predict forthcoming calamities, the Los Angeles Times recently ran a comment piece headed ‘No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition – or Donald Trump’....

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Posted by Mark on 14 December 2016


¡Adiós y buen viaje, Simon!

I have a few words about Simon to mark his departure from Exeter. We are more than sorry to be losing you, Simon. You are going not just to the...

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Posted by afw203 on 8 December 2016


Stay Silent or be Damned! Modern Portrayals of the Medieval Cleric

The late medieval English cleric gets a pretty raw deal in film, TV and in popular histories. Where they appear at all, they are often ciphers, materialising merely to fulfil...

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Posted by dpa206 on 28 November 2016


Writing a Biography of William the Conqueror: Lessons of Past and Present

By Guest-Blogger David Bates When, at the start of the presentation of my new William the Conqueror, in the Yale University Press English Monarchs series, to the University of Exeter...

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Posted by lr299 on 21 November 2016


Exeter’s Hotel Fire and Historians: A Different Kind of Impact

Mid-morning on 28 October I received an urgent request from BBC Spotlight to provide historical background on an emerging news story in Exeter: the Royal Clarence Hotel had just caught...

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Posted by Mark on 14 November 2016


Video Game Medievalism Part II: Looking Ahead

I finished my last post with the claim that, for video game medievalism, 2016 has really been building up to something greater than itself in 2017. Indeed, there is plenty...

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Posted by cs457 on 7 November 2016


Video Game Medievalism Part I: 2016 in Review

2016 has had its fair share of popular medievalism in the media. However, for video game medievalism in particular, this year has been one of record-smashing and new frontiers. From...

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Posted by Mark on 31 October 2016


Using the Past to Negotiate a Time of Change: A Medieval Perspective

Last month in the baroque splendours of the Brevnov monastery in Prague, HERA launched its third joint programme of European research on ‘Uses of the Past’.  Amongst the 18 projects being...

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Posted by Mark on 25 October 2016


New Book on Orderic Vitalis

I am pleased to be able to say that Orderic Vitalis: Life, Works and Interpretations, the first volume of essays on one of the most significant and influential historians of...

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Posted by danroach on 24 October 2016


“Feeling ready to kill some Saxons!”

On 14 October 1066 one of the most renowned battles in Britain was fought between William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, King of England, near the town of Hastings. This...

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Posted by Mark on 21 October 2016


Douglas Fairbanks, Robin Hood, and the Scop-Knopping Past

On Friday night I attended a screening of the 1922 film Robin Hood at the Barbican Centre in London. In addition to bringing a silent cinema classic back to the...

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Posted by Mark on 17 October 2016


Gender, Emotion, and a prize-winning Conference

Having recently passed the viva for my thesis ‘Painful Transformations: A Medical Approach to Experience, Life Cycle and Text in British Library, Additional MS 61823, The Book of Margery Kempe’,...

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Posted by Mark on 10 October 2016


Thomas Cromwell: a man for our seasons?

At the opening and closing the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall I was asked to share my thoughts on Thomas Cromwell with presenter Simon Bates on BBC Radio Devon’s ‘Good Morning...

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Posted by Mark on 27 February 2015


Homecoming for the Alfred Jewel

This past month the Museum of Somerset in Taunton has enjoyed a particular honour: it has been host to the Alfred Jewel. Found in North Petherton (Somerset) by Sir Thomas...

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Posted by Mark on 27 February 2015


St James at Compostela: A Cosmopolitan Cult and Shrine at the Ends of the Earth

Barely a century after the Muslim invasion of Spain in 711, a tomb was found in Galicia and declared to be that of the apostle St. James. The conquest had...

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Posted by Mark on 22 February 2015


Faith and the fall of Muslim Granada: The interpreter’s tale

When Isabel of Castile and Fernando of Aragon took Granada from the Moors in 1492, their propaganda claimed it as a heroic victory marking the culmination of an 800 year...

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Posted by Mark on 10 February 2015


Malta’s Magic Hat

Recently three academics associated with the Centre for Medieval Studies visited the Cathedral Archives in Mdina, Malta, as part of a research project on ‘Magic in Malta, 1605: the Moorish...

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Posted by Mark on 10 February 2015


Test your Knowledge of the Middle Ages – BBC History Magazine Website Quiz

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from the BBC History Magazine website asking me if I’d be willing to draw up a quiz for their Medieval Week....

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Posted by Mark on 19 November 2014


Women & sex in Christian – Muslim relations: the medieval perspective

  Every year, on the Sunday before 5 October, the feast day of St Froilán, the inhabitants of the Spanish city of León celebrate a popular festival known as Las...

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Posted by Mark on 13 November 2014


The Foundations of English Law, in Exeter

Of the many celebrated names connected with medieval Exeter, Bracton is one of only a handful to claim global recognition. Bracton is known to students and practitioners of law throughout the Anglophone...

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Posted by Mark on 10 November 2014


Books of Hours from the Medieval West Country

Books of Hours are perhaps the most familiar of all medieval manuscripts. Their intricate miniatures have become a universal symbol of European art and culture before the advent of the...

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Posted by Mark on 3 November 2014


AHRC funds Syon Abbey research network

Exeter medievalist Eddie Jones has been awarded AHRC funding for an international research network to explore the remarkable intellectual and spiritual legacy of Syon Abbey. Syon, the Birgittine monastery of...

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Posted by Mark on 27 October 2014


Funding for a new regional research cluster

  Exeter’s Centre for Medieval Studies working in collaboration with medievalists at Bristol and Cardiff have secured £45K to establish a regional research cluster to work within the new Great...

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Posted by Mark on 23 September 2014