Dionissia and the robber baron: a 13th century Northumbrian drama

  "My sire is of a noble line, And my name is Geraldine: Five warriors seized me yestermorn, Me, even me, a maid forlorn: They choked my cries with force and fright, And tied me on a palfrey white." Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel, Part I   Between 20 and 26 January 1279 Dionissia Bechfeld  appeared in the …

A presentation on The Wilton Diptych

This presentation explores similarities between the imagery of Richard II's famous prayer panel of the 1390s, The Wilton Diptych,  and that of the historiated initial letter of the foundation charter of Mountgrace Priory,  North Yorkshire, which was established by the king's nephew, Thomas Holand, duke of Surrey and earl of Kent, in 1398. Presentation on …

Politics and presents in the age of Richard II

End of year gift-giving was a well-established practice in the middle ages, but was done at New Year rather than at Christmas. For the social and political elites, especially the higher nobility, gift-giving fulfilled several functions. It re-enforced ties of kinship and affinity; it asserted status; and cultivated and rewarded sympathetic behaviour in the invisible …

Reflection on research practice by a former humanities postgraduate student

Self-reflection has been one of the more widely encouraged behaviours in learning in the last two decades. This is a task that is often easier to ask of others than to carry out oneself.  Looking back after more than fifteen years on my own postgraduate research, I am startled now by how much of my …