Swan you say? Medieval Feasting!

Medieval feast

A guest post on medieval food and feasting in the Middle Ages by author Regan Walker.

Letter Written by Sir George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury to His Wife, Bess of Hardwick, 1568

Bess of Hardwick, 1550s. (Wikipedia)

Susan Abernethy’s latest piece looks at a letter from Sir George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury to his wife, lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I, Bess Hardwick.

The Dead in 3D: The Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project Online!

Rothwell Charnel Chapel skulls. (Photo by Medievalists.net)

In the past seven months, the Rothwell Charnel Chapel Project has evolved to become more than just a research and preservation project, but has morphed into a virtual exhibit, and fascinating online learning resource that will be available globally.

Crusaders, Pilgrims, and Relics – Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World 1095-1300

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)

The Museum of the Order of St. John is hosting a series of events and talks to promote their project: Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World 1095-1300.

Marie de Coucy, Queen of Scots

Coat of arms of Alexander II, King of Scots. Arms of Alexander II, as shown in Matthew Paris' Historia Anglorum, c. 1250 (Wikipedia)

Susan Abernethy brings us the story of Alexander II of Scotland’s French Queen, Marie de Coucy.

Five Favourite Middle English Romances

Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Arthur's Tomb: The Last Meeting of Lancelot and Guinevere (1860).

Danièle Cybulskie, the 5MinMedievalist, shares her five favourite Middle English romances – what are yours?

BOOK REVIEW: Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History You Weren’t Taught in School

Book: Spies, Sadists and Sorcerers by Dominic Selwood

A review of Dominic Selwood’s, ‘Spies, Sadists, and Sorcerers: The History you Weren’t Taught in School’

BOOK TOUR: On the Trail of the Yorks by Kristie Dean

Books: On the Trail of the Yorks by Kristie Dean

Today we’re hosting Kristie Dean’s “On the Trail of the Yorks” book tour, featuring Anne of Exeter.

Jocelin of Brakelond and the power of Abbot Samson

Detail of a miniature of the installation of abbot Baldwin and the building of the abbey at Bury St. Edmond's. From British Library MS Harley 2278 f.115v

This article reconsiders a well-known narrative source from the beginning of the thirteenth century, Jocelin of Brakelond’s Chronicle.

Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: A True Romance

Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville

Read an excerpt from Amy Licence’s new book on the 15th century royal couple.

Institutionally Constrained Technology Adoption: Resolving the Longbow Puzzle

Longbows at the Battle of Agincourt

Historians have long puzzled over why this missile weapon—clearly superior to its alternative, the crossbow—was monopolized by the English for so long

Medieval Traffic Problems

While perhaps people in the Middle Ages didnt need to worry about monkeys driving carts, there plenty of other traffic problems they had to contend with. From British Library Additional 42130   f.162

The medieval city was seen as a crowded, bustling place, with people, horses, carts and wagons all moving around. Just as in our modern city, this would all lead to inevitable traffic problems.

A Felonious State of Mind: Mens Rea in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century England

Three Men before a Judge - Ms. Ludwig XIV 6, fol, 135v

This dissertation explores the role of mens rea, or guilty mind, as a factor in jury assessments of guilt and innocence during the first two centuries of the English criminal trial jury, from the early thirteenth through the fourteenth century.

Gleanings from the 1253 Building Accounts of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey in 1873, from London: A complete guide to the leading hotels, places of amusement

Between 1220 and 1266, Salisbury Cathedral was built at a cost of £28,000.

Excavating Past Population Structures by Surname-Based Sampling: The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England

medieval studies england

The method of historical surname-based ascertainment promises to allow investigation of the influence of migration and drift over the last few centuries in changing the population structure of Britain and will have general utility in other regions where surnames are patrilineal and suitable historical records survive.

How the death of a Queen led to 68,000 people being fed

Queen Matilda depicted in the 1875 book 'The Queens of England or Royal Book of Beauty'

Here lies the distinguished Queen Matilda the second,
who surpassed both young and old in her time.
Pattern of morals, life’s adornment,
she was for all.

Danish ferocity and abandoned monasteries: the twelfth-century view

Ruins of Lindisfarne - photo by _The Real McCoy /Flickr

Apart from brief accounts of attacks on Lindisfarne and Donemutha in the 790s, there are almost no accounts of Viking attacks on Anglo-Saxon monasteries in contemporary sources. There are however many in twelfth century sources, most of them fictive or largely so. This article tries to explain why twelfth-century authors found it so important to invent stories of Viking brutality towards monks and nuns and what ideas and material they used to create their stories

Epiphany: Three Kings Day

The Three Magi, Byzantine mosaic c.565, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy (restored 18th century). As here Byzantine art usually depicts the Magi in Persian clothing which includes breeches, capes, and Phrygian caps. Wikipedia

A look at the history behind Epiphany and Twelfth Night.

Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci to tour British Isles in 2016

The head of St Anne  - Leonardo da Vinci

Throughout 2016, ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection will travel to four museums and galleries across the United Kingdom and Ireland in a new exhibition.

Edward I and the Appropriation of Arthurian Legend

King Arthur

I recount some of the various activities of Edward I where he appears to use Arthurian legend in a political context, making no attempt to draw conclusions about the nature of national identity in thirteenth century England, but rather to demonstrate the potential of this era for re-evaluation and reinterpretation by those interested in pursuing such matters.

Time and Clocks in the Middle Ages

Medieval Clock

What is told by hands, measured in sand, and announced with bells?

The Charters of the Cinque Ports – Are They Still Needed?

The Charters of the Cinque Ports

The heyday of the Cinque Ports was in medieval times when they provided a vital navy for the protection of the realm. Today, the Cinque Ports, and their charters, still exist.

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