A Happy New Year to all readers, albeit I appreciate it has been and continues to be exceedingly tough, including as we now head into a third lockdown in Great Britain. Consequently, I thought this week I would concentrate on the upcoming online events the Centre is organising between now and Easter, including the Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend and Lunch Time Lectures.
I thought I would first bring news of the next and hopefully last online events the Centre will be running as we inch towards getting back to physical rather than virtual events. Again, please come and join us for Professor Paul Bennett’s Becket Lecture next Wednesday 16 December starting at 7pm.
I will come to Jane’s presentation for the meeting of the Kent History Postgraduates Group shortly, but first I wanted to let you know about a few other matters involving Centre staff, including, of course, the Kentish Book Culture book launch (see last week for the booking url). Furthermore, Dr Diane Heath has just heard that she can apply again to the HLF because they have just reopened for bids, having closed suddenly last March. This means Diane can revive her ‘Medieval Animals’ project, and she has been talking again to her external partners, and will do so more fully this week with the intention of applying for a grant very shortly.
This week’s blog contains several items of good news, somewhat in contrast to the national situation. Firstly, it gives me great pleasure to record that Tracey Dessoy and Jane Richardson have been awarded grants from the Ian Coulson Postgraduate Award fund.
As this is the last blog before its 2-week ‘vacacion’, I thought I would remind readers about the great opportunity for a part-funded MA by Research on a project based around the St Albans Library inventory. Due to the generosity of a local benefactor, this is a chance for someone interested in Book History and Material Culture to investigate a substantial gentry family library collected in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which covers a very wide range of fascinating subjects. Annotations cover the period up to the auction of the library books in 1938 and the inventory also includes silver and plate, jewels, statues, objects of worth and paintings. This project will draw on comparable ‘great house’ libraries to explore, for example, ideas about collecting and reading habits, as well as the presence of book-sharing networks among this group in Hanoverian and Victorian society. The successful applicant will be offered a bursary of £1000, with the possibility of applying for a further £1000 from the Ian Coulson Award fund. If this sounds exciting and you would like to find out more about the opportunity, please do contact Dr Claire Bartram who will be one of the supervisors: email@example.com
As well as being the feast day of St Calimerius – a 3rd-century bishop of Milan, persecuted and killed by being flung head first into a well, and invoked against drought; and that of several other saints, the 31st July also marks the end of the academic (financial) year. Consequently, amongst those leaving (retiring) from Christ Church are Professor Jackie Eales, co-director of the Centre, Professor Peter Vujakovic, from Geography and someone we at the Centre have worked with on several projects, and Dr Lesley Hardy, who as readers of the blog will know is one of the leaders of the ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project. We at the Centre wish them all the best for the future.
Just to say thank you very much and more ‘animals’ have been making their way to Dr Diane Heath’s door, including several dragons, a stag, a pig, a bee, an octopus and a bonnacon. I’ll leave you to find out about the latter! If there are any more budding tile-makers out there, please do send in your design to firstname.lastname@example.org as the more the merrier.
Gingerbread Medieval Animal Tiles – We Need your Help, Please!
This week I thought I would take my cue from the events of last weekend and the idea of significant anniversaries – the international remembrance of VE Day 75 years ago and a local remembrance of Sir Roger Manwood’s foundation of his almshouses in Canterbury 450 years ago. Of course, the ceremonies and other events planned for both of these either didn’t happen at all, especially in the case of Manwood’s almshouses, or were very different than first planned, the VE Day commemoration of those who had come through WWII , but even more those who hadn’t. However, the actual focus of this blog is neither of these, and hopefully I’ll be able to report on the Manwood event next year, nor is it Becket 2020, which seems to becoming Becket 2020/21, although Becket might be said to have a walk-on part.
Thanks firstly to Dr Diane Heath for last week’s blog, and today I thought I would start with Professor Louise Wilkinson’s virtual ‘Farewell’ last Friday where she was joined by most members from History, several members of the School of Humanities administration team and Dr Harriet Kersey from CCCU Research, who is a former doctoral student of Louise’s. As all agreed, it is a great pity that such a great scholar and lovely, caring person is leaving CCCU after about sixteen years, but as her parents will still be here in Canterbury for the time being, we haven’t ‘lost’ her completely. Consequently, there will be a ‘proper Farewell’ once the lockdown is over when she will be given a rather special gift to mark everyone’s appreciation of what she has done for History and the university more widely.