Before I get to the main report this week on Dr Claire Bartram’s Kentish Book Culture online book launch, I thought I would draw your attention to the upcoming Annual Becket Lecture on Wednesday 16 December at 7pm on Teams Live Events. This online lecture will be given by Professor Paul Bennett MBE on ‘Canterbury during the Time of Thomas Becket’. Please note the lecture is free. You can find details through the Centre’s weblink at: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/events/arts-and-humanities/ckhh/canterbury-during-the-time-of-thomas-becket.aspx and to join please copy the long url below into your web browser and click on it a few minutes before the lecture which is due to start at 7pm: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MjkzNTM5NDItMWQ1NC00MGM3LThiZWMtMWQwYTAyODUyMmRh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%220320b2da-22dd-4dab-8c21-6e644ba14f13%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%225438ffb7-ff66-44f6-9ccf-cf504309571b%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d we shall look forward to your company.
Before I turn to the main event this week, the fortnightly meeting of the Kent History Postgraduates group and Dean’s presentation, I thought I would bring you up to date with the virtual ‘Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend’ that will take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 March 2021, as well as Centre events before that.
As a follow up to last week, I thought I would just mention that my hard copy of The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds 1400–1800, edited by Claire Jowitt, Craig Lambert and Steve Mentz, has now arrived. There look to be lots of fascinating chapters from ‘Global Networks’ to ‘Piracy and Privateering’, ‘Sea Music’, ‘Ottoman Seafarers’ Tales’ and ‘Nautical Manuals’. If anyone is interested, please see further details at: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Marine-and-Maritime-Worlds-1400-1800-1st-Edition/Jowitt-Lambert-Mentz/p/book/9780367471842 and in due course it is hoped there will be a paperback edition.
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.
Dr Diane Heath is in the process of ‘building’ the ‘medieval tile’ floor. So if you want to help her by providing your ‘medieval animal tile’ design, even if you cannot make it of gingerbread, please do send a photo of your design to her at email@example.com and in return she will send you a certificate. For after 800 years, it is important to remember that 7 July this week was a major anniversary of Thomas Becket’s Translation, and one of the main features of the new shrine in the Trinity Chapel was the magnificent pavement.
Having caught up with Dr Claire Bartram, as Co-Director of the Centre, and Dr Diane Heath, the Centre’s Research Fellow, I thought I would report on their involvement with the forthcoming Medieval Pageant on Saturday 4 July (the closest Saturday to the Translation of St Thomas on 7 July), which this year will be a virtual experience: https://www.canterburybid.co.uk/canterbury-medieval-pageant/ . Working with the Medieval Pageant team, Claire has been liaising between them and the Creative Writing staff and students at CCCU on some short creative pieces that relate to Thomas Becket.
This week I thought I would start with a collaboration between the Centre and MEMS at Kent as part of their new online initiative. Led by the Kent team comprising a Taught MA student and four PhD students (one has just completed), this new website will provide information about freely available online resources arranged thematically in the fields of medieval and early modern studies; with a forum so that researchers can raise questions, seek assistance or notify others about newly discovered resources. This exciting development ‘Unchaining the library’ was launched this week and is already receiving rave reviews. If you want to check it out, please go to: https://www.memslib.co.uk/
I thought I would start this week by telling you about an exciting opportunity for someone who is interested in the History of the Book and who would like to undertake a postgraduate degree in the School of Humanities as part of the Kent History Postgraduates group.
As we hopefully begin to get some idea of the government’s timetable and strategy regarding how to get out of lockdown, I thought this week I would use the idea of time – in the form of clocks, and bells – the latter because as a mark of the 8pm Thursday clapping for keyworkers, the bell at Canterbury Cathedral tolls for two minutes. Nevertheless, before I come to my topic, I want to report on the fortnightly meeting of the Kent History Postgraduate group.
With all Centre and other events in Canterbury cancelled until the autumn at the earliest, and even September may be in doubt – more news when matters become clearer; and the Prime Minister remains in intensive care, the gravity of the situation at all levels is clear. Hence, developing ways to adjust to the present circumstances are paramount in order to fulfil government requirements to help those on this ‘war’s’ frontline.