Many thanks to Dr Diane Heath and Dr Pip Gregory for running the ‘Young Medievalists’ Corner’ yesterday (funded by Swale Borough Council) – more on that soon; but also a reminder that Diane and Harriet Kersey will be back for their third Saturday on 21st July. The doors of Faversham Town Council’s ‘Heritage Hub’, as part of Faversham Society’s Open Weekends, will open at 10 am, with ‘young medievalists’ activities’ from 11am – do come and join them.
Before I come to the Centre’s involvement in this year’s Medieval Pageant in Canterbury which took place today, I thought I would just mention a couple of other events that have involved Centre and Canterbury Christ Church medievalists over the last week. Firstly, before the King’s School broke up for the summer, I met up with Janet Taylor who runs Classics there to broach the idea of running a sixth form workshop again next academic year for Classics students. Janet was enthusiastic, and I’m also hoping to keep the same link going with Claire Anderson concerning her lower and upper form historians.
Before I come on to two saints, one at Dover and Chichester and the other at Folkestone, I thought I would bring you some breaking news about the Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend 2019, as well as advance notice of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020. Over recent weeks I have been working on the 2019 History Weekend programme and even though it is not yet complete, I thought I would mention that in the last day or so I have had several confirmations. Among the speakers who will be coming to Canterbury are Professor Glenn Richardson (speaking on Cardinal Wolsey) and Dr David Starkey (on Henry VII’s financial policies); and for the Stuarts – Professor Maria Hayward (on perfume at the royal court) and Dr Clive Holmes (on Cromwell and witchcraft). Then in 2020 we will be welcoming for the first time the Revd Dr Rowan Williams and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, but much more on this nearer the time.
Some encouraging news, it seems likely that we will receive the necessary funding to be able to produce the 2nd phase of the ‘Medieval Faversham’ exhibition. Consequently, Dr Diane Heath is checking what we would like to add to the items we didn’t produce last time when the funds ran out. These will include about three more exhibition boards, such as Faversham Abbey’s ‘Book of the Dead’. We also hope to have several more pop-up banners that have the added advantage of being flexible regarding where they are displayed, two life-size figures of King Stephen and Queen Matilda, and items for the ‘Young Medievalists’ corner. All being well, the exhibition will open early July, but as soon as I know more I’ll let you know.
I appreciate that being Sunday, the ‘Tudor and Stuart Canterbury’ conference took place yesterday, but for that report I’m afraid you are going to have to wait until later in the week because I have yet to report on two events that took place last Thursday and since then preparations for the conference have taken up all my time. The two events were the staff-postgraduate History seminar where the paper was given by Dr Suzanne Coley, and the Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust [FCAT] lecture on the ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project (just to add to the abundance of riches, Professor Alexandra Walsham was speaking at the Canterbury Historical Association meeting on Thursday too).
Regarding the work of the Centre, firstly I want to congratulate Dr Diane Heath on the submission of the Gender and Medieval Studies volume on Gender: Places, Spaces and Thresholds to the publisher last weekend. Diane and her fellow editors have done a truly splendid job in record time and they deserve much applause and the deep-felt thanks of the various contributors, including two from Canterbury Christ Church: Dr Leonie Hicks has written the Afterword and I have contributed an article, as has Diane. If all goes well, it will be out in the autumn this year.
Now that the Easter holidays have arrived, I thought I would ask local readers if they have spotted the two posters in Waterstones advertising ‘Saturn’s Fury’ – the puppet show that will be taking place in the children’s area on the first floor of the book shop on Friday 6 April starting at 11am. Saturn, the green dragon, is making a guest appearance from The Canterbury Tales and would like as many young children and their parents, grandparents and others as possible to come along to help him find his roar which he has lost. This event is FREE and booking is not required. It forms the opening event of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, and for slightly older ‘young medievalists’ and adults there is the chance that afternoon at 3pm to hear ‘Campfire Tales – with a Canterbury Twist’ in the garden of The Canterbury Tales. To book this and other events at the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, please visit: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/medieval-canterbury or after the Easter weekend phone 01227 782994.
Seeking to engage younger audiences and to show just how exciting medieval and early modern (and modern) studies can be is becoming an increasing important part of the Centre’s activities. There is the partnership with The Canterbury Tales for two activities on the Friday of the Medieval Canterbury Weekend, story-telling in the afternoon: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/school-of-humanities/medieval-canterbury-weekend/medieval-canterbury-weekend-2018/chaucers-tales.aspx In the morning at Waterstones Saturn, the wonderful green dragon, will be looking for his lost roar between 11 am and midday, do come and help him find it.
This will be the last blog before the rescheduled Becket Lecture, consequently I thought I would start by sending out a final reminder that it will take place in The Michael Berry Lecture Theatre, Old Sessions House, on Tuesday 6 March at 6pm. Dr Marie-Pierre Gelin will be the lecturer this year and her chosen topic is ‘Thomas Becket and his Predecessors at Canterbury’. Everyone is most welcome, so please come along and bring your friends.
I thought I would start with some very exciting news, Michael Wood has agreed to come to Canterbury to give an evening lecture on Tuesday 30 October 2018. The title is not yet confirmed but he will be speaking primarily about Theodore and Hadrian, thereby coinciding with a major new Anglo-Saxon exhibition that will be opening late October in London. More details will be available soon, and proceeds from the lecture will go towards the fund for Canterbury Archaeological Trust that was set up after the three disastrous break-ins this month at the Trust’s store at Kingsmead. These have resulted in considerable damage and the theft of finds, including Anglo-Saxon artefacts, which the Trust had excavated and archived in over forty years of work in Canterbury and Kent.