Finding Evidence of Holy Healing: The Case of St Robert of Knaresborough

My research focuses particularly on the experiences of pilgrims who sought out miraculous cures from saint cults in high-medieval England.  A key resource for this, therefore, are the hagiographical sources which include reports of the posthumous miracles (collected together in a subgenre called miracula) worked by various saints through their shrines.  However, these formally written-up [...]

The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages, II: Places, Spaces and Objects (23rd March 2018)

The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages, II: Places, Spaces and Objects (23rd March 2018)

My co-organiser, Frances Cook, and I are pleased to announce that we can now share our programme for the sixth annual GCMS (Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies) postgraduate and early-career researcher conference. Further details including the programme can be found below. 'The Maladies, Miracles and Medicine of the Middle Ages, II' (MMM 2018) will take [...]

19th December 1154: Henry II and the Hand of St James

by Dr Ruth Salter 836 years ago, on a day much like this (possibly), Henry II was crowned at Westminster Abbey.  His predecessor (and uncle), Stephen, had died just under two months earlier, much of his reign having been taken up by ‘The Anarchy’ – a civil war of succession following the death of Henry [...]

A Festive Treat: Indulgent Georgian Drinking (Chocolate Wine)

There are many indulgent foods that are synonymous with Christmas today, but two of the key ones must surely be chocolate and alcohol.  True, the turkey and its trimmings are Christmas classics, but it’s those festive extras – the champagne at breakfast, and the mid-morning opening of the chocolate selection box… all of which will [...]

Restless Revenants: A Curious Case of Animated Corpses in Vita S. Moduenne Uirginis.

Restless Revenants: A Curious Case of Animated Corpses in Vita S. Moduenne Uirginis.

* forewarning: this is a long read - if you just want the ghost stories stop when you reach the map* ‘It would not be easy to believe that the corpses of the dead should sally (I know not by what agency) from their graves, and should wander about to the terror or destruction of [...]

Toads mean Trouble: Amphibious Assassins in Gerald of Wales’ The Journey through Wales

If you were asked to think of an unassuming British animal, I would hazard a guess that the first creature to come to mind would be something – small, brown, possibly squeaky – like a mouse or hedgehog.  So unassuming is the toad that I bet you’d not have even given it a second thought [...]