Women's Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon

An International Network Funded by the Leverhulme Trust

Chaucer, the Mother of English Poetry?

In the early eighteenth century John Dryden famously described Geoffrey Chaucer as ‘the Father of English Poetry’, although he wasn’t the first one to do so. Three centuries earlier in The Regiment of Princes the poet and bureaucrat Thomas Hoccleve offered the first recorded reference to Chaucer as literary father. This paternal image defines the […]


Women’s Literary Culture & The Medieval Canon – Chawton House Library Workshop Event

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the first workshop for the project Women’s Literary Culture & The Medieval Canon which took place at Chawton House Library, an Elizabethan manor house in Hampshire, which is now The Centre for the Study of Early English Women’s Writing, 1600-1830. What follows is a summary of the […]


Women’s Travelling Visions

Whilst browsing through the shelves of a small second-hand bookshop in Aberystwyth in1994, I came across a Penguin translation of The Book of Margery Kempe, an apparently autobiographical text written by a fifteenth-century wife and mother living in Bishops (now Kings) Lynn in Norfolk in 1436. Deeming it ideal for the evening course on women’s […]


Contemporary Women’s Engagement with Medieval Culture

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Harold_dead_bayeux_tapestry.png In an article in Hybrid Pedagogy, Sean Michael Morris, Pete Rorabaugh and Jesse Stommel discuss play as critical enquiry in the classroom and lament the ways in which academic rigour is often opposed to ‘collective, playful learning’. In their words: ‘Play, experimentation, and collaboration can all lead to important discoveries and deep intellectual inquiry. […]


Reading the Past: Virginia Woolf, Chaucer and the Pastons

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Woolf#/media/File:Virginia_Woolf_1927.jpg Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is probably best known to us now as part of the history of feminism. Most famously, she wrote that women need to be able to “think back through our mothers,” arguing that to develop a tradition of women’s writing, we need a history of women’s writing that women can […]


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