Blogging the Medieval

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Each May, the annual Medieval Congress is held in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  This year, I joined a panel of bloggers organized by Kisha Tracy and John Sexton to think about how we use the medium of blogging to share our work and … Continue reading

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Behold yonder two fires

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Reading the text of Malory’s Roman War campaign as a graduate student, I never imagined I would step into this narrative geography of war, then find myself sipping wine at an outdoor café, listening to aboriginal music from Australia, joining … Continue reading

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his dream had come about

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Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 12th century account of Arthur’s channel crossing from Sandwich to Barfleur: Round about midnight, as he sailed briskly on through the deep sea, surrounded by ships too numerous to count, and following his course closely with joy … Continue reading

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Re-conquering the Conquest

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The late afternoon sun is gorgeous—warm and low in the sky— and the vibe of Barfleur is that of “le long weekend.”  With Bastille Day tomorrow, you can feel an unmistakably French holiday pace.  At the harbour, a couple sits … Continue reading

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Laid-back Barfleur

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A deep, solemn bell rings out across the coastal town of Barfleur.  You can hear its very metallicness, if that can be a word, resonant with a sonorous medieval past. Later, as I sit in the warm afternoon sun,  the sound … Continue reading

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American Cemetery III: In proud remembrance of her sons

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In proud remembrance of her sons . . .1941-1945  Inscription on the reflecting pool monument.   I have two sons, one now 18, and tears spring to my eyes as I read this inscription.  And they do so, yet again, as I … Continue reading

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American Cemetery II: ‘an hondred thousand leyde ded upon the erthe’

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On June 6, 1944, 25,000 young men, Allied and German troops, lost their lives in Normandy, in some state of agony.  It seems as if a devastating event of this proportion could only have occurred in the horrific day of modern … Continue reading

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Traveling by Surprise

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I tend to travel by surprise.  A journey, as suggested in Guiliana Bruno’s Atlas of Emotion, is a complex experience of the voyeur, multi-layered and circuitous–the act of seeing, in contact with geography, art, architecture, and emotion. Headed north and east, … Continue reading

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1066!

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On the eve of Bastille Day, I drive northeast toward the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy.  My destination is the coastal town of Barfleur, site of Arthur’s continental landing and of the massing of his troops for the Roman campaign. the … Continue reading

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Calais

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To retrace my previous day’s journey for a moment: I came through the once-bustling port of Calais, primary site of embarkation and debarkation for sea travelers between England and France.  That seems simple to say now.  Calais and the region … Continue reading

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