New Chaucer Life Record

Prof. Sobecki’s discovery of a new document shedding light on Chaucer’s life has recently been covered by The Guardian.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/07/document-casts-new-light-on-chaucer-rape-case

The full article in English Literary History can be found at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/726186 which members of the university can access through their library account.

Chaucer is not the only medieval writer associated with controversy about raptus (rape, abduction). Thomas Malory may have imprisoned for rape. Rape and abduction (there’s a big difference as the latter could have been consensual or may not have involved sexual assault) remained difficult to distinguish in written records at least until the eighteenth century.

Chaucer – Shakespeare – Dickens

BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week was called ‘Icons of English Literature’ today. The podcast is available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004s95

Chaucer is renowned as the father of English literature. But in a new biography Marion Turner argues he is a far more cosmopolitan writer and thinker than we might assume. She tells Andrew Marr how the 14th-century author of The Canterbury Tales moved from the commercial wharves of London to the chapels of Florence, and from a spell as a prisoner of war in France to the role of diplomat in Milan.

The academic Emma Smith challenges audiences to look with fresh eyes at the plays of Shakespeare. In a series of essays she reveals how his plays have as much to say about PTSD, intersectionality and #MeToo as they do about Ovid, marriage and the divine right of kings.

When Charles Dickens started his writing career, his ambition was global: to speak to ‘every nation upon earth’. And he succeeded. His stories reached Russia, China, Australia, even Antarctica, and he was mobbed in the street when he visited America. Juliet John, co-curator of the exhibition Global Dickens, examines how Dickens’s work could travel so far, when the settings of his novels were much closer to home. [BBC]

NUTS: Night of English Literature

This year’s edition is themed Spoof & Satire, and will include lectures by Dr Hans Jansen, Dr John Flood and Prof. Richard Lansdown. We also have some amazing people from Groningen University Theatre Society – GUTS coming by!

You can get your tickets by emailing us at svnuts@gmail.com, and transferring the money to SVNUTS (NL89 RABO 0346 2152 18). This event is €2 for members and €4 for non-members. Do make sure you get your tickets in time, as tickets are limited.

Doors will open at 20:00, the event starts at 20:30.

Venue: Van der Velde Boeken Groningen, locatie Grote Markt.

Just William

William. 13

The latest issue of William the Dutch Shakespeare magazine has now appeared. A number of people associated with the department have been involved with it:

Kristy Zuijdervliet has written an article ‘Shakespeare fandom 3.0’

Dr Hans Jansen has written about Measure for Measure and his fetish for Shakespeare dolls.

Sara van Geloven, a former student, is now the general editor of the publication.

Online Purchase

Into the World

Prof. Sobecki was speaking about the travels of Sir John Mandeville on BBC Radio 4 on Monday night. The episode is available as a download at: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003tdk

From the BBC site:

At a moment when Brexit and our carbon footprints are prompting us to reassess what it means to move around the world, Sarah Dunant looks at the long history of travel and the ways it has enchanted and alarmed us across the centuries.

The anxieties over young Tudor travellers returning radicalised from Catholic Europe was a phenomenon that gripped England after the break with Rome. Nandini Das argues that fears over travel helped to define a nation.

Professor Eric Zuelow shows how the Nazi regime turned travel into a highly sophisticated propaganda tool, organising tours and trips specifically designed to cement ideas of racial superiority and national identity.

In the Middle Ages, travel is seen to be a startlingly tolerant and cosmopolitan experience, as the naturally curious medieval mind seeks to expand the borders of its world in a spirit of generosity. Whether the fantastical journeys of Sir John Mandeville or the diplomatic missions of Dominican Friars to Mongol Kings, Sebastian Sobecki explains how new discoveries were always understood through their existing religious and cultural lenses.

University of Groningen: An Unofficial History

This illustrated English-language history of the University of Groningen covers the years from its foundation in 1614 to 2018. It is structured around a chronological overview of the major events and significant people in the university’s life placed in the context of Dutch national history. Its final chapter deals with current debates and changes at the university. The book emerged from a project based on an MA course in the English Department’s Writing, Editing and Mediating course. It is on sale on all of Amazon’s sites.

Contents: Before 1614 •  Foundation, 1614 • Early Students •  Libraries • 1700-1814: Enlightenment • Medicine  • 1814-1914: Education Acts  • Women  • 1914-1950: War  | Museums • 1950-2000: Expansion  • 2000-2018: Millennium • Dutch Universities • Terminology • Bibliography • Index

Contributors: Eltje Beckmann | Siebrand Boerema | Judith Bol | Frank Braamhaar | Tina Bruinsma | Elien Cusveller | Ingrid Dillen | Dr John Flood | Violette Frentrop | Sara van Geloven | Sabrina Hartmann | Tamsin Horsfield | Emma Jansen | Dr Hans Jansen | Miriam Lange | Maria van Loosdrecht | Daniël Muller | Jill Nobel | Sander Ootjers | Dorrit Ris | Jelmer van der Schaaf | Dorian Smilda | Aaf Tienkamp | Esmee Tijdeman | Emmie Touwen | Rudy Veiga da Palma | Miranda Wijgers | Baukje Wijma.

 

Medieval English Travel

Medieval English Travel: A Critical Anthology, edited by Sebastian Sobecki (Groningen) and Anthony Bale (Birkbeck, London) has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Medieval English Travel: A Critical Anthology is a comprehensive volume that consists of three sections: concise introductory essays written by leading specialists; an anthology of important and less well-known texts, grouped by destination; and a selection of supporting bibliographies organised by type of voyage. This anthology presents some texts for the first time in a modern edition. (Publisher’s description)

More details here