The Bayard’s colts are a set of 17 clubs held at the Walsall Leather Museum whose mysterious origins have intrigued people for centuries. On Wednesday 3rd April we will be holding a special free event which is open to the public. As well as seeing the Colts on display, Dr Marianne Ailes of the University of Bristol will be giving a talk about their history and a local storyteller will be retelling the Medieval legend of Bayard. Light refreshments will also be available.
While the event is free we ask that you book in advance to help with catering. To book a place, please email email@example.com
Marianne Ailes will be speaking at a workshop in Turin on “La fortuna dell’ Historia Turpini in Europa: status quaestionis e prospettive di ricerca” (Turin 27 -18 November. her paper is entitled; un récit: multiples textes: La Chronique du Pseudo-Turpin en Angleterre’. She will be exploring the issues of transmission of the Pseudo-Turpin in a multilingual context and the questions raised by the existence of multiple translations and even the possible representation of the Pseudo-Turpin in the wall paintings at Claverley, which raises of questions about how a narrative, circulating in written form at the time in Latin and French, but not in English, may have spread outside the textual tradition.
The enigmatic Bayard’s Colts, currently stored in Walsall but not on public display, contain one mace with a head that is widely referred to as the Charlemagne Head. The Charlemagne: a European Icon project will make some of these objects available for public display at a one-day event to be held at Walsall Leather Museum. We have already made contact will local schools, who will be involved in the planning of this exhibit, which it is hoped will revive local interest in Walsall’s links with Emperor Charlemagne.
With its astonishing but little-known thirteenth-century wall paintings, which have been linked to the Roland legend, Claverley Church will provide the ideal setting for a public lecture on Charlemagne in England. Several speakers and displays of Charlemagne materials will make for a fascinating event.
Phillipa Hardman (University of Reading), “Aligning the text: mise-en-page in manuscripts of Middle English Charlemagne romances”.
The ten English verse romances of the Matter of France are notable for their formal variety. This paper will examine the layouts adopted by scribes in copying the texts, and will argue that as well as reflecting that variety, their different choices may reveal the pressure of a range of other concerns – for instance: heritage and continuity; narrative structure; performability – within the constraints of textual transmission and manuscript production.
Wendy Hoofnagle (University of Northern Iowa), “The once and future king: Charlemagne and re-membering the past in the Cotton Caligula A. ix manuscript”.
The increased visibility of works in English in the manuscripts of the thirteenth century is often used to support the view of a developing concept of “Englishness” as opposed to “Frenchness” in Insular identity. In this paper, I look at the manuscript context of Cotton Caligula A. ix to argue that the imagining of an English identity did not require a rejection of the past, as evidenced by the lingering influence of Charlemagne in the texts within the manuscript, because the use of the past became a meaningful tool for reshaping existing ideologies of civilization and kingship that defined “Englishness” in the changing political and cultural landscape of the thirteenth century.
Elizabeth Munro (SOAS), “Remembering Charlemagne through Saracen Eyes”.
In this paper I explore the Saracens of the English Charlemagne Romance Cycle. Examining both the verse and prose romances belonging to the cycle, I shall consider differences in the representations of Saracens that emerge via their interactions with Charlemagne. Throughout this paper I shall differentiate between sincere and ‘Saracenised’ representations, questioning whether a truly Islamic identity can be recognised within these texts.
Three members of the Charlemagne project will be presenting at the Medieval Insular Romance Conference this year. The University of Bristol’s Helen Fulton and Marianne Ailes, as well as Aisling Byrne (University of Reading) will all speak at this event. A full programme is now available on the conference website.
- Philip Bennett, “La Chanson d’Aiquin: entre croisade et pèlerinage” (11:30 Wednesday 18 October)
- Marianne Ailes, “Les reliques dans les chansons de geste” (14:15 Wednesday 18 October)
This conference explored the expression of identity and alterity in medieval epic and romance. It was devised within the project ‘Identity and Alterity in European Medieval Literature: Words, Topoi and Metaphors‘, which is funded by the Italian government. This project aims to create a database that collects the words, the topoi, and the metaphors used in medieval culture to express identity and alterity. The conference ended with a roundtable concerning the structure of the database, the search modes and the initial results coming out from crossing the data. Moreover, this event also included two papers about Arabic medieval poetry and the broader Mediterranean cultural context (Capezzone, Poletti).
Thursday 13 October
Northern Scholars Lecture
Sif Rikhardsdottir, ‘Poetic Voice and Interior Emotionality in Old Norse Literature’ followed by a reception.
Friday 14 October
9.15 Welcome by Philip Bennett and Marianne Ailes
9.30 – 10.45 Session 1: France and Burgundy
–Philip Bennett: Charlemagne the Warrior in La Chanson des Saisnes and Aiquin
–Catherine Emerson: Charlemagne’s Tears in David Aubert
11.00 – 11.05 Tea and Coffee
11.05 – 12.00 Session 2: Italian and English
–Annalisa Perrotta and Giuseppe Mascherpa: New Documents on the Circulation of the Falconetto: Hypothesis and New Scenarios
–Phillipa Hardman: Feeling Others’ Fears? Reflections on Late-Medieval Insular Charlemagne Narratives in 2016
12.00 – 1.00 Venue: IASH Seminar Room
–Team discussion of progress of volumes and website
1.00– 2.00 Sandwich Lunch for Team Members and Invited Guests
2.00 – 3.00 Session 3: Celtic and Norse
–Daniel Zimmerman: Hákon’s Cultural Programme: Af Rúnzivals bardaga as the Exception to the Rule?
–Helen Fulton: Charlemagne in Wales: Imperialism in Medieval Welsh Poetry
3.00 – 3.30 Tea and Coffee
3.30 – 5.00 Session 4: Iberian Perspectives
–Doriane Zerka: Karl and the Other: Perspectives on Iberia in the GermanRolandslied
–William Purkis: The Materiality of Charlemagne’s Iberian ‘Crusade’
–Matthew Bailey: Insights for the Study of Spanish Literature from Charlemagne in Spain
5.00 – 6.00 Book Launch
–Charlemagne and his Legend in Early Spanish Literature and Historiography, ed. Matthew Bailey and Ryan D. Giles (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2016).
–The Charlemagne Legend in Medieval Latin Texts, ed. William J. Purkis and Matthew Gabriele (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2016).
-Matthew Bailey (Washington and Lee University), ‘Charlemagne as a Creative Force in the Spanish Epic’.
-Lucy K. Pick, (University of Chicago), ‘Rebel Nephews and Royal Sisters: The Tale of Bernardo del Carpio’.
-Mercedes Vaquero (Brown University), ‘The Old Counselors in the Roncesvals “Matière” and the Spanish Epic’.
-Ryan D. Giles (Indiana University – Bloomington), ‘Converting the Saracen: The Historia del emperador Carlomagno and the Christianization of Granada’.
-Aníbal Biglieri (University of Kentucky), ‘The Construction of Space and Place in the Narrative: “Cuento del emperador Carlos Maynes de Roma e de la buena emperatris Seuilla, su mugier”’.
-Philip Bennett, ‘Charlemagne the warrior in Les Saisnes and Aiquin’.
-Jenny Markey, ‘Medieval Translation and the Estoire d’Antioche’.
-Simon Parsons, ‘The Formulaic Combat of Latin First Crusade Texts with reference to that of the Chansons de geste’.
-Patricia Gillies, ‘Roland and the Space of Death in the Oxford Roland’.
-James Doherty, ‘Ranulf of Blondeville and the Wollaton Hall Chanson d’Aspremont’.
-Philippa Hardman, ‘Arthurian Connections in the Middle English Charlemagne Romances’.
-Marianne Ailes, ‘Rebellious Barons in the chanson de geste in England’.
-Françoise Le Saux, ‘The language of warfare in Layamon’s Brut’.