Bagster’s Bibles: for Norwich and the world

Last weekend, I happened upon a melancholy Twitter thread that captured the closing of a two-hundred-year-old church in Norwich: Princes Street United Reformed Church. The author, Jay Hulme (@JayHulmePoet), had gone to photograph the building as a record for posterity, a day before the pews and fittings were due to be stripped out. (You can read and see Jay’s account here.)

One of the outcomes of this visit is that a small collection of books, mostly bibles, found piled on a windowsill has now gone to the Norfolk Heritage Centre for safe-keeping. Looking carefully, with input from friends and the local church minister, Jay had identified several books belonging to the Colman family—famed for their mustard. One of these was a copy of Samuel Bagster’s “English Version of the Polyglot Bible”, heavily annotated by its owner—Ethel Mary Colman Continue reading Bagster’s Bibles: for Norwich and the world

How to govern differently

It seems that caring for other websites led me to neglect this personal one. So I’m belatedly documenting some of the intervening time, and–as I sometimes do–preparing a backdated post to keep things in some kind of chronological sequence.

When I first began work with the Jam and Justice team, the post was a 9-month filler, with a view to obtaining follow-on funding to develop some of the Linguistic DNA resources for use with schools. Continue reading How to govern differently

Preaching to the converted?

One of my last obligations with the Linguistic DNA project (though who knows what doors may open) was a short presentation on the “Public Sermons” collection as part of a workshop on Early modern preaching. This one-day conference was organised by a pair of postgraduate researchers, and brought together 30 or so scholars with a keen enthusiasm for the topic. It was a natural  venue to share some of what we achieved modelling change with EEBO-TCP, and I was delighted that Tilly and Catherine (the organisers) found a space for this within a busy and collegiate programme.  Continue reading Preaching to the converted?

Embracing Early Modern Biblical Studies

Last year, I wrote about the prospects of a new network in Early Modern Biblical Studies. Two weeks today, scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds will gather in Sheffield for a workshop to think about ways to take that vision forward.

In advance of that workshop, I’ve invited those with an interest in the field to fill out a survey to help determine our priorities. This is proving a really useful way to capture ideas and think about how best to direct our collective energies. Continue reading Embracing Early Modern Biblical Studies

EMBerS: Glowing prospects for network in Early Modern Biblical Studies

Two years ago, Richard Wistreich gave a lecture and masterclass as part of a Visiting Speaker series at the University of Sheffield. This was during my stint as Coordinator for the Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies (SCEMS). At dinner after the lecture, I discovered Richard’s son-in-law is a fellow biblical scholar (and friend).* Richard quizzed me over the absence of biblical studies in the Society for Renaissance Studies (of which he is Vice Chair). Where, he wanted to know, are all the early modern biblical studies scholars? And how do we get them to RenSoc?

Continue reading EMBerS: Glowing prospects for network in Early Modern Biblical Studies

Watching Luther: a prequel to three public talks

On Halloween, 1517, nearly 500 years ago, Luther posted up his debate text on the doors of the Wittenberg Castle Church. Was Luther’s text inflammatory? Composed in Latin, its direct capacity to inflame was limited to his literate peer group. Continue reading Watching Luther: a prequel to three public talks

Sheffield’s Brexit, Hard Evidence and Anecdotes

Vote remain: placard on window sill

For weeks I’ve been feeling an inarticulate kind of anger. No one cared to canvas in the former heartlands.

The current post is prompted specifically by the “anecdotal evidence” in Charles Pattie’s contribution to The Conversation. In the footnotes to what follows, you will find some additional information Sheffield’s demographic extremes. The main post provides direct anecdotal evidence from someone who works for the University of Sheffield (like Pattie), but lives on the city’s north eastern fringes.

Continue reading Sheffield’s Brexit, Hard Evidence and Anecdotes

Linguistic DNA

I am currently a postdoctoral research associate for Linguistic DNA, modelling concepts and conceptual change in early modern English (1500–1800). This is a three-year research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, based in the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield.

Update to this post coming soon.

Towards a doctorate

The early days of my doctoral research were quickly disrupted: I arrived in the Department of Biblical Studies just as the University announced its intent to close it. That step was forestalled, and I had a small role in shaping what became the new Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS). Continue reading Towards a doctorate