Sneak Peek: The Middle Ages, a Graphic History (out now!)

Friends, my comic is officially OUT in the UK! (Americans and Aussie/Kiwi friends have to wait until September, I am very sorry.) To celebrate, or tide you over in case you are still waiting I thought I would give you my loves a peek inside, and give you a better idea of what happens when you put 1100 years of history into 176 pages, with pictures.

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A Very Short Introduction to the Black Death

The Department of Transportation invited me to come give a talk on the Black Death, and have kindly shared it on YouTube. One note for myself! In the talk I incorrectly state that peasants’ wages in England went from 15 Denarii to 17 Denarii. That is way too much! It is actually 5(.12) Denarii to 7(.22) Denarii. This simply reflects my desire to give all peasants a raise. I hope you enjoy!

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On canonical hours, comfort, and daylight savings

I want you to know that I hate Daylight Savings. I began writing this blog on Monday, when I was cruelly forced from bed an early hour for nebulous reasons, none of which I find particularly compelling. How, pray tell, am I meant to entertain and delight you, my very beloved readers when I have had a precious hour of my life stolen from me? Truly, no one in history has suffered as I now currently suffer by virtue of being slightly sleepy. Now we can all agree that time is a construct and obviously that a delicate flower such as myself should not be held in such constraints, but I suppose it is also an opportunity to think of the reasons that we keep time.

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On treating sex with the utmost reverence

For my last post of this garbage year I wanted to write you something festive. Maybe about commemoration, or compilation, or Christmas traditions of some kind. Then I logged into twitter and well lord forgive me, but it is time to go back to the old me.

You see, the first thing I was presented with as my poor tired eyes struggled to adjust to the weak light of a December morning was this:

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My fav Saints: St Procopius of Sázava, a spooky saint

There are a lot of medieval ghost stories. So many, in fact, that there is a whole really great collection of them, Andrew Joynes’s Medieval Ghost Stories: An Anthology of Miracles, Marvels and Prodigies, which I unhesitatingly recommend if you want some more medieval ghost content in your life. To surprise and delight you, I was thinking back through some of my favs to do some casual Halloween posting. Should I do the ghost story about incest? Some of the great Icelandic revenant stories? How about my fav Emperor Charles IV’s poltergeist story that he just throws in randomly in the middle of his autobiography? That’s when I realised that actually some of my scary stories are directly related to one of my favourite saints – St Procopius of Sázava, aka Sv. Prokop. So that is who we are going to talk about today.

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On Q Anon and Antisemitism

As autumn draws in and we head towards the various holidays of the harvest season, I have been reflecting on the reason why you wouldn’t be going to your weird uncle’s house for Thanksgiving even if it wasn’t for the on-going pandemic: Q-Anon. As you know from the back catalogue, here at the blog we are slightly obsessed with QAnon (in a chill way, between buds). So, in the interest of specificity, I have been thinking about how at its heart, QAnon is just a reheated version of medieval Antisemitic beliefs updated for people who have not taken the divorce well.

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On sermons and the vernacular

This week the thing I got mad at on twitter was people’s conception about the delivery of sermons in Latin. Because I know how to have fun, that’s why. Specifically the thing that I got mad about was that one of the Quillette writers a) continues to exist, and b) was using her precious time on this mortal coil to write stupid takes like this:

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On martyrdom and nationalism

This week, at the behest of the good Dr Öberg Strådal, I have been thinking about martyrdom, as one does. As someone with a documented interest in saints it could be that this particular sideline thought is just a result of, you know, being a dork-ass medievalist who should get out more but can’t because there is a pandemic on. Instead, however, I am forced to admit that this pondering has been spurred by a tweet from none other than Trump’s lawyer (a thing I defo knew and did not have to google), Jenna Ellis.

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On Odious Debt

This week, one of you, my very dear readers, tipped me off to an excellent article. (Thanks George!) In said article my colleague at LSE, David Graeber, has an extensive and extremely interesting discussion with Disenz, “On harmful jobs, odious debt, and facists who believe in global warming”, which is very much worth your time. 

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My fav [not] Saints: St Guinefort

Given the general state of the world, I thought today would be a good day to consider the best saint to ever have the title stripped of them, and what that means about personal religious devotion versus Church ideals in the medieval period. Yes there are some very high minded reasons why we can discuss St Guinefort, but my interest has nothing to do with that, as will soon become clear.

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