‘The Butcher of England’ in Ireland
I am looking forward to visiting, this coming week, the University of Cork, where I will be giving a lecture entitled ‘ “The Butcher of England”, a Renaissance man: John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester and the Yorkist discovery of humanist eloquence’. I do not seem to be able to get away from Tiptoft, Constable of England, Lieutenant of Ireland, notorious for both his bloodthirsty nature and his status as ‘a Renaissance Prince’. I am hoping to do something new in this talk, tailored to my hosts: I am going to attempt to combine codicological discussion with an overview of changes in Latin style in fifteenth-century England. The purpose of this post is to provide those who are planning to attend (and those who, though absent, can conjure up a concept of what the evening will be like) with a sneak preview. I have produced a few pages comprising some of the texts to which I will refer (it is a Word document) — close reading of them beforehand is not essential, and to avoid disappointment, I should emphasise that there will be brief discussion of them. Those who do look at them will, I suspect, not find it hard quickly to grasp the line of argument of the paper.
For those who are less interested in the niceties of Latin epistolography, the lecture will also provide — the gods of Powerpoint willing — some visual stimulation. The argument will be underpinned by discussion of my research into the library of John Tiptoft. It was a collection which, in the middle of the twentieth century, was lamented as being nearly completed lost. We can now identify over thirty manuscripts from the collection, and for those who are interested, they can view the present list on this website.
I hope that these resources provide some intellectual nourishment — not that a whole meal, more an amuse-bouche for this coming week.
Update: Today, 1st December, I have also upload my handout for the talk, as a pdf.