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.
You eruditissimi who grace my site with your presence will probably be interested to know of an upc0ming event. It is a one-day conference on Humanism in Fifteenth-Century Europe which is going to take place on Saturday, 17th October 2009 at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. We have — if you exclude myself — a good line up of speakers who will cover a wide expanse of Europe, from Iberia in the west to Hungary and Poland in the East.
The day, as you can see from the small image of the poster, is being organised under the aegis of the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, and has the support of the Society for Renaissance Studies. It will also, we hope, mark the on-line publication of the revised edition of Roberto Weiss’ Humanism in England during the Fifteenth Century, which is going to have an introduction, new addenda and appendices and extra indices. If, that is, I get all the work done for it.
If you want to know more about the day, visit the Medium Aevum website, where there are details and the registration form in pdf format. I hope to meet you there!