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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

History of the Book Lecture 2014: The Renaissance in the North: Durham, York and the Fortunes of Humanist Script

29th October 2014, 17:30, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Dr David Rundle (University of Essex)

David Rundle is a Lecturer in History at the University of Essex and Co-Director of its Centre for Bibliographical History. He has published widely on the history of Renaissance humanism and on libraries in late medieval and early modern European culture. He is the editor of Humanism in C15th Europe (Oxford, 2012) and is completing a catalogue of English humanist scripts, as well as a set of essays, The English Quattrocento: the palaeographical evidence.

The history of the Renaissance humanism is often written as a tale of Italian innovation which only belatedly reached England. What is more, it is assumed that interest was shown in only some parts of south-east England, between Oxford, London and Canterbury. In truth, the engagement with humanist intellectual habits was more vibrant than such a narrative can suggest. To demonstrate how our perceptions need to be revised, this lecture takes as its focus the north-east of England and will consider the evidence for humanist activities across the fifteenth century. In particular, it will delineate the interests and significance of two successive bishops of Durham, John Shirwood (1484-93) and Richard Foxe (1491-1504, thereafter bishop of Winchester). In so doing, we will consider the reading and writing of humanist books, and the place of script beyond books.

The lecture will be followed by a reception, and an optional three-course dinner in the Senate Suite, Castle.

The lecture & reception are free. The cost of the meal will be £35.

We are pleased to be able to offer five dining places for postgraduate students for a reduced price of £17: these will be allocated on a first-come-first served basis.

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