• Introspection and the Self in Early Modern Spiritual (Auto) Biography

      Hillman, Jennifer; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2020)
      This chapter will explore the intersections between memory, introspection and selfhood in spiritual biographical and autobiographical texts produced in France over the long eighteenth century. This chapter uses case studies from eighteenth-century France to destabilise teleological narratives surrounding the emergence of selfhood and subjectivity in the eighteenth century and its association with modernity and secularisation.
    • Landscapes of Internment: British Prisoner of War Camps and the Memory of the First World War

      Grady, Tim; University of Chester (Cambridge University Press, 2019-07-26)
      During the First World War, all the belligerent powers interned both civilian and military prisoners. In Britain alone, over 100,000 people were held behind barbed wire. Despite the scale of this enterprise, interment barely features in Britain's First World War memory culture. By exploring the place of prisoner of war camps within the "militarized environment" of the home front, this article demonstrates the centrality of internment to local wartime experiences. Being forced to share the same environment meant that both British civilians and German prisoners clashed over access to resources, roads and the surrounding landscape. As the article contends, it was only when the British started to employ the prisoners on environmental improvement measures, such as land drainage or river clearance projects, that relations gradually improved. With the end of the war and closure of the camps, however, these deep entanglements were quickly forgotten. Instead of commemorating the complexities of the conflict, Britain's memory culture focused on more comfortable narratives; British military "sacrifice" on the Western Front quickly replaced any discussion of the internment of the "enemy" at home.
    • ‘To our big boy’. Zoos and animal sanctuaries as deathscapes

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Nordic Academic Press, 2019-06-01)
      n/a
    • Early Holocene wetland succession at Lake Flixton (UK) and its implications for Mesolithic settlement

      Taylor, Barry; University of Chester (Springer Verlag, 2019-02-28)
      This paper reports on new research into the timing and nature of post-glacial environmental change at Lake Flixton (North Yorkshire, UK). Previous investigations indicate a succession of wetland environments during the early Holocene, ultimately infilling the basin by ca 7,000 cal BP. The expansion of wetland environments, along with early Holocene woodland development, has been linked to changes in the human occupation of this landscape during the Mesolithic (ca 11,300-6,000 cal BP). However, our understanding of the timing and nature of environmental change within the palaeolake is poor, making it difficult to correlate to known patterns of Mesolithic activity. This paper provides a new record for both the chronology and character of environmental change within Lake Flixton, and discusses the implications for the Mesolithic occupation of the surrounding landscape.
    • Constructing a Civic Community in Late Medieval London: the Common Profit, Charity and Commemoration

      Harry, David; University of Chester (Boydell and Brewer, 2019-02-15)
      In the late fourteenth century, London’s government, through mismanagement and negligence, experienced a series of crises. Relationships with the crown were tested; competing factions sought to wrest power from the hands of the once all-powerful victualling guilds; revolt in the streets in 1381 targeted the institutions of royal as well as civic power; and, between 1392 and 1397, King Richard removed the liberties of the city and appointed his own wardens to govern in place of the mayor of London. This book examines the strategies employed by the generation of London aldermen who governed after 1397 to regain control of their city. By examining a range of interdisciplinary sources, including manuscript and printed books, administrative records, accounts of civic ritual and epitaphs, this book explores how, by carefully constructing the idea of a civic community united by shared political concerns and spiritual ambitions, a small number of men virtually monopolised power in the capital. More generally, this is an exploration of the mentalities of those who sought civic power in the late Middle Ages and provokes the question: why govern, and for whom?
    • Writing a Spiritual Biography in Early Modern France: The 'Many Lives' of Madeleine de Lamoignon

      Hillman, Jennifer; University of Chester (Duke University Press, 2019-02-01)
      In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, four different spiritual biographers wrote the "life" of the recently deceased lay dévote, Madeleine de Lamoignon (1609-1687). Each of these authors was seeking to compose a spiritual biography - an account of Madeleine's devotional life - and they were all penned with the distant prospect of beatification or canonisation in mind. This article analyses these four retellings of Madeleine's life in order to excavate the process of writing vitae, and situates this within the broader context of lay spiritual biography in early modern France. It is argued here that a comparative exploration of Madeleine de Lamoignon's "lives" reveals different, and sometimes competing, conceptions of lay female sanctity in the Counter-Reformation era. Ultimately, the article contends that by turning our attention to neglected biographies of lay women, scholars might better understand how a life outside of the cloister could be reconciled with saintliness.
    • Envisioning Cremation: Art and Archaeology

      Williams, Howard; Watson, Aaron; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Focusing on artist’s impressions of early Anglo-Saxon cremations, we reflect on the potentials and chal- lenges of collaborations between artists and archaeologists to both convey the fiery transformation of the dead in the human past, and provide reflection on our society’s own engagement with mortality in which cremation has become a commonplace dimension. We show the potential of art to challenge pre-conceived notions and understandings of cremation past and present, positioning art as a key dimension of public mortuary archaeology.
    • Displaying the deviant: Sutton Hoo’s sand bodies

      Williams, Howard; Walsh, Madeline; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      The interpretation of early medieval deviant burials has come to the fore in recent mortuary archaeology debates. Yet, critical discussion of how early medieval execution cemeteries are portrayed in museums and other media has received no critical attention. Using the prominent case study of Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, this chapter reveals the interpretative and ethical challenges inherent in narrating and visualizing later Anglo- Saxon judicial killing in the absence of well-preserved human remains, but instead through the recording and interpretation of carefully excavated “sand bodies.”
    • Death’s diversity: the case of Llangollen Museum

      Williams, Howard; Evans, Suzanne; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Much of the debate regarding mortuary archaeology’s public interactions has centred on the ethics and politics of displaying articulated skeletal material and fleshed bodies. In contrast, multiple, fragmented, dislocated and cenotaphic mortuary traces which populate museums across the UK have escaped sustained attention. Local and town museums, and also the distinctive narratives required in Welsh museums, have also eluded consideration. This chapter explores how smaller museums create environments in which networks are created both with other memorial places and landscapes in the vicinity, and between discrete museum displays. This chapter focuses on one case study—Llangollen Museum—to present and inter- rogate how a diversity of mortuary material culture combine to create a mortuary network associated with local history, heritage and landscape in this distinctive North Welsh context.
    • Death’s drama: mortuary practice in Vikings Season 1–4

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Inspired by later medieval sagas and Viking Age historical sources, but underpinned and enriched by archaeological evidence and themes, the History channel’s Vikings (2013–) is a unique drama series explor- ing the late eighth/early ninth century conflicts and culture of the Northmen, aimed at a global television audience. This chapter introduces the series and its varied portrayals of mortuary practice. From the por- trayal of the deaths of chieftains and those slain in battle to family members and children, I identify key archaeological themes behind the depiction of death. This prompts discussion of mortuary archaeology’s influence on popular perceptions of the Early Middle Ages, the programme operating as education, enter- tainment but also reflecting on present-day anxieties over the nature of human mortality.
    • Dead Relevant: Introducing The Public Archaeology of Death

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (Equinox, 2019-01-01)
      Introducing the ten chapters of the book which each explore different dimensions of the public archaeology of death, this introduction asks: why and how are the archaeologically derived traces of human remains and mortuary monuments “dead relevant”? In other words, how has mortuary archaeology, from catacombs to cremated remains, come to enthral and gain significance in con- temporary society, and how does it continue to do so? Considering the diversity of archaeological field investigation, curation and display in museums, contestation and dialogues between archae- ologists, stakeholders and descendent communities, and the publications and popular receptions of the archaeological dead in the arts, literature and media, as well as via ancient monuments and historic landscapes, the public archaeology of death is a vibrant field of future research.
    • St Guthlac and the ‘Britons’: a Mercian context

      Capper, Morn; University of Chester (Paul Watkins, 2019)
      Article analysing evidence for relations between Anglo-Saxon Mercia and the British peoples of the seventh-century west midlands during the lifetime of Guthlac, saint of Crowland and during the construction of his biography and cult in the early eighth century. Publisher Shaun Tyas: 1 High St, Donington, Spalding PE11 4TA
    • Kingship, Society, and the Church in Anglo-Saxon Yorkshire

      Pickles, Thomas; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2018-11-15)
      A monograph about the relationship between social and political structures, conversion to Christianity, and the building of an institutional Church in Yorkshire from c. 450-c. 1066.
    • Belgian Refugees in Cheshire: 'Place' and the Invisibility of the Displaced

      Ewence, Hannah (Taylor and Francis, 2018-10-24)
      The First World War centenary has invigorated research into the Belgian refugee presence, especially at the local level. However, as this article argues, the responses which Belgians elicited locally, as well as the ‘quality’ and longevity of the memory culture surrounding them, was intimately tethered to ideas about and experiences of ‘place’ during the war and after. Exiled Belgians were almost uniquely positioned to communicate the totality of war as well as stand as silent representatives of the trauma of displacement. Yet this case study of the North West county of Cheshire demonstrates how wartime tragedy with regional consequences, as well as a preoccupation with combatant internees and casualties, eclipsed the everyday reality and the post-war memory of the Belgians.
    • Furnishing the Dukes with a Royal Reputation. The use of chambers and chapels at the Burgundian Court

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (University of Leuven Press, 2018-10-09)
      This article examines the way in which the dukes of Burgundy used chambers and chapels to legitimise their right to rule and to suggest that they could lay claim to a royal crown.
    • ‘Proud to be British; and proud to be Jewish’: The Holocaust and British values in the twenty-first century

      Critchell, Kara; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-05)
      As we approach the post-witness era this paper investigates the changing role of the Holocaust and Holocaust survivors in twenty-first century British politics and culture. In the first part, the article discusses the ways in which, through their role in educational initiatives and commemorative culture, survivors have acquired an increased visibility in British understandings of the Holocaust. For a significant period of time, this process was characterized by a tendency to abstract survivors from their Jewish identities to ensure that they could more easily act as mediators of a universalized, yet highly domesticated, Holocaust narrative with meanings for contemporary British society. However, in the second part the article will argue that, starting from the second decade of the twenty-first century, it is also possible to discern an increasing acknowledgement of British Holocaust survivors’ ‘difference.’ It will be suggested that British politicians have attempted to mobilize survivors, the Anglo-Jewish community they are seen to represent, and the Holocaust more in general, in Britain’s domestic battle against Islamic extremism and in the pursuit of the rather elusive concept of ‘British values.’
    • The Power of Textiles. Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (1363-1477)

      Wilson, Katherine A.; The University of Chester (Brepols, 2018-10-03)
      Textiles were of fundamental importance to medieval polities and princes across Europe, economically and culturally. Tapestry was at the top end of the luxury textile market but was used by urban inhabitants and nobles. The Burgundian Dominions were the foremost producer of tapestry in the Middle Ages. However, the documentary evidence for the supply and suppliers of the textiles to the Burgundian dynasty, its many functions, and its re-use and repair, is understudied. This monograph explores a range of documentary evidence (ducal accounts, ducal and household inventories) to examine the suppliers of the textile to the Burgundian dynasty, its forms, functions and users, its role in gift-giving strategies, and patterns of re-use and repair. Thus, the book offers a contribution to the historical understanding of textiles as objects that contributed to the projection of social status and the cultural construction of power in the Burgundian polity.
    • Death in the Contemporary World: Perspectives from Public Archaeology

      Williams, Howard; University of Chester (JAS Arquelogia SLU, 2018-10)
      This Introduction to AP’s third special issue seeks to provide context and rationale to the study of ‘public mortuary archaeology’ before reviewing the development of the volume. Building on the presentations of the first Public Archaeology Twitter Conference of April 2017, these articles comprise a wide range of original analyses reflecting on the public archaeology of death. In addition to evaluations of fieldwork contexts, churches and museums, there are discussions of the digital dimensions to public mortuary archaeology, an appraisal of ancient and modern DNA research as public mortuary archaeology, and an evaluation of the relationship between mortuary archaeology and palliative care. Together, the articles constitute the state of current thinking on the public archaeology of death, burial and commemoration.