A selection of 49 of my PowerPoint Lectures and/or Study-Days, arranged in loosely chronological order (c.AD500-1500); nearly all can be fine-tuned to suit your landscape.
1. The Dream-Ships of Old England
An examination of East Anglian rite of ship-burial, as evidences at Snape and Sutton Hoo, and how our understanding is amplified by Old English poetry and the great nautical metaphor of life.
2. Art and Poetry in the Dream-Ship from Sutton Hoo
A consideration of the high culture of early England revealed by the archaeology of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial through its art and related Old English poetry.
3. The Master Workshop of Sutton Hoo
An exploration of the artistic and technical wonders found aboard the great funeral-ship of Sutton Hoo.
4. King Rædwald’s Feast
A look at the wealth of drinking horns, silver plate, and other feasting gear from Sutton Hoo.
5. Sutton Hoo: the Other Barrows and Burials
An examination of the other barrows and burials at Sutton Hoo, which form the most immediate context for our understanding of the great ship-burial.
6. Sutton Hoo and the Old English Heroic Age
Rediscover the almost lost continent of early English legend through an exploration of the art of Sutton Hoo in the light of Old English and related Germanic and Norse heroic literature.
7. Sutton Hoo and the Dragon
An investigation into the ancient belief that dragons dwell in barrows guarding treasure, using primarily the magnificent garnet and gilt-bronze dragon from the Sutton Hoo shield, “the first dragon of English art,” and the account of the dragon in Beowulf, “the first dragon of English literature.”
8. Sutton Hoo and the Goths
An attempt to understand Sutton Hoo in the context of the 6th–century history of Europe in general and of the Goths in particular.
9. Sutton Hoo and the Golden Age of England
A reassessment of some of the many questions raised by the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial and its implications for our understanding of the dawn of English history.
10. A Beginner’s Guide to Beowulf and Sutton Hoo
An introduction to the study of the Old English epic of Beowulf and its implications for our understanding of Sutton Hoo.
11. The Staffordshire Hoard and the Golden Age of England
A fresh look at the history of early England in the golden light of the recently revealed treasures from Staffordshire.
12. The Staffordshire Hoard and the Legend of Wayland the Smith
A new look at the once well-known Old English legend of Wéland, Lord of Elves, in the golden light of the recently revealed art-treasures from Staffordshire.
13. The Legend of Wayland the Wonder-Smith
An exploration of the legend of the elvish wonder-smith of Old English landscape, art, and poetry.
14. The Fall of Rome and the Beginnings of England
A reconsideration of the ramifications for Britain and Europe of the sack of Rome in August 410 from the perspective of the peoples to whom the Romans refer as “barbarians”.
15. Prittlewell and the East Saxon Kingdom
Who was the king who lay in state in the richly laden burial-mound discovered at Prittlewell? Preliminary indications suggest that he may have been the first Christian king of the East Saxons, Sæberht, who died c.616. We shall consider this suggestion and explore the culture of the early 7th century.
16. The Music and Poetry of Anglo-Saxon Kings and Cowherds
An exploration and demonstration of Old English stringed music and verse using a replica of the royal lyre from Sutton Hoo.
17. An Introduction to the Old English Language and its Literature
A beginner’s guide to the earliest surviving English literature and its tales of wonder, wisdom, heroism, & romance.
18. Beowulf and the Beginnings of English Literature
An introduction to the masterwork that marks the beginning of literary art in English.
19. Beowulf and the Old English Heroic Age
Rediscover the almost lost continent of heroic legends from the early history of the English through an exploration of Beowulf and related manuscripts.
20. Beowulf and the Black Shuck
An investigation into the tales of haunted fens and their heroic and saintly exorcists.
21. An Introduction to Old English Riddles
An introduction to the verse riddles of the Exeter Book, which reveal so much about the Old English thought-world. We shall consider several in detail – how they work and their possible solutions. We shall see that many are best understood in the context of the poetry of wonder and wisdom.
22. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Old Testament of English History
An illustrated introduction to one of the major documents of English culture. Not only does its great narrative scope provide an Old Testament of English history, it also includes examples of the ancient medium of Old English poetry as well as some of the first English prose compositions, the language of which anticipates the King James’ Bible.
23. An Introduction to Old Norse Sagas
A beginner’s guide to the literary treasures of saga and verse from medieval Iceland.
24. Old English Gods and Goddesses Lost and Found
A look at some of the more authentic ways to chart the lost continent of Old English pre-Christian mythology.
25. From Yuletide to Nativity: Christmas in Early England
Rediscover the magic of Christmas via the history of the great midwinter festival and the archaeology of feasting, and how it was celebrated in early England.
26. The Easter Festival in Early England
Rediscover the magic of Easter with an exploration of the ancient significance of the festival and the ways in which it was celebrated in early England.
27. Rædwald, First King of England
A reconsideration of what we can deduce of the history of High King Rædwald and his connection with the Sutton Hoo ship-burial.
28. Bishoprics and Battlefields: England during the Seventh Century
A reappraisal of the history of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms following the reign of the great king Rædwald.
29. The Halls of the Anglo-Saxon Kings: Rendlesham
A look at the current knowledge of the site of the East Anglian folk-centre at Rendlesham.
30. The Halls of the Anglo-Saxon Kings: Blythburgh
A look at the current knowledge of the site of the East Anglian folk-centre at Blythburgh.
31. The Irish Church in Early England
A reconsideration of the history the Irish missionaries in England in the 7th century, such as Aidan, Fursey, & Cedd.
32. St Bótulf the Patron Saint of Travellers
An attempt to trace the largely forgotten history of this once famous saint through the literature, art, archaeology, and landscapes associated with him and his cult.
33. The Golden Age of Northumbria
A look at the wonders of the Lindisfarne Gospels and its cultural and artistic contexts.
34. Formidable Women of Anglo-Saxon England
Nowhere is the power of women in early England more evident than in the number of saintly royal abbesses, as revealed by the literature, art, and landscapes associated with their cults.
35. St Æthelbert of East Anglia (martyred 20th May 794)
An exploration of what we can see of the history of East Anglia’s less well-known king and martyr, Æthelbert, and his cult, beginning with a look at the state of England and East Anglia in the latter part of the eighth century.
36. St Edmund: History and Legend (martyred 20th November 869)
A reappraisal of the last days of East Anglia’s most famous king and martyr in history and legend.
37. King Alfred and the Cakes
A new look at the dramatic story of how the West Saxon king Alfred defeated the Danes and saved England.
38. Gúthrum’s Kingdom: The Danes in England
A reconsideration of Danish settlement in England from the 9th to the 11th centuries.
39. High Kings and Vikings of Tenth-Century England
An exploration of the high tide of West Saxon civilisation using the narrative provided by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as well as the art of the period.
40. Denmark in the Tenth Century
A virtual tour of the Danish homelands and the background to the Danes’ return and the triumph of Cnut the Great.
41. Poetry and History – The Battle of Maldon (10th August 991)
An introduction to one of the greatest battle-poems in the English language.
42. King Cnut and the Battle of Assandún (18th October 1016)
A reconsideration of one of the major battles of English history, which led to the Danish conquest, and the question of its Essex location.
43. Viking Art and Poetry
An introduction to the culture of early medieval Scandinavia.
44. The Bayeux Tapestry and Anglo-Norman Narrative Art
An exploration of the most important work of narrative art of the 11th century and the great story it tells.
45. The Battle of Stamford Bridge (25th September 1066)
A reappraisal of one of the greatest victories over an invasion force in English history.
46. The Battle of Hastings (14th October 1066)
A reconsideration of the Bayeux Tapestry’s depiction of one of the most famous battles in English history.
47. In Search of Camelot
A reassessment of the art of castle-building in England and the influence of the ideal of Camelot.
48. The Anglo-Saxon Origins of the English Monarchy
We can trace the English royal line back to the Anglo-Saxon kings and queens of Wessex and beyond. These in turn derive from deep pre-Christian roots back to the Woden and other deities. We shall consider how these roots help to explain some of the customs associated with kingship such as the royal touch, royal weather, and the veneration of royal relics.
49. An Introduction to Middle English Literature
A beginner’s guide to the treasures of Arthurian and Chaucerian literature.