Hi, I’m Fran, I live in Yorkshire in the UK, I’m 50+ and I’ve recently given up fighting the grey. I have family here in the UK, and in the US. I have a Yorkshire accent but wasn’t born here. I like to sit at my kitchen table and read, or use my laptop to research / study, and I also spend a lot of time growing, preparing and cooking my own produce – so I do occasionally get out of the house / kitchen and up to my allotment. I also work when I have to.
I intend to use this blog to review and discuss books, websites, articles, TV programmes, exhibitions, events etc that have informed and/or inspired me, mostly focusing on my interests in:
British archaeology & history – especially the Anglo-Saxons and particularly the mysterious period that used to be known as the ‘dark ages’
English literature (I love poetry especially, but also novels of course) & language (origins of words, the history of the language, how it is constructed)
I’ve recently completed a taught MA in English Literature at The University of Leeds, where I studied English and Old Norse literature of the medieval and renaissance periods (Viking sagas, Old English literature, Arthurian legend, Shakespeare and more), and my dissertation was on Lamenting Women in Old English Poetry. While doing my MA I felt quite frustrated with myself that I did not feel free to really explore ideas within the constraints of academia, and I think that blogging is actually a much more productive way to do this for me. So though it would be great to generate some responses to my blog, I also think it is going to be helpful for me just to write the posts, even if only a few people read and comment on them. It is also the sad case that my memory is not as good as it was when I was young (one comparison I have is with my adult sons – I used to remember names and facts and ideas effortlessly like they do now) – if you are 50+ you might recognise this problem – but writing really helps me to remember what I have read, so here I am!
I am hoping you will find that there is a theme, and even an ‘argument’, surfacing through these posts, which relates to rewriting some of the history of Britain in the ‘Dark Ages’, and to the origins of the English language. It might be a good idea for you to look back to the early posts in my British Archaeology & History, and English Literature & Language categories for some context, which might help you see where I’m coming from, if you are arriving at this blog after the Spring Equinox 2014 (a time for new beginnings!) when I started out.
Please note: I am not a historian and I will probably get my facts wrong or be ignorant of crucial research evidence at some points in these posts, so please be sure to correct me if you notice any major inaccuracies. I will try to remember to make it clear when I am giving the views of others, and when giving my own, but at times they become twisted up together (hence my difficulties with academia!), so again leave me a comment and I will try to untangle them. You probably don’t need reminding of this, but I will say it anyway: all posts on this website are written by me and as such are copyright to me. Likewise I will do my best to acknowledge the many people whose ideas and research I refer to in these posts – though (thank goodness) not via a list of references, but hopefully with enough information so you can ‘Google’ them.
If you prefer to contact me via email rather than leaving a comment my address is email@example.com