Entitled, ‘Diets of the Poor in Medieval England’, this year’s Anselm Lecture will be given by Professor Chris Dyer, Emeritus Professor of Regional and Local History at the University of Leicester.
In an overview of the lecture, Professor Dyer explains:
A large historical industry has investigated the problem of late medieval poverty, and the measures taken to control and relieve the paupers. Much attention has been paid to the various institutions, such as almshouses and hospitals in which some of the poor lived, and care for the poor ‘in the community’ has been the subject of recent research. Much of the historical writing on the poor tends to see them through the eyes of the rich. They are portrayed as ‘the other’, to be pitied, to be patronised, and sometimes to be feared. Historians ought to aim to reconstruct the lives and experiences of the poor, and to appreciate how they saw their position. We ought to make some judgement as to whether we should see them as an underclass, separated from the rest of society. We know a good deal about the diet of the poor, and systematic study of their food and drink helps us to understand them better, and compare them with their better-off neighbours.
The Anselm Lecture begins at 6pm, on Thursday 29th January 2015 in Lecture Theatre 1, Rutherford College, and will be followed by a wine reception to which all are welcome.