Monthly Archives: March 2019

Reflections on the Lyghfield Bible workshop and lecture

In March 2019, a workshop and public lecture took place to celebrate the return to the City of Canterbury, a late-thirteenth century Parisian Bible (the ‘Lyghfield Bible’) which was acquired last year by the Cathedral’s Library and Archives. In the afternoon of Monday, 4th March the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) hosted a workshop, From Paris to Canterbury: the Lyghfield Bible in Context, bringing together experts on manuscript culture and the Bible in the thirteenth century. The same evening, Canterbury Cathedral held a public lecture, Illuminating the Bible in Medieval Canterbury, given by Dr Alixe Bovey of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Here, two current MEMS students – Cassandra Harrington and Jessica Schwindenhammer – reflect on the day and share the insights which they gained from these two events:

Read Jessica’s report | Read Cassandra’s report


‘Picture This…’ Dr David Rundle on The Lyghfield Bible

This month’s ‘Picture this…’ comes courtesy of MEMS’ own Dr David Rundle, and explores the Lyghfield Bible –  a gem of a manuscript whose early history places it in Canterbury, and which has recently been purchased by the Cathedral’s Library and Archives.  Dr Rundle writes;

It is not often that a new complete manuscript enters the ownership of an ancient institution, particularly when ‘new’ means later thirteenth-century. When an elegant pocket Bible with known Canterbury provenance came up for auction in the summer of 2018, the Cathedral was successful in its bid for it, thanks to support from generous donors. As a result, the Bible returned to a city it already knew well, and the Cathedral Archives became the possessor of a volume which is beguiling small (c. 173 × 112mm) but substantial (at 590 folios and weighing 700g) — you would have had to have capacious pockets to carry it. It is undeniably a work of impressive craftsmanship. More than that, though, it acts a gateway through which we can glimpse both a particular moment in the history of Christianity and some of the international connexions that defined medieval Canterbury…

Continue reading the full article at the ‘Picture This…’ pages of Canterbury Cathedral’s website.


Announcing our new Paris/Canterbury MA programme

MEMS is delighted to announce the launch of a new split-site Paris and Canterbury MA programme in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. From September 2019, our exciting new MA programme will provide the opportunity for in-depth study across a range of disciplines and will allow students to share their year between Paris and Canterbury.

Dr Emily Guerry, convenor of the new MEMS Paris/Canterbury MA commented; “This MA provides graduate students with unparalleled opportunities to study, live, and learn in two European cities steeped in a rich cultural heritage and it is the only one of its kind in the UK. I can’t wait to start teaching more MEMS students in Paris!”

Based on our long-running and highly successful MA, the new Paris/Canterbury MA programme offers a thorough grounding in the essential skills required for advanced academic analysis of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, including Latin, palaeography (the study of old handwriting), codicology (the study of pre-modern books). In addition, there is a fascinating range of optional modules to choose from, shaped by our cutting-edge research in a range of disciplines rooted in periods from the early medieval to the seventeenth-century.

Students will spend their first term in the historic city of Canterbury – an important focus for literary, religious, archaeological and architectural, and documentary scholarship. The spring term is based at Kent’s Paris School of Art and Culture, in the heart of historic Montparnasse. There students will participate in Paris-focused modules, taught in English, taking full advantage of the City’s extraordinary medieval and early modern cultural and material legacy.

Then in the final term (based in either Canterbury or Paris) students will complete their MA by writing a 12-15,000-word dissertation on a research topic defined in collaboration with their academic supervisors.

We welcome applications from enthusiastic students who want to embrace an interdisciplinary and dynamic pathway towards understanding the pre-modern past. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis. To find our more about the MEMS Paris/Canterbury MA programme and apply online, please see the University of Kent’s online prospectus or email