How to Talk To Your Dragon ... in Middle English

Submitted by ctcamp on Wed, 10/21/2015 - 11:23am
Initial of St Margaret, British Library Burney 345 fol. 86v.

My department is a great place to work. For example, yesterday I got to play a dragon for a colleague. Simon Gatrell is teaching a course on Harry Potter, and he needed faculty "dragons" to guard dragon eggs (a scene you might remember from The Goblet of Fire). Students could win the eggs from us "dragons" if they answered our questions correctly and petitioned us with sufficient aplomb and abasement.

Alice's Adventures in Middle English

Submitted by ctcamp on Fri, 11/01/2013 - 12:12pm

What if Lewis Carroll had lived in Chaucer's London? What if his Alice had been an "Alys"? What if he had written in verse instead of prose, if his Alys had known what a fourteenth-century girl would have known, and his dream-vision (for so it is, really) had been populated by medieval rather than Victorian references? Well, it might have looked something like The Aventures of Alys in Wondyr Lond, a new translation of Carroll's story into Middle English. You can check out the blurb by translator Brian S.

How Chaucer Told Time

Submitted by ctcamp on Thu, 10/24/2013 - 12:33pm

How did medieval individuals tell time before the atomic clock, Greenwich Mean, or even dependable mechanical clocks? There were lots of ways, but one of the most scientifically sophisticated was the astrolabe, a hand-held adjustable device for determining time and meteorological details based on the positions of the stars. It was an important tool in the astrologer's kit (remember that astrology was a branch of science in medieval Europe), and Geoffrey Chaucer translated the first English treatise on how to use an astrolabe for his young son, Lewis.

Geoffery Chaucer Hath A Blog

Submitted by ctcamp on Wed, 07/31/2013 - 2:35pm

Yes, folks, he actually does, right here at

He doesn't post frequently any more, but the old posts are definitely worth re-reading. I personally recommend his take on sparklie vampyres and the Cipher of Leonardo. Plus a lot of Ricardian England in-jokes that you must be a die-hard Chaucerian to get.