Saturday, October 13, 2007

Elizabeth: The Golden Age Doesn't Glitter?

Christianity Today's Peter T. Chattaway offers a review of Elizabeth: The Golden Age, the new sequel to Elizabeth (1998), starring Cate Blanchett (AKA young Bob Dylan). Chattaway was not overwhelmed:
"Yes, The Golden Age has a sea battle and one or two other new bits, thanks to its presumably bigger budget. But for the most part, it plays like a pale retread of the film that earned Cate Blanchett her first Oscar nomination nine years ago."
(I'm still interested in seeing it, though!)

Read the full review, or take a look at the film's official website.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Really really really want to learn Latin? (Really?)

I found a program online that I'm very excited about: a podcast called LATINUM, hosted by Evan Millner, a South African fellow who is based in London.

LATINUM is based on the premise that to truly learn a language, one must 'install' it in one's brain by hearing and speaking it often (and not just read and write it and study paradigms and cases, as in traditional language-learning programs).

These podcasts can be downloaded from the website or through iTunes (search keyword Latinum).

One warning, though: the shows are not listed in the order in which you should listen to them. Start by scrolling down the main page and listening to the program introduction (here's the permalink page for it).


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Conventicle Q&A with Dr. Tom Freeman of the John Foxe Project

Historian John Foxe (1517–1587) was a contemporary of the Elizabethan puritans. He shared many of their sentiments regarding the Church of Rome and the English Church. Foxe's Acts and Monuments was an extremely popular text among the puritans, second only to the Bible. It has been republished over the centuries and is still read today – usually in abridged form, as Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Dr. Thomas S. Freeman is Research Officer for the John Foxe Project, initiated in 1993 under the auspices of the British Academy, and now also affiliated with the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. The main objective of the project has been the creation of a new, reliable edition of Foxe's famous history, which he compiled during the reigns of Edward VI (1547–1553) and Elizabeth I (1558–1603).

The fruits of the project can be seen in the online version of Foxe's Acts and Monuments, which is now enhanced by an array of peripheral features to help readers understand the work in its original context. Scholars of Foxe have never had it better, thanks to Dr. Freeman and the other members of the project team.

We met Dr. Freeman at a recent conference, and he kindly agreed to answer a handful of questions about Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the work he and the John Foxe Project team have done.

C: What has been your role as Research Officer for the John Foxe Project?
TF: Essentially it has been to provide the critical annotation and paratext for the online edition of Foxe's Acts and Monuments, being prepared by the British Academy John Foxe Project.

C: What factors led you to study Foxe and his work?
TF: It was largely an interest in how the Reformation era perceived the Middle Ages. This led me to study Polydore Vergil and then John Bale [both sixteenth-century historians] before I decided to concentrate on John Foxe.

C: How would you summarize the place of Foxe's Acts and Monuments within the history of the English Reformation?
TF: It is absolutely crucial. On the one hand, it is the most important narrative history of the English Reformation and its antecedents. On the other hand, it is a work that shaped English attitudes towards the Reformation for centuries.

C: What are the main advantages of the updated, online version of Foxe's Book of Martyrs?
TF: It provides accurate and complete transcriptions of each of the Acts and Monuments printed in Foxe's lifetime. It indicates and collates the very considerable textual transpositions and variations between these editions. It provides IDs for all individuals named in the text. It provides a critical commentary for the entire text. And it indicates what sources Foxe drew on for each section of his text. Finally, it indicates the relationship between the text of the Acts and Monuments and the earlier Latin editions of the martyrology. [Readers should not overlook the introductory essays that accompany the work, as well.]

C: Many readers still draw inspiration from the abridged version of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. How do you account for the work's ongoing popularity?
TF: Some people still read it for religious reasons. Historians read it as a major source and literature scholars as both a major work of literatiure and an influence on other English authors – notably Bunyan and Milton. For generations it was read popularly, largely because of its anecdotally rich and dramatic content. But I don't think that it is read much today on a popular level. Outside of academic circles, I suspect that relatively few people have any familiarity with the book.

Check out the stellar online edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, or purchase a CD-Rom version.

A list of Dr. Freeman's published works:

Tudors and Stuarts on Film: Historical Perspectives

(Coming Nov. 2007, Palgrave McMillan)
Ed. with Susan Doran

Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, c.1400-1700
Ed. with Thomas F. Mayer

“So Much at Stake: Martyrs and Martyrdom in Early Modern England”
Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“Print, Profit and Propaganda: The Elizabethan Privy Council and the 1570 Edition of Foxe's ‘Book of Martyrs’”
English Historical Review

The Myth of Elizabeth (Read a review)
Ed. with Susan Doran

Dr. Freeman contributed an essay to this volume, entitled “Providence and Prescription: The Account of Elizabeth in Foxe's ‘book of Martyrs’”

"As True a Subiect being Prysoner": John Foxe's Notes on the Imprisonment of Princess Elizabeth, 1554-5”
English Historical Review

“Dissenters from a Dissenting Church: The Challenge of the Freewillers, 1550-1558”
The Beginnings of English Protestantism, ed. Peter Marshall, Alex Ryrie

“John Foxe, John Day and the Printing of the ‘book of Martyrs’" (with Elizabeth Evenden)
Lives in Print: Biography and the Book Trade from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-first Century, ed. Robin Myers, Michael Harris, Giles Mandelbrote

“The Prison Writings of the Marian Martyrs”
Europa Sacra: Raccolte agiografiche e identita politiche in Europa fra Medioevo ed Eta moderns, ed. Sofia Boesch Gajano, Raimundo Michetti

“Early Modern Martyrs”
Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“Racking the Body, Shaping the Text: The Account of Anne Askew in Foxe's ‘book of Martyrs’” (with Wall Freeman, Sarah Elizabeth)
Renaissance Quarterly

“Fate, Faction and Fiction in Foxe's book of Martyrs”
Historical Journal

“‘The Good Ministrye of Godlye and Vertuouse Women’: The Elizabethan Martyrologists and the Female Supporters of the Marian Martyrs”
Journal of British Studies

“Texts, Lies and Microfilm: Reading and Misreading Foxe's ‘book of Martyrs’"
Sixteenth Century Journal

“New Perspectives on an Old book: The Creation and Influence of Foxe's book of Martyrs”
Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“John Bales's Books of Martyrs?: The Account of King John in ‘Acts and Monuments’"

“The Importance of Dying Earnestly: The Metamorphosis of the Account of James Bainham in Foxe's book of Martyrs”
Studies in Church History, ed R. N. Swanson

‘The Reformation of the Church in this Parliament’: Thomas Norton, John Foxe and the Parliament of 1571”
Parliamentary History

“‘A Grave and Heinous Incident against our Holy Catholic Faith’: Two Accounts of William Gardiner's Desecration of the Portugese Royal Chapel in 1552” (with M. J. Borges)
Historical Research

"‘The Reik of Maister Patrick Hammyltoun’: John Foxe, John Winram and the Martyrs of the Scottish Reformation
Sixteenth Century Journal

"‘Great Searching Out of bookes and Autours’: John Foxe as an Ecclesiastical Historian”
Ph.D. dissertation, Rutgers Univ

“Research, Rumour and Propaganda: Anne Boleyn in Foxe's book of Martyrs”
Historical Journal

“A Library in Three Volumes: Foxe's book of Martyrs in the Writings of John Bunyan”
Bunyan Studies

“Notes on a Source for John Foxe's Account of the Marian Persecution in Kent and Sussex”
Historical Research

"‘A Solemne Contestation of Diverse Popes’: A Work by John Foxe?”
English Language Notes

Illustration from an early version of Foxe's Acts and Monuments


Copyright © 2008 Kristoforos Media. This layout made by and copyright cmbs.