THE AFTERLIVES OF MEDIEVAL TEXTS: “Blind Hary’s” THE WALLACE

Professor Jeremy Smith, Head of Critical Studies, and an active member of the Friends of the Library, is the guest speaker at the next Open Talk in the Library, hosted by The Friends of Glasgow University Library, which takes place on Tuesday 24th November at 7pm in the Talk Lab, Level 3 of the University Library.

Prof Jeremy Smith

Professor Jeremy Smith

Amongst many duties and research projects at the University, and with the Scottish Language Dictionaries of which he is Convener, Jeremy is currently developing, in collaboration with colleagues at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of St Andrews, a project on the theme of Textual Afterlives, engaging with the transmission of medieval texts in the early modern and Enlightenment worlds with special reference to Scotland and Ireland.

In his inimitable and effervescent style Professor Smith will talk about how texts move through time and across the Irish Sea.  The focus of his talk will be on “Blind Hary’s” The Wallace, a work with considerable impact ever since it was composed at the end of the fifteenth century.

The Wallace - book cover on 2010 edition

2010 edition book cover of “The Wallace”

The epic verse of “Blind Harry” (or “Henry the Minstrel”) is the main source on the life of Sir William Wallace. It was written around 1477 and based on the now lost Latin book of John Blair, commissioned by ‘the fetching bishop’ William Sinclair, Bishop of Dunkeld, to send to the Pope. Blind Harry gathered stories and traditions of Wallace from all over Scotland and sang or recited his verse. He was well received at the Renaissance court of King James IV. Blind Harry’s “Acts and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace” was one of the first Scottish books printed in Scotland.

The Wallace statue in Aberdeen

The Wallace statue in Aberdeen

There will be time for questions and discussion, followed by refreshments. Visitors welcome.

Other speakers in future Talks include  Professor Gerry Carruthers, with soprano Alison McNeill , on Tuesday 9th February 2016, and Dick Peebles on Tuesday 15th March. More information about these and about the Friends can be found here www.gla.ac.uk/fgul



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1 reply

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    John S Warren

    >

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