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Germany’s Book of Kells by Professor Tim Jackson

November 8, 2023 @ 12:00 - 14:00

Tim graduated from Trinity in German and French in 1967 and then spent a couple of years in Oxford. He returned to the German Department in Trinity in January 1970 and spent his entire working life there. His research interests lay in the area of medieval German literature, particularly the period from about 1180 to 1300. The first forty years or so of that span are regarded as a first flowering, indeed a classic period, of German literature. His main interests included legends of the saints and other spiritual texts (e.g. an article on the resurrection of the dead!) as well as the courtly romance – Arthur and Tristan, chivalry, courtly love and so on. The talk arises from his interest in this culture. Over the years he has shared numerous excerpts from his (unpublished…) novel, Obedience, with the TRA writing group, of which he is a founder member. Set in medieval Germany, the novel explores aspects of a spiritual life through the central figure, a nun.

The Manesse manuscript dates to the late thirteenth century and is a large and lavishly illustrated anthology of medieval, mainly secular, lyric poetry. The talk will consider the where and why and by whom of the manuscript’s production and then look at its contents. The pages of text in the manuscript are interspersed with portraits of the various poets, full-page pictures produced by more than one artist, each with his own distinct style. The principal theme of the poetry is courtly love, but many of the portraits represent different aspects of the chivalrous life or motifs from the poems. The talk will concentrate on these images and will be illustrated by some forty beautiful slides!


This talk will be held in the Long Room Hub in College.  Booking will open on October 25th at 9.00am and close on November 6th at 11.00pm. Further  details will be sent out at a later date.


November 8, 2023
12:00 - 14:00
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