Nobody Expects the English Inquisition

As I’ve mentioned on a few occasions now, a couple of years ago I finished an MA dissertation looking at Medieval magic trials in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (intro here). A lot of people who weren’t face-first in this period of history like me expected to hear me talk about witch hunts and the … Continue reading Nobody Expects the English Inquisition

You Should Be Writing: Turn Your Procrastination into Productivity

(Or at least feel like you’re doing more.) As a writer and recent former student, there is one area where my skills are rock solid: procrastinating. Why write an article when the bathroom needs cleaning? How can I possibly focus on a short story when I need to find just the right pair of winter … Continue reading You Should Be Writing: Turn Your Procrastination into Productivity

How To Be A Skandilizatrix

Bored? Want to piss off members of your local community – but with style? Take a leaf out of Elena Dalok’s book. Elena Dalok lived in St Mary Abchurch in the City of London and was had up before an ecclesiastical court in 1493 for practice of sorcery and being a slanderer. We don’t know … Continue reading How To Be A Skandilizatrix

The Pythonissa: A Slippery Soothsayer

Here’s a new insult for you: Margery Ryvel was excommunicated by the church in April 1348 for practising divination, superstition and illusion. Whichever clerk wrote the report that survives in the Register of John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter, clearly did not like her or her activities. The report reads as a barely-concealed rant on … Continue reading The Pythonissa: A Slippery Soothsayer

The Great York Geek Guide

York is well known for many things – Vikings, medieval buildings and study, chocolate makers, Bettys’ Tea Rooms – but there’s one cultural aspect that you might not expect: York’s thriving geeky scene. There’s loads going on, and with York Unleashed Comic-Con growing every year, it’s something that’s only going to get bigger! Here’s my … Continue reading The Great York Geek Guide

Hermione Granger and the Rickly Hallows

It is exactly page 295 of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The middle of paragraph 5, to be precise. HARRY and HERMIONE are mucking about with her Time-Turner and have just saved the Hippogriff BUCKBEAK from execution. SCENE: Edge of the Forbidden Forest, dusk. HARRY and HERMIONE are leading BUCKBEAK behind bushes. A … Continue reading Hermione Granger and the Rickly Hallows