As you have likely noticed, I have changed the name of my website to The Medieval Monk. The reason for this is two-fold:
First, a recent but ongoing debate within the scholarly community of medieval studies has shown that the term 'Anglo-Saxon' has a history of both racial and racist connections. Though in Britain, where I come from, 'Anglo-Saxon' is primarily perceived and used as a historical term to describe the people and culture of early medieval England (c.450-1066), in other countries, such as the USA, 'Anglo-Saxon' is synonymous with 'white' and has long been primarily understood as relating to race and, moreover, has been frequently misappropriated within racist discources.
Since many of my readers are from the USA and elsewhere beyond Britain, I feel it's important for me to distance myself clearly from any racist misappropriation of 'Anglo-Saxon', and by far the easiest way to do this (though it costs both time and money) is to re-name my website and change my domain.
The second reason I have for the name change is that it reflects better the recent shift in my research as an independent scholar and freelance consultant. Though I continue to write, research, and consult within the area of early medieval English culture (what is still called Anglo-Saxon Studies), I have significantly expanded into later medieval culture. For example, I'm currently writing a book about the fourteenth-century cookery book, Forme of Cury. So 'The Medieval Monk' better represents what I actually do (i.e. work across the whole medieval period), though I think it's important to remind you that I am still not a real monk!
Thank you everyone for supporting this website and I hope to continue to produce relevant (and fun) information about medieval England and its peoples.
P.S. For anyone wishing to understand the various meanings and uses of 'Anglo-Saxon', I found this recent article very helpful:
'I have slept and have taken my rest: and I have risen up, because the Lord hath protected me.' Psalm 3: 6. Image from the Utrecht Psalter: Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek, MS Bibl. Rhenotraiectinae I Nr 32 (Rheims, c.830), folio 2v, detail. By permission of the Utrecht Library. Please click on the image to go to the online digital facsimile.
Hello readers, or should that be 'blessed ones'?
I thought I should apologise for the lack of new posts the last few months, here on my Anglo-Saxon Monk blog.
Unfortunately, I've been ill. For those of you who follow me/the Anglo-Saxon Monk on Facebook, you probably already know that I was diagnosed with pernicious anaemia, an autoimmune disorder that means I can't absorb vitamin B12 from my food, and so need to have B12 injections.
Without the injections, it causes serious neurological and cognitive problems as well as anaemia and often heart problems, so I've been feeling pretty rubbish to put it succinctly. Thank goodness I don't actually live in the Anglo-Saxon period – or any time before the 1920s, in fact – because I'd eventually be pushing up the daisies, as untreated pernicious anaemia kills you.
However, the good news is that I've been feeling much improved this last ten days, now that I've had an initial course of 12 injections, and although there are some complications that need to be looked into over the next few weeks and months, and the regularity of the injections needs to be worked out, I do hope to be back posting material on here as soon as possible.
Many of you will know that I have a big project that I'm working on, Monk's Modern Medieval Cuisine, and this will be taking priority for a while, so I still might not get that many new posts on my Anglo-Saxon Monk blog for a while. Please bear with me.
I do hope you will join me on my new website where I've just posted my latest recipe experiment: Pynnonade, a spiced pinenut affair. Surely, I've tempted you!
I just can't keep up with this fellow, so I'll get straight to it: I hereby announce, with due ceremony and hearty monastic blessings, that Dr Christopher Monk has started a new blog on this our website, all about his new project on medieval food. Find out more by clicking on the button below.