This week I’ve been looking at the ballads written about Mary and Philip, and their background.  So I’m looking into the authors and printers, and the culture of balladry in the early modern period. I’m really finding it very interesting, not least because of my background in music and my particular interest in the folk tradition.  That said, Shakespeare they aren’t, and one of them at least strays into Dr Seuss territory!  Some of them are quite well known, but others less so.  They are heavy with imagery, and a couple of them use the image of the marigold for Mary, which is a lovely play on words.

A friend put me on to the conference on Attending to Early Modern Women in May at the University of Milwaukee….  I wish!  The actual conference and accommodation isn’t that expensive, but getting there?  Well, that could be a bit of a problem.  That and the childcare!

I spent a few days typing up a sermon by John Feckenham.  It seemed like a good idea when I started.  Then I realised it was 58 pages long and it seemed like an amazingly bad idea.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief on Tuesday afternoon when I finished, but I’m glad I did it because I now have a much cleaner copy that is much easier to read.

At the end of last week I went to visit the librarians at Chetham’s and the John Rylands in Manchester, which was very interesting.  I got some interesting contacts out of it, and a lot of useful information.

I had a singing lesson yesterday.  Singing is providing a nice change from all the book work, especially as the pile of reading that needs doing seems to be expanding exponentially!