Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 21 February 2011

From the Archives

After Vespers yesterday, together with a friend, I spent an enjoyable time sitting over a pot of tea and poring (not pouring or pawing) over the latest From the Archives. Published by The Universe this is the seventh in their series of making available material from their photographic library going back a century or more in an attractive magazine format. It makes for a remarkably interesting selection of visual ecclesiastical and social history, drawing upon really fine photographs. The first one in the series can be viewed on line here.

In this latest contribution to the series the editor, Michael Winterbottom, has, I think, excelled himself with his selection of photographs, and also his, shall we say, robust comments about what has been lost to the life of the Church. In particular thers is a wonderful series of photographs of the episcopal hierarchy taken in the 1920s and 1930s - my friend and I agreed you just do not get bishops who look like that these days - and some spectacular ones of the then Cardinal Pacelli, including one of him processing in full vestments at the 1938 Eucharistic Congress in Budapest - utterly splendid.

From the Archives costs £3.50 and if you have not so far seen it well worth looking out for.

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