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.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


File:Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry novembre.jpg

The November page in the Très Riches Heures is attributed entirely to Jean Colombe and dates from the completion of the manuscript in the later 1480s. Unlike the other pages by the Limbourg brothers seventy or so years earlier it does not show a specific place, but rather a scene of rustic life. In that sense it is less interesting than the other calendar pages. The landscape does perhaps suggest that of Savoy, for whose Duke Colombe worked. What is depicted is the fattening of pigs on acorns and beech mast - the right of pannage. There is presumably the suggestion of plenty of pork and pork products to eat at the approaching Christmas season.

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