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.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Medieval Clothing

By chance last night I came across this post and its attendant links on Pinterest and I think they are worth sharing with others.

In one sense old clothes are always a bit dismal to look at being, of their essence, past their best, but in another, and much more important sense these are wonderful. That they have survived at all is amazing, given the fragility of their nature. In most cases they are from the wardrobes of the social elites of their respective eras, but that fact has enabled their survival and gives a glimpse of the past. Some I had seen before (and in the case of Emperor Louis IV’s dalmatic featured on this blog) but others were a revelation - not least the Empress Matilda’s tunic with its Imperial eagles.

Above all they are a reminder of the richness of the material culture of medieval Europe. Too easily we forget this due to the scarcity of surviving evidence, and the contemporary tendency to underestimate the achievements of previous eras. 

As the saying goes, enjoy....


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