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Although my book came out officially in September, it was last week that we held a book launch at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. I was pleased by how many people attended, and was particularly touched that so many of my students came along! I even managed to sell a few books, so with that and the sparkling wine it was a fine evening all round. Fatherhood and its Representations in Middle English Texts is now out in the wild, and you can buy a copy here. I know that academic books are expensive, so get in touch if you would like a discount code. I have given you some textual teasers of the book before, but I thought: let’s share something visual and fun. So here is my book in word cloud form – the most used words are largest and clustered in the middle. No prizes for guessing before you scroll down which word appears most often…

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The ordering of the words is, I believe, quite random, but there are some pleasing pairings there. Have fun Mad Libbing your own fatherhood sentences. 😉

As you will see, the name Degare appears quite prominently in the cloud. Sir Degare is a romance I have spent a lot of time thinking about, but one of the pleasures of romance is that you can always dig out new things of note. Today I hosted this term’s first meeting of the Medieval Gender Reading Group, and our primary source was Sir Degare. We had lively conversation for an hour, and it managed to spark a couple of new thoughts in my head. Not bad for a lunchtime’s work. I really enjoy reading groups. Going to listen to papers is fantastic, but no matter how dedicated a listener you are, it can still be a somewhat passive experience. A good reading group gets everyone involved and active. Is my reading group a good one? People seem to be enjoying it, based on the four meetings we’ve had so far, but there’s always more that can be done to make discussion easier and more equitable. That’s what I’m hoping to achieve, at least.

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