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I try to figure out what Christmas in the Middle Ages might have been like. There are truly only a handful of references. And I get two medieval scholars to help me.
Dr. Misty Schieberle, Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas. She teaches at the University of Kansas and specializes in late medieval literature and manuscript studies.
Dr. Scott T. Smith, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature. He teaches classes in early medieval literature, history of the English language, comics and graphic novels, and horror fiction at Penn State University.
We mention so many people and texts to follow up on. Here are the major ones in the order they came up:
(Totally cheating and using Wikipedia links, but I’ll update them with something better asap.)
- Bishop Eckbert
- King Alfred’s laws
- Anglo Saxon Chronicle
- Wren Day
- John Stowe
- Infancy Gospels and here’s a link to the Apocrypals episode about the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
- Boy Bishop
- Advent lyrics
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- York Corpus Christi plays
- Sloane Manuscript lyric – Virgin and Christ’s birth and/or annunciation (“came very still.”)
- Grettis saga
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If you like the cards and the podcasts, consider subscribing on Patreon. I’m putting out podcasts all year round, most with Christmas info but also major and weirder holiday stuff throughout the year. There are also other treats like real postcards sent you throughout the year and other treats. Go to Patreon and search for Weird Christmas or just click here:
Will really enjoy listening to this one
If anyone is interested in learning more about the Green Knight, boy bishops, the boar’s head tradition, etc. check out John Matthew’s book, “The Winter Solstice”. I stumbled upon it at my local library years ago and reading it at this time of year has since become a tradition for me.