eating words


What a pleasure to blog about this magnificent edible manuscript,¬†made for the 80th birthday of Professor Anne Hudson. Anne is the UK’s leading expert on the Lollard Bible, and the manuscript is a fine example of a Wycliffite New Testament, Bodleian MS Fairfax 11. It’s all edible, including the text and the booksnake. The cake was made by Jo Marsden at Piece of Cake (

This visual feast is the perfect pretext for advertising what might be thought of as the CMT’s first publication, Text, Food and the Early Modern Reader: Eating Words, which has just appeared from Routledge.¬†Deriving from our 2011 conference on the intersections between reading and eating, this volume brings together a star-studded cast (Juliet Fleming, Deborah Krohn, Raphael Lyne, Randall McLeod, Helen Smith, Peter Stallybrass, Lizzie Swann, and Andrew Zurcher) to think about all manner of alimentary alignments. Whether your interest is in the terminology of carving or the textuality of catering, in sweet and sugary poems or indigestible macaronic hodgepodges, in digesting or the divine or vomiting the demotic, there is something here for every ravenous reader. Like many academic books, it’s not exactly a snip: think of it as a high-end Christmas present for the bookworm in your life, to be consumed along with sparkling wine and Christmas pud.

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