Winters in the World: A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year with Dr Eleanor Parker
This talk will explore the cycle of the festival year as the Anglo-Saxons knew it, introducing the customs and traditions which they linked to different seasons in the year – some still familiar to us, others long forgotten.
It was in the early medieval period that many of the festivals we know today were first celebrated in this country, after the Anglo-Saxon conversion to Christianity resulted in the development of a new festival calendar which blended together pagan and Christian traditions. In this talk we’ll look at how Anglo-Saxon writers thought about the yearly journey through the seasons – from midwinter to midsummer, spring to harvest – and consider the profound relationship they saw between human life and the rhythms of nature.
Dr Eleanor Parker is Lecturer in Medieval English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford. Her latest book, Winters in the World: A Journey through the Anglo-Saxon Year, will be published by Reaktion Books in August 2022.
She writes a regular column for History Today, and her previous books include Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England (2018), and Conquered: The Last Children of Anglo-Saxon England (2022).