Saturday, 24 October 2015

SCSC Vancouver

The Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Vancouver has been as fun as ever this year, even through the mental fog of an eight-hour time change. 

There have been highlights from some of the usual suspects. Natalie Mears pointed out that, irrefutably, that the spate of adoring monuments to Queen Elizabeth I in early seventeenth-century London parish churches weren't attempts to send subtle messages to James I - not when there were far better and cheaper ways of sending messages to him than by building monuments which he would never see.

Jon Reimer revealed his newly discovered copy of a book by my old friend Thomas Becon, which proves that Becon really did feel bad about having recanted his evangelical faith in 1543. And Nick Thompson is not only tackling Stephen Gardiner's ding-dong over clerical celibacy with Martin Bucer, but pointed out along the way that Gardiner was labelled 'Anglican' by his hosts in Louvain. Well, sort of, anyway.

But the real treat at a conference is the chance to hear the people you don't yet know, and in this category the one I am most excited about is Harriet Lyon, a second-year doctoral student in Cambridge, who gave us a first glimpse of her work on the way the dissolution of the monasteries was remembered. I've been droning on about the importance of the dissolution for years, and so I'm naturally pleased to see someone tackling this: but she's also doing it with real creativity, thinking about how it's managed in historical writing and how the economic impact of it is processed in the generations that followed. It's genuinely innovative work and I'm excited to see where she takes it.

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