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Angles to Angels: Converting the North

How did it come to happen that only a few decades after the huge extent of what was not yet Northumbria was ostensibly pagan, its monasteries, especially Lindisfarne and Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, were centres of Christian scholarship with a spiritual influence reaching deep into Europe? This talk will suggest some answers to that question and glance at some of the people involved.

  • What sort of network connects Aidan of Iona and Lindisfarne with Abbess Hild of Whitby, or Etheldreda of Ely with St Abb’s?
  • How did the man (probably) buried in the great Sutton Hoo ship affect developments?
  • Does the recent excavation of a grave at Prittlewell in Essex alter our narrative?
  • And what connects a curragh in a deserted cove and the Lindisfarne Gospels?

These questions are meant to tease, and the talk promises no clear answers, but simply a layman’s thoughts about them, and others.

All welcome, including non college members. A recording of this event is now available, CLICK HERE

About the Speaker
Dr Charles Moseley is a Life Fellow of Hughes Hall, and formerly Director of Studies in English and Senior Tutor. He has written extensively on mediaeval and early modern literature, and has published several books of travel and memoir. His most recent books, ‘Engaging with Chaucer: Theory, Practice, Reading’ (Berghahn, New York) and ‘Hungry Heart Roaming: an Odyssey of Sorts’ (Eyewear, London) come out in December 2020 and January 2021 respectively.

He, like Richard Berg Rust, has a deep affection for the life and culture, and even weather, of the northern shires, where he grew up.

About Richard Berg Rust
Those of you who knew Richard, our Development Director, who, in 2017 was so sadly and suddenly taken from us, will remember not only his huge contribution to the College but also his passionate love for the literature, culture and music of his native North of England, and especially of Northumberland and County Durham.

Richard grew up in Northumbria and was a life-long champion of the North of England. He wanted to showcase northern talent, helping to alter attitudes and to celebrate the wealth of culture he found there. He was Director of Development for the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and oversaw its expansion for three years. He was also the founding father of the Northumbrian Association and campaigned to get the Lindisfarne Gospels back to Durham Cathedral supported by Sir Tom Cowie and the then Bishop of Durham Michael Turnbull. In the process he raised money to take culture, history and copies of the Gospels to schools in the area of which he was rightfully proud.

In his memory the College decided to institute a yearly event – a lecture, a recital, or a performance – on Northern themes, which it hopes members and alumni will help to endow.

This lecture has been made possible by the kind support of alumni, seniors and friends of the College. If you would like to contribute to the Richard Berg Rust lecture fund to ensure that we can carry on with this fascinating and unique series please donate online and select ‘The Richard Berg Rust Lecture Fund’ or email development@hughes.cam.ac.uk.