With inspiration and renewed confidence after attending the Medieval English Theatre conference at the University of Southampton, I have begun to change the structure of Commentary 2. There’s nothing like a conference to whet the appetite for work – hearing what everyone else is been doing and being able to explain my own ideas is a great way to find the way through the morass of developing ideas in one’s own head.
The searching is less of a delight, but necessary because it is the search for a publisher. There are a number to choose from. Of course the publisher and the book must be a match, but pitching a book to a publisher, even one in my current specialism, is not easy. Each one has their own requirements, and there is no guarantee that a response will be forthcoming, so it’s hard to know when to give up and move on.
I was spoilt with the last book, when the publisher came to me, and had been approached previously by another publisher, but the new Bevis book will not fit into either of their lists because it is not specifically academic, but pitched to make the story and its background accessible to general readers. It may not be acceptable as the 2 volume format I have planned either. But finding a separate publisher for Volume 2 may have to be a task for next year.
Meanwhile, I am working towards a better development of the significance of the Anglo-Saxon element in the story, as well as strengthening the connections I see between the integration agenda of the 12th and 13th centuries, and the more radical push to rehabilitate the English vernacular in the second half of the 14th.
The Auchinleck Bevis is by no means just an entertaining medieval adventure story!