This last week has been a matter of learning on the job! Academic German has been testing my shaky language skills, as has the matter of philology, but I can say things about the Anglo-Norman version of Bevis – my current research – that I didn’t expect to have to say. His name seems to me to be one of the ‘elephants in the room’ as far as research is concerned, so I thought I should address it.
It was a bit frustrating to find out yesterday that the Southampton Oak Book couldn’t give me what I was hoping for, but it confirmed the likely dates for the guild meetings and the dominance of the guild, and provided an interesting connection with Poitiers.
It is a shame that Southampton’s records for the early period in which the A-N version of the Bevis story was written are not as detailed as those of the 15th century, but poking around in what there are is fun. I shall have to leave that enjoyable, if brain-aching, research to get on with the proper business of putting the argument together if I am to claim the Anglo-Norman version as Southampton’s in a more rational way than has been traditional. It will take longer than I had anticipated but if I can make the case it will be worth the time and effort. All I can say for now is, watch this space.