Having submitted the piece of research that was taking up all my thoughts recently, while I’m awaiting editorial decisions about revisions, I’m returning to Southampton in the 60 years after the Anarchy. Although I have recently read that this term may not be appropriate as a description of the situation in England, the Peterborough Chronicle account suggests it is reasonable enough. Boeve sits at the turning point of the century, so its composer has the benefit of hindsight and is, I believe, looking back to that chaotic and frightening time from a position of peace and prosperity. I really can’t wait to begin putting together this part of my argument for a close connection between the poem and Southampton.
In addition, I have been invited to give my ‘Perilous Female Spaces in Bevis‘ paper again, at a Lifelong Learning Day at the University of Southampton. Rereading the original paper for this, as far as it has gone, is also stimulating new ideas, and the research will certainly require extending later, because these spaces spread far beyond the castle walls that have limited them so far. So not only is the Boeve material developing, everything I have written, presented, and published so far looks to have the makings of the basis for a book.
Progress on all fronts will not be as fast as I would like, because I have new demands on my time, but at least the process is beginning.