MEDIEVAL MACHINATIONS AND UNHOLY HABITS: the 12th-century context of Brother Cadfael of Shrewsbury
The phrase, A Medieval Whodunnit, is firmly linked with the Brother Cadfael detective stories of the late author and historian Edith Pargeter, who also wrote under the pen name of Ellis Peters. A dozen of the 20 novels in this series were adapted for television, starring Sir Derek Jacobi as Brother Cadfael.
The immediate setting for these excellent historical accounts is the Benedictine abbey and the town of Shrewsbury, during the bitter struggles in Norman England between King Stephen and his cousin the Empress Maud. The broader context includes the Principality of Gwynedd, Normandy and the Welsh Marches.
These lectures will explore the colourful threads of 12th-century society that Ellis Peters so skilfully wove into her medieval murder mysteries. This sets the stage for the succession of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1154. The evenings will be enriched with enticing extracts drawn from the novels and TV programmes.