Charles Roe

I am a PhD student at the University of Leeds, in the United Kingdom, and I work on medieval literature from England in English, Latin, and the Anglo-Norman dialect of French.

In particular, I am interested in the very large and often unread body of French poetry and prose written by the English clergy in the thirteenth century – a time when the English Church was undergoing a process of reform and deeper communication with the laity. Anglo-Norman, the strong insular dialect of French, was widely used as a prestigious language which could reach across the diverse dialects of Middle English and still be understood by audiences without a Latin education.

My PhD examines the development, adaptation, and translation of two influential tracts written by English bishops who were particularly revered after their deaths: Robert Grosseteste’s Chasteu d’amur and Edmund of Abingdon’s Speculum religiosorum, which was often read in French as the Mirour de seinte eglyse. This involves thoroughly studying the largely unexamined body of thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth century manuscripts containing these texts and their Latin and English translations.

For more information on my research, see

IIPS 2017 had a very beneficial influence on my work: it provided an opportunity to contextualise my study of manuscripts circulating around England and across the English Channel with an awareness of the communication between written cultures taking place around the Mediterranean from antiquity to the late middle ages, to see how scholars who work on similar material from different time periods and cultures approach their craft, and to make valuable connections with a broad group of students who were at a similar stage in their careers. This was a particularly exciting process, given Robert Grosseteste’s own dedication to collaborating with a network of scholars to acquire rare books across the Mediterranean.

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