Keep the research factual

I’m now deep in research on medieval cathedrals, wondering whether all this is going to end in the 10th, 11th or 12th century. I’ve just finished a short book on ‘The Golden Age of Chartres’ which was rich in imaginative content but poor in scholarly apparatus. If text is not backed up by references and citations, yes, it is a darn sight easier to read. But trust it not. If the author hasn’t checked his facts, you’re going to have to do it for him.
Having read about a rather exciting bluestocking of the 10th century being a pupil of one of the masters of the Chartres School, a quick skip into Wikipedia revealed the mistake. She studied with Gerberga, a neice of Otto III, not Gerbert.
So will I ditch the master and follow the trail of two fascinating medieval women? Probably not. I’m still looking, questing, tracking the elusive story and enjoying the hunt too much to stop at the first sighting of a hind in a glade.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sounds fascinating! I am about 3/4s of the way through “Pallas & the Centaur” and am just *amazed* at your deft weaving of history and story. Can’t wait to get started on “The Rebirth of Venus!” 😀

    1. Thanks, Maggie. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Pallas. I think it’s my favourite of the three, perhaps because I had to rely on the imagination more. There is so little known about the women. I went all the way to Montepulciano to find out more about Maria and found nothing. It was as if – like almost every other woman in history – she had never existed.

  2. Well, the way you wrote Maria I am *so* reminded of me and my brother. I know he (my brother) will love your books as much as I do! But he’s going to have to wait until I can bear to part with them. 😉 Tonight, I ate out on our canopied deck, playing Renaissance music and drinking fine red wine and thought of Angelo and Maria in Fiesole (which is the part I’m at right now), sitting in the loggia with their spectacular view of Florence. Oh, how you bring it to life! I have never been to Italy, yet feel as if I have. 🙂

  3. A canopied deck with Renaissance music and fine red wine – with such a home, and a fine imagination, you’ve no need to travel.

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