Francis Young

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History in Prehistory for Wiltshire Museum

This evening I delivered an online talk for Wiltshire Museum on the theme of ‘History in Prehistory: Interpreting the Prehistoric Landscape in Medieval and Early Modern England’, which examined the … Continue reading

January 14, 2021 · Leave a comment

Plough Monday on BBC Radio Suffolk

In today’s ‘Spooky Suffolk’ segment on BBC Radio Suffolk I spoke to James Hazell about Suffolk’s Plough Monday traditions, from cross-dressing to plough blessing and a strange charm involving a … Continue reading

January 7, 2021 · 1 Comment

A Ghost Story for Christmas: ‘There Was A Man Dwelt By A Churchyard’

I recently recorded a dramatic reading of M. R. James’s story ‘There Was A Man Dwelt By A Churchyard’ for the Churches Conservation Trust, as a special online event for … Continue reading

December 24, 2020 · 1 Comment

Christmas Ghosts on BBC History Extra

The talk on Christmas ghost stories I gave to the Churches Conservation Trust on 3 December is now available as part of a BBC History Extra podcast, in which I … Continue reading

December 22, 2020 · Leave a comment

Review: Opening The Box of Delights by Philip W. Errington

Philip W. Errington, Opening the Box of Delights (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2020), 128pp. I cannot have been old enough to watch the BBC adaptation of John Masefield’s The … Continue reading

December 19, 2020 · 4 Comments

Christmas is cancelled! The Bury St Edmunds Christmas riots of the 1640s

The Christmas of 1644 was a bleak time. England was embroiled in a bitter civil war that had already lasted over two years, with a consequent breakdown of law and … Continue reading

December 16, 2020 · Leave a comment

Review: Staging Fairyland by Jennifer Schacker

My review of Staging Fairyland: Folklore, Children’s Entertainment and Nineteenth-Century Pantomime by Jennifer Schacker has just been published in Folklore, the journal of the Folklore Society. The book explores the … Continue reading

December 10, 2020 · Leave a comment

A gimpse of Abbot John Reeve?

A recurring theme of this blog recently has been the search for images of abbots of Bury St Edmunds. Last year I drew attention to a surviving depiction of Abbot … Continue reading

December 9, 2020 · Leave a comment

English Social and Local History at Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education

Today I delivered a day of remote teaching for Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education on the Undergraduate Diploma in English Social and Local History. My three lectures focussed on … Continue reading

December 5, 2020 · 2 Comments

‘Christmas Ghosts’ for the Churches Conservation Trust

This afternoon I delivered my second live Facebook lecture for the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), following on from my lecture on ‘Macabre Church Lore’ in October. The theme this time … Continue reading

December 3, 2020 · 1 Comment