Institute of Advanced Studies

A public lecture by Craig Taylor


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The Trials of Joan of Arc

A public lecture by Craig Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York

Craig TaylorThis lecture explored the two great trials of the celebrated French heroine, firstly at Rouen in 1431 while in the hands of her enemies and then between 1455 and 1456, when a posthumous investigation nullified the verdict of the original trial. Given the rejection of the earlier trial as a sham, it is natural that modern scholars have offered increasingly sophisticated analyses of the records of Joan’s public and private interrogations at Rouen in 1431; under such careful scrutiny, these sources raise fascinating questions regarding the ‘truthfulness’ of medieval records and of Joan’s story, as well as different kinds of insights into wider questions of religion and gender in late medieval society. Yet the records of the second trial have not received as careful attention, in large part because they remain pivotal to undermining the credibility of the original heresy trial. In this lecture, Dr Taylor turned the spotlight onto the second trial, suggesting new ways in which scholars might approach these familiar records.

Craig Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York, and a Fellow of both the Société de l'Histoire de France and the Royal Historical Society. He is Chair of the Graduate Board of Studies in the Department of History, and in October 2014, he will become Director of the Centre for Medieval Studies.

His research focuses on the political, aristocratic and martial cultures of late medieval France and England, and in particular the intellectual and cultural representations of chivalry and warfare in the age of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453). His publications include Joan of Arc, La Pucelle. (Manchester University Press, 2006), Debating the Hundred Years War: Pour ce que plusieurs (La loi salicque) & A declaracion of the trew and dewe title of Henrie VIII. (Camden Series, 2007) and Chivalry, Honour and Knighthood in Late Medieval France (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Craig is a co-investigator on a major AHRC-funded project on England’s Immigrants, which runs until February 2015. This explores the extensive archival evidence about the names, origins, occupations and households of a significant number of foreigners who chose to make their lives and livelihoods in England in the era of the Hundred Years War, the Black Death and the Wars of the Roses. The project will contribute creatively to the longer-term history of immigration to England, and help to provide a deep historical and cultural context to contemporary debates over ethnicity, multiculturalism and national identity.

26 June 2014