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Amy Jeffs

Amy Jeffs

Department: History of Art

Supervisor: Prof Paul Binski

College: Corpus Christi College

AHRC Subject Area: Art of the Middle Ages

Title of Thesis: Defining the future, depicting the past; the Artistic Programme of Egerton 3028


Biography:

I began my academic career with medieval languages and literature, reading for a BA in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. Learning Medieval Latin, Old English, script history (palaeography) and manuscript construction (codicology), introduced me to the world of medieval book culture. For the final year of my BA I transferred to History of Art, and wrote a dissertation on the Incipit pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels and their potential impact on various models of reader-viewer.

During my MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, I was introduced to the unusual fourteenth-century English manuscript that will form the focus of my doctoral research. It contains three illustrated historico-romantic texts, all concerning British and French kings. Its many pictures depict an array of subjects including King Arthur, Stonehenge, giants, dragons and Charlemagne. I will spend the next three years considering how ideas of continuity and conquest were being explored and asserted via the manuscript’s extensive illustrative cycle, where the book comes from, in terms of its production and its artistic milieu, and how it fits into our understanding of English art of the period. 

Other academic interests

Alongside my thesis, I work on medieval pilgrim souvenirs. These small badges were sold at European pilgrimage sites. The way in which images were designed to function as springboards for recollection, social interaction, or story-telling is an aspect of medieval visual culture in which I am particularly interested.  I also enjoy exploring the way in which pilgrim souvenirs, though small, are linked to some of the most magnificent architectural structures of the medieval period, namely Gothic cathedrals, as well as other artistic media, such as the shrines and reliquaries associated with these sites.