Irina Dumitrescu

Irina Dumitrescu is a professor at the University of Bonn. The Experience of Education in Anglo-Saxon Literature is out now.

The Flower and the Bee: Many Anons

Irina Dumitrescu, 22 April 2021

In​ the mid-seventh century, a busy and well-connected abbess in Northumbria took a promising new poet under her wing. This unassuming elderly man, who worked as a cowherd, had never managed to learn a single song. He went to feasts with the other agricultural workers at the monastery, but always left before the harp could be passed to him. One night he departed early and went to sleep in...

How to Read Aloud

Irina Dumitrescu, 10 September 2020

Between​ 2002 and 2018, the number of GCSE foreign language exams taken in England, Northern Ireland and Wales fell by 45 per cent. The main reason for this was that in 2002 the government announced that it was no longer compulsory for students to study a language at GCSE level. Numbers immediately dropped. Some schools reported that students perceived languages to be too difficult, though...

Making My Moan: Medieval Smut

Irina Dumitrescu, 7 May 2020

In​ the early decades of the 11th century, a man called Warner who lived in Normandy wrote a very dirty Latin poem. Addressed to Archbishop Robert of Rouen, it relates the adventures of an Irish grammarian called Moriuht, who has a series of graphic and often disturbing sexual encounters while searching for his wife, who has been kidnapped. He is captured by Vikings, chained, flogged,...

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