The mysterious lady of Wells

Friday October 19 2012


Elza TinerDr. Elza C. Tiner, professor of English and Latin, will present "The Mysterious Lady of Wells and Thomas Chaundler's Defense of Human Nature" at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the Daura Gallery.

While Dr. Tiner was in Toronto and at Oxford last summer working on the correlations between the thirteenth-century Latin encyclopedia, Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum Historiale, and the fifteenth-century play, Thomas Chaundler, Liber Apologeticus de Omni Statu Humanae Naturae (Apology for the Defence of Human Nature in Every State) c. 1460, a mystery unfolded. It led from the Latin text, to illustrations with the play, to architecture at New College, University of Oxford, where the playwright was a student and later chancellor, to an excavated wall painting in the throne room of the palace of Thomas Bekynton, bishop of Bath and Wells, the playwright’s friend and patron.

Correlations between drawings of scenes from the play and the text suggest that the play was performed at Wells, in or near the bishop’s palace, with the illustrations mirroring both text and performance space. The proposed lecture details the research process that led to this discovery.

Learn more about Dr. Tiner’s work.