>I mentioned in an earlier post that while I’m doing my scant three days of research in London this summer, I’m going to add in a trip out to Windsor to look at a manuscript there. I am now totally psyched to do this.
First of all, with a little research detective work I was finally able to track down more about the manuscript and it’s chock-a-block full of the sub-genre I’m looking at (not just the one piece I knew about), so even if it doesn’t quite have the provenance I think I’m concentrating on, it’s an interesting manuscript and so I’m still going to go see it, and look at the bits that haven’t been edited. At this point I’m not sure where this project is going, but now that I’m tenured and feel less pressure to produce a certain outcome, I feel the leisure to follow leads and tangents and hope that they’ll end in serendipitous discoveries.
But what’s really cool about this is that I’m going to be spending the day with a manuscript in a freakin’ castle, which also still happens to be an active royal residence. How awesomely cool is that? I mentioned before that I have to pay for entrance to the castle, but I’m not entirely sure that’s the case anymore. But I did have to fill out a day pass application form in advance so that they can do a security check on me (because it’s a royal residence and all), and on the day of my visit, my pass will be waiting for me with a police officer. OK, I know it’s not top level intelligence classification, but I still feel kind of wickedly special. And did I mention it’s a castle? And the archives are in a part of the castle called the “Vicar’s Undercroft.” And the archivists all have very English names of the Rupert Giles type. And work in a castle. In a castle!
So next time some random person asks me what I do for a living, I’m going to say I read medieval manuscripts in castles. And if they want to think I slay vampires, too, that’s cool with me.