The great lockdown of 2020

So, we are all pretty much in lockdown. After an initial phase of anxiety and numbness, simply trying to digest the extend of what is currently happening to the world as we know it, we have had to face up to some difficult decisions. It has become obvious that, in the interest of everyone’s safety, travel is to be avoided and will remain limited for the foreseeable future. As a consequence, the fourth biennial conference on Early Modern British and Irish Catholicism, which was to be held at Durham 14-16 July 2020, has been postponed, hopefully to the summer 2021. Its three-day programme on Popery, Politics and Prayer sounded utterly amazing, and I am sure everyone is deeply sorry to have to miss such a fine event this summer.  Let us hope everything can be carried over as smoothly as possible to July 2021, for a safer and more serene conference.  For further details on the announcement, click here.

In these worrying times, many of us try to turn to small comforts for solace. Alongside delicious gourmet meals, which I suddenly had time to cook, I have been relishing the opportunity to read two very recently published #nuntastic monographs. I will be reviewing Victoria Van Hyning’s Convent Autobiography. Early Modern English Nuns in Exile (published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, 2019) and James Kelly’s English Convents in Catholic Europe, c. 1600-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Keep an eye out for the reviews, respectively in the Journal of Religious History and in British Catholic History soon.

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