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‘Compassionate Consumption’?: George Gascoigne’s The Noble Arte of Venerie or Hvnting and the Voice of the Dish

In May 2016 it was reported that the number of vegans in Britain had risen by 360% in ten years.1 A Guardian article, published in November 2018, indicated that this number will continue to increase in the coming years, with one in eight Britons now identifying as vegetarian or vegan, and 21% claiming to be …

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Author of first English novel kept it hidden for ten years – here’s why

A dense work of early English prose, strewn throughout with serious and teasing marginalia from its author, might not be the most likely candidate for stage adaptation – but this project has just been undertaken by a team of artists and academics in Sheffield. William Baldwin’s Beware the Cat, written in 1553, will be performed …

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New documents reveal Servetus’s life as a student and teacher in Spain

Michael Servetus (c. 1511-1553) was a renowned polymath, who is an important figure in the history of many disciplines. His nontrinitarianism led him to being condemned by Catholic authorities in France and, upon fleeing to Protestant Geneva, he was burnt at the stake for heresy. Despite his significance, until recently, there were no documents about …

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“Plum pottage was mere popery”: the ups and downs of Christmas in the 17th century

Despite the persistent belief that Christmas was effectively invented by the Victorians and barely bothered with by anyone before the 19th century, a bit of a delve into the literature of the 17th century yields much in the way of interesting Christmas-related curiosities. Performance has a long association with Christmas, from medieval mummers plays to Henry …

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