Our Canterbury Tale

We began our day with a class meeting in our flat. Unfortunately, it is still raining. During our morning class we discussed our reactions to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and what it was like to see a play performed at the Globe Theater. In addition, Emalee, Kailyn, and Leslie presented their theses ideas and we had a spirited discussion.

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After class we headed to St. Pancras Station to take the highspeed rail to Canterbury.

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As you can see, St. Pancras is an incredible bulding! We found our train and after a bit of an initial “Who’s on First” discussion with the conductor, we were off.

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We walked through the village of Canterbury towards the Cathedral. In 597AD, Pope Gregory the Great sent a monk, Augustine, to England. Augustine established a monastery in Canterbury and became England’s first Archbishop. In 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and, when soon afterwards miracles were said to take place, the Cathedral became one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage centers. It is hard to describe the beauty and majesty of the Cathedral. Below are some pictures of our walk to the Cathedral and from the parts of the Cathedral where I was able to take pictures.

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We visited the Cathedral because it was connected to our reading of Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’, but it turned out to be an extraordinary experience all on its own. After touring the Cathedral, the students were able to enjoy the medieval village of Canterbury and had some time to shop and eat. We assembled in the evening to take the train back to London. It was a great day, but as you can see from the pictures of our journey home, a tiring one.

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As part of our tour of the Cathedral, we learned about how in 1538 Henry VIII ordered that St. Thomas’ shrine, which had been housed in the Cathedral’s Trinity Chapel from 1220, be demolished. To help to bring this history to life for the students, Dr. Firenze and Dr. Saraceno decided to re-enact a scene from ‘The Tudors”, with Dr. Firenze bringing an impish yet clerical air to the role of Cardinal Woolsey. Dr. Saraceno digs deep to convey the foppish arrogance of the much maligned George Boleyn.

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Tomorrow we plan to visit the British Museum of Natural History and tour the Darwin Center. After that, the students have a free afternoon and evening to see some of the London sites that are not part of our class activities.
Cheers from London!

~ by Dr. Musa on May 30, 2013.

One Response to “Our Canterbury Tale”

  1. Re-enactment scene: Few know that before the creation of The Holy See, there existed The Unholy SEE. I rest my case.

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