Keep the research factual

I’m now deep in research on medieval cathedrals, wondering whether all this is going to end in the 10th, 11th or 12th century. I’ve just finished a short book on ‘The Golden Age of Chartres’ which was rich in imaginative content but poor in scholarly apparatus. If text is not backed up by references and citations, yes, it is a darn sight easier to read. But trust it not. If the author hasn’t checked his facts, you’re going to have to do it for him.

Having read about a rather exciting bluestocking of the 10th century being a pupil of one of the masters of the Chartres School, a quick skip into Wikipedia revealed the mistake. She studied with Gerberga, a neice of Otto III, not Gerbert.

So will I ditch the master and follow the trail of two fascinating medieval women? Probably not. I’m still looking, questing, tracking the elusive story and enjoying the hunt too much to stop at the first sighting of a hind in a glade.

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