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Medieval Graffiti: The Lost Voices of England's Churches

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  6 reviews
For centuries carved writings and artworks in churches lay largely unnoticed. So archaeologist Matthew Champion started a nationwide survey to gather the best examples. In this book he shines a spotlight on a secret world of ships, prayers for good fortune, satirical cartoons, charms, curses, windmills, word puzzles, architectural plans and heraldic designs. Drawing on exa ...more
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published July 2nd 2015 by Ebury Press (first published July 2nd 2014)
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Sam Worby
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not bad but the book promises more than it delivers. It is a thematic overview of types of medieval graffiti in English churches.

The introduction promises insight into voices of ordinary people and makes a big deal that graffiti is a special insight that can't be delivered by textual sources which tend to represent authority (I don't necessarily agree with this premise). And the text explains types of graffiti. However, whenever the author tries to give an explanation for the meaning the graffi
...more
Vee_Bookish // stan shea couleé
I really enjoyed learning about all the different forms of graffiti found around England's churches, however the author was a little difficult to work with.
Kate Innes
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, and will continue to enjoy the effect it has on my reading of churches. One is made to wish that the layers of white wash could be peeled away to reveal these telling yet ambiguous marks in churches - that now look blank and silent.
Katherine McIntyre
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amongst the five archeology/history books I've read in the last year (including Michael Pye's The Edge of the World), Medieval Graffiti is the most memorable and touching. You might expect a walk through the different kinds of symbols scratched into the walls of medieval churches to be dry and didactic. This was anything but. Instead, I got warm well written tales of how ordinary people in the past expressed their hopes, aspirations, pride and fears. The writing allowed me to visualize both how ...more
Toby
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A joy, throughout; one of the most fascinating and evocative books I've read in a long time.
Hayley
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me inspiration when I needed it the most. A journey through medieval graffiti and an insight into the minds of the ordinary people of the medieval period. A real pleasure to read.
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Project Director of Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey & Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey

Matthew Champion studied history and landscape archaeology at the University of East Anglia. As a freelance archaeologist he is widely regarded as England’s leading expert on medieval graffiti inscriptions, and has worked with organisations such as English Heritage and the National Trust, as well as writing and
...more

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