This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Saturday 8 June 2024, 1.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Location: In-person only
    RCH/037, Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Bede (c.673-735) was one of the greatest scholars of the post-Roman world and has been accorded the titles of 'Venerable', for his work on biblical studies, and 'the father of English history', for creating the concept of the English and writing their first history.


Michelle P. Brown, author of Bede and the Theory of Everything, will consider his work on popularising the use of a single unified dating system in the West; in studying gravitational pull of the moon and its effect on tides (writing the first tide timetables); writing the earliest translation of a part of the Bible in English and some of the earliest Old English poetry; and his role in the making of manuscript masterpieces such as the Codex Amiatinus and the Lindisfarne Gospels. 

The strands of the work of this consummate researcher, writer and teacher are often considered separately, but Bede, the radical priest-monk, had a big idea, what the modern age might call a TOE (Theory of Everything), in which all of his lines of thought converged upon how time, space and the physical universe ticked and how they related to the creative force, the Cosmic Logos.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

Dr Michelle P. Brown FSA is Professor Emerita of Medieval Manuscript Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and is a Visiting Professor at University College London. She is a Director of the Hereford Mappa Mundi Trust, Patron of the Designer Bookbinders and an Honorary Lay Canon of Truro Cathedral. She was formerly the Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library and a Lay Canon and Chapter Member of St Paul's Cathedral, London. She has published, lectured and broadcast widely on medieval cultural history. Her latest book is Bede and the Theory of Everything (Reaktion Books, 2023).


Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop