The next in the series of free community lectures organised by the Department of Adult Continuing Education (DACE) at Swansea University takes place later this month.

Speaker: Dr Liz Herbert McAvoy

Lecture title: I am a filthy stud-mare, a stinking whore: Authority, monstrosity and the sacred in the writings of the medieval woman recluse

Date:  Thursday 17 October

Time: 6 pm-7.45 pm

Venue: The Discovery Room, Swansea Central Library, Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea

Admission: Admission is free, but seating is limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Lecture summary: Authorship was often impossible for a medieval woman although a withdrawal into the solitary life sometimes allowed her both to challenge popular notions of her body as ‘monstrous’ and to become a writer.

Dr Liz Herbert McAvoy is a Reader in Medieval Literature and Gender Studies in the Department of English Language and Literature at Swansea University. Her main research interests are in medieval women's writing from 700-1500, and in medieval anchoritism (religious solitary reclusion), a vocation very popular amongst women in Europe from the twelfth century onwards.

She has published widely in both areas of interest, including The History of British Women's Writing, vol. 1 700-1500, co-edited with Diane Watt (2012); and Medieval Anchoritisms: Gender, Space and the Solitary Life (2011).

She is currently working on two texts by medieval women: A Revelation of Purgatory, written by an anonymous female anchorite in Winchester in 1422; and The Booke of Gostlye Grace, a fifteenth-century translation of a thirteenth-century Latin text written by the visionary nun, Mechtild of Hackeborn, in the monastery of Helfta in what is now Germany.

Contact: For further information please call 01792 602211 or email: or visit