Monday 3 October 2011

Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards

Dr Fiona Edmonds writes:

On the evening of Friday 24th September, a reception was held on the ASNC terrace in conjunction with the highly successful Pagan and Christian conference. The reception provided an excellent opportunity to launch a new book: TOME: Studies in Medieval Celtic History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards. A number of the contributors to the volume were present. Thomas Charles-Edwards, who had been speaking at the Pagan and Christian conference, was present at the reception. He had not been aware of the book launch, and it proved to be a pleasant surprise for him (we hope!).

 A toast to Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards

The book was edited by two of Thomas’s former students, Paul Russell and Fiona Edmonds, both of the department of ASNC. Fiona and Paul gave speeches praising Thomas’s contribution as a teacher of undergraduate students, a supervisor of graduate students, and a leading member of the scholarly community. We also praised Thomas’s highly significant contribution to scholarship, which is demonstrated by the bibliography included in TOME. Paul took the opportunity to explain the book’s title, which has provoked considerable interest. The title has a double inspiration: not only is the latest of Thomas's big books always known in his family as 'the tome', but the so-called 'Pillar of Thomas' (Lower Court Farm, Margam, now in the Margam Stones Museum), which features on the book's cover (the image expertly drawn by Ben Russell) shows a carved cross with the word TO || ME with two letters either side of the shaft of the cross. TOME (a spelling for the Latin genitive singular Tomae) means 'of Thomas' and could scarcely be more appropriate as a title for this volume. But, of course, TOME could also be a dative singular, 'for Thomas', and that is indeed what this volume is with gratitude and affection.

The editors with Prof. Thomas Charles-Edwards

The volume features essays that range across the medieval Celtic world, including medieval Wales, Ireland and Scotland. In the first part of the volume, they cover historical aspects (and, as is fitting, often reflect the honorand's interest in archaeology and epigraphy); in the second, they focus on medieval Irish and Welsh legal institutions and texts, which are used by some to inform new readings of literary texts. For more information, see the website of the publisher, Boydell and Brewer.

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