Dr. Lisa Ruch
The realm of medieval studies involves a vague line between legend and history of the Middle Ages. In her studies to separate the myths from the facts, Bay Path College Associate Professor of English and Communications Lisa Ruch, PhD, has discovered a rare prologue to the Middle English Prose Brut, a chronicle on the history of Britain and its founding father Brutus. Dr. Ruch will be presenting her find at the Institute of Medieval Studies’ International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds in England this July.
In Dr. Ruch’s examination of the medieval chronicles dating from the 13th to the 15th centuries, the story of Albina and her sisters is for the most part consistent, except for one detail appearing in a 1400s manuscript. Traditional legend tells of the story of Princess Albina and her sisters who conspire to murder the kings they are to marry. When the plot unravels, the sisters are sent adrift in a rudderless boat and land on an island, modern day’s Great Britain. However, the 1400s manuscript comments how Albina and her sisters drink the blood of wild animals once they settle on the island. “This aspect of the story is very rare. There are no other known versions of the Albina story that have this element,” said Ruch, who contends the text serves to disturb the stable qualities of Britain as detailed in the Prose Brut chronicle.
Ruch, who specializes in medieval literature, will present “Drinkers of Blood: Unique Details in the Albina Prologue to an Abbreviated Middle English Brut” at the International Medieval Congress as part of a session devoted to the origins of Britain in the Brut tradition of history. A founding member of the Medieval Chronicle Society, Ruch recently chaired sessions related to records of the Middle Ages at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She serves as director of Bay Path’s Communications and Information Technology Program, and teaches courses in literature, writing, and film studies.
For more information on Dr. Ruch, click here. To learn more about the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England, click here.