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Professor Lisa Ruch Publishes Albina and Her Sisters: The Foundation of Albion

Lisa Ruch, PhD, Chair, Liberal Studies Department Bay Path CollegeFor Professor Lisa Ruch, it all began with a work published in 1890 that made an erroneous claim about the Albina legend. The centuries-old tale has its root in Albion, the ancient name for England, and it was also linked to the name of a leader of a race of giants who supposedly lived on the island. The Albina legend, however, takes decidedly women’s perspective.

A graduate student in comparative literature at Pennsylvania State University, she was looking for a topic for her dissertation and recognized the Albina legend needed to be re-evaluated and explored. And, fortuitously, it fit with her interest in history, literature and folklore.

Language was key to the research. Ruch has a reading fluency in Latin, French, Medieval English, and Spanish. Given the Albina story was written in five different languages, examining the original sources required a linguistic expertise that Ruch ably possessed. Her work took her to libraries in England and France, notably London and Paris, and she often labored over documents made of parchment and handwritten. “The Albina legend is remarkable because, given the nature of the times, it had sex, murder, violence…and sassy women.” 

Although her focus goes back centuries, Albina and Her Sisters has relevance even today. After all, everyone loves a good story.

Click here to read the Cambria Press summary.

The book is also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.