Katherine Lack

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Academic Papers by Katherine Lack


‘The Spread of Apple Brown Rot (Monilinia fructigena) by insects.' Annals of Applied Biology 115 (1989), 221-227.

 A combination of laboratory and field work suggests that insects, and in particular the native species of fruit flies, Drosophila spp., play an important role in the spread of this disease of top fruit.


‘A Dyer on the Road to St James: an Identity for ‘The Worcester Pilgrim’?’ Midland History 30 (2005), 112-128.

The anonymous pilgrim burial accidentally uncovered in Worcester Cathedral early in 1987 is analysed here, in the context of West Midlands pilgrim traditions in the later middle ages. A possible identity is proposed for the individual, and his position in the life of the city is explored. His will, and that of his wife, is supplied together with a translation, and it is suggested that he himself had probably been on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.


‘The de obitu Willelmi: Propaganda for the Anglo-Norman Succession, 1087-1088?’ English Historical Review 123 (2008), 1417-1456.

The de obitu Willelmi is a short text purporting to describe the death of William the Conqueror and the division of his lands between his sons William Rufus and Duke Robert of Normandy. It survives in full in only one late eleventh or early twelfth-century document, and is known to be a minimally modified pastiche of two ninth-century texts, a Life of Charlemagne and a Life of his son Louis the Pious. It is demonstrated here that the extracts from the Life of Louis the Pious are used so as to stress Duke Robert's unsuitability for rule, and it is proposed that this is the purpose for which the de obitu Willelmi was created. John ‘de Villula’, appointed Bishop of Wells by Rufus in 1088, is suggested as a key figure in its production, and it is proposed that de obitu Willelmi was composed and used as propaganda against Duke Robert during the 1088 rising following William Rufus's succession to the English throne.


'Robert Curthose: Ineffectual Duke or Victim of Spin?' The Haskins Society Journal, Studies in Medieval History 20 (2009), 110-140.

This paper offers a reassessment of the character of Duke Robert of Normandy and his relationship with his father William the Conqueror. It looks in particular at three aspects of his career: the extent to which he had acted as duke during his father's lifetime; the length and severity of his rebellions against The Conqueror, and his military role during the 1088 rising and on the First Crusade. It is argued that the conventional view of Robert as 'an administrative incompetent' and 'an undutiful son' was deliberately fostered during the reign of his youngest brother, Henry I of England, in order to justify Henry's seizure of the throne and his continuing imprisonment of his brother.



Copyright 2009 © Dr Katherine Lack

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