LMH Fellow and JRR Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language Marion Turner recently featured on two episodes of Ian Hislop’s Oldest Jokes on BBC Radio 4. 

Ian Hislop joined Professor Turner at the Bodleian to discuss the humour employed by Geoffrey Chaucer. In the episode ‘Parody and Sir Topaz’, Marion and Ian speak about Chaucer’s use of parody in the Tale of Sir Topaz, from his Canterbury Tales, and how his deliberate use of simplistic rhyming schemes adds to the humour of the poem. They also touch on how the Tale of Sir Topaz may have served as inspiration for Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

In the episode ‘Any Women Here?’, Ian Hislop explores a gap in the historical record – where is the evidence of women’s contribution to medieval comedy and humour? He is joined by Professor Turner and Dr Janina Ramirez, and they discuss evidence of women’s involvement or influence in medieval literature, with particular emphasis on The Book of Margery Kemp and Chaucer’s Wife of Bath

You can listen to these episodes via the link below.