Medieval Women: Hildegard of Bingen

Last summer, editor-in-chief Carolyn Turgeon invited me to write an article on St. Hildegard of Bingen for the medieval-themed winter issue of Faerie MagazineSince I’d traveled to Bingen in 2014 to research Hildegard for THE BOOK OF GOTHEL, I was excited about the assignment.

St. Hildegard is a fascinating, complicated figure. Over the past four years, I’ve read her visionary texts and correspondence. I’ve visited her holy sites in Germany, developing my own interpretation of her life, work, and personality, so that her character in my novel would be historically accurate. Writing a nonfiction article about her was challenging, because of the way I wanted to weave in my personal experience on my research trip with historical facts about her life, a number of which are up for debate…

I’m positively delighted with the layout! The article is paired with images of illuminations from Hildegard’s visionary texts and photographs of the places I visited on my trip. It’s wonderful to have this piece about St. Hildegard and my experience researching her out in the world. I remain grateful to the Sustainable Arts Foundation, for believing in THE BOOK OF GOTHEL enough to give me the award that made my research trip possible. And I’m thankful to Carolyn and all the other folks at Faerie for their work on the article. The medieval issue of Faerie can be found in Barnes & Nobles everywhere. You can also purchase the issue in which the article appears online here.

Back from Germany

I had an amazing time in Germany, researching medieval Konstanz and Freiburg, exploring city museums, hiking the Black Forest, and visiting Hildegard of Bingen’s abbey. ‘The Book of Gothel’, my novel-in-progress, is annotated to bits. Below is a gallery of some of what I saw while I was there!

I have to thank the wonderful Sustainable Arts Foundation for the grant that enabled this trip! If you’re a parent artist or writer who needs time to create or money to research a project, they are an incredible organization! I can’t say enough good things about them.

 

 

Planning Trip to Germany

It’s spring break, so I finally have some time to start planning my trip to Germany to research The Book of Gothel. The trip is set for this summer. A few weeks ago, I bought the air tickets, and I’ve just sent off my passport renewal application…

Deutschland

The plan, as it stands now, is to start in Konstanz, the city of my narrator’s birth, where I’ll wander the old town and visit museums, the island of Reichenau, and the ruins of an old fortress that still exists at Hohentwiel. Next I’m excited about visiting Naturpark Schwarzwald, where I’ll take notes on local flora and fauna and hike through the Black Forest. Then I plan to stay in Bingen, where I’ll make arrangements to see the Drusus Bridge and its ancient chapel, various museums and archives, the Disibodenburg abbey ruins, the St. Hildegard Abbey, and St. Hildegard of Bingen’s assembly of relics. Finally, I’ll visit Freiburg, where I plan to stay in the oldest hotel in Germany and research the House of Zähringen.

I am incredibly grateful to the Sustainable Arts Foundation for awarding me the grant that enabled this trip.