www.juliacresswell.info

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Julia Cresswell - what I do

Julia Cresswell - photo writer author

What I do

My working life splits into two inter-related areas, writing and teaching.

I enjoy new challenges, and am always open to new projects.  I will work as a free-lance writer on almost anything non-fiction, whether it be a full-length book or a pamphlet, from copywriting to ghost writing.  If you want something turned from jargon-ridden text to easily-accessible prose, I’m the person to do it.  The one thing I will not do is write educational essays for you.

Having said that, there are obviously certain areas I know more about than others.  To start with my academic qualifications – I have three degrees in English.  The first degree focused on Old English, Middle English and the history of the language, with subsidiary work on Old French and Medieval Welsh.  The second degree (an MA) involved learning to read medieval manuscripts and understand their histories (palaeography) and a thesis on the 14th-century poet John Gower’s sources, particularly those from French and Latin.  My doctorate was an edition of a 15th-century romance called The Three Kings’ Sons and a study of its French sources.  As this text is a rare thing – medieval fiction which refers to contemporary events - this also meant developing an expertise in 15th-century European literature and history.  History is a great passion of mine, so this was no hardship.

This may seem rather daunting.  So here are some of the other fields I have taught in (undergraduates and adult education), and can therefore also write about. The core field of my teaching has always been my degree subjects of Old English and Middle English literature, and the history of the English language.  However, I like to stray outside these areas, and I have taught the following:- Children’s literature; Fantasy and Science fiction; Medieval Studies (social history, literature, arts); King Arthur and related studies (including the archaeological and historical background, and modern developments of the legend); Medieval Celtic Studies; Mythology and Folklore (especially Classical and Medieval); Medieval European literature; courses in classical literature and background; Tudor and Stuart literature; Creative Writing and effective writing; and various interdisciplinary courses in the arts and humanities. I am also qualified to teach basic skills to adults. 

Other areas

These are the things I am really interested in, and knowledgeable about, outside my usual work.

Archaeology – From early childhood my ambition was to be an archaeologist, until I found that I came out in strange rashes when I excavated.  I still keep up with reading in the subject
Medieval Science and Technology – I am a founder member and treasurer of the Society for the history of Medieval Technology and Science see http://www.shmts.org/Home.html
Natural History – I grew up in the country, and have an excellent, practical knowledge of British natural history, particularly the plants.
Gardening - particularly in relation to providing a sustainable natural environment.  I  also have an allotment.
Food – I am passionate about excellent quality, simple food and am a good cook, as well as being involved in the local slow food and organic movement
Home schooling – I home-schooled my dyslexic son for three years

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