A group of Upper Sixth Form English pupils spent the afternoon of September 24th in Canterbury, enriching their study of Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale and Gothic fiction. We spent the first part of the afternoon on a guided tour of the cathedral, following the route that Chaucer’s pilgrims would have taken to visit the shrine of St Thomas a Becket. Our guide talked through the dramatic murder of Becket in the cathedral, explained the beautiful stained glass windows that present Becket’s story and subsequent miracles and put the architecture of the cathedral into its historical context.
Our next step back in time was to The Canterbury Tales experience, where we enjoyed a walking tour of five of Chaucer’s poems that evoked the sights, sounds and smells of their medieval setting. Some of the girls got into the spirit of the occasion by donning costumes to match.
After an excellent repast at the hostelry of Monsignor Zizzi, the last activity of the day was to watch a performance of Frankenstein at the Marlowe Theatre, complementing the A-level work on Gothic literature. The production was rich in technical effects to recreate the awe and terror of the novel. The character of Mary Shelley played a major part in the action to play up the parallels between Victor Frankenstein and Shelley as subversive creators. All in all, it was a successful and worthwhile event and many thanks to Mrs Porter for organising the trip.
Head of English