Yesterday was the beginning of fall semester at The Ohio State University, where I’m taking a class called, variously, “Early Modern London: Urban Spaces and Popular Culture;” or “16th-17th Century London,” depending on which part of the university website you’re consulting.

The course is offered by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and our instructor is the current Director of the Center, Professor Christopher Highley, who is from England.

It looks like it will be a fascinating class. Right now we are working on the Agas Map of Early Modern London, which is based on a map drawn in the 16th century and is interactive online. The site is open to the public and free. Check it out atΒ The Agas Map of Early Modern London. We are using the abbreviation MoEML to refer to it in class.

MoEML is a lot of fun to play with. You can scroll around the map, zoom in on features that catch your eye, and use their categories section to highlight certain places, like churches (or taverns). πŸ™‚

I wonder what the two pack animals are doing in the Thames River, just west of London Bridge? Any ideas?

OOPS!Β  I just read that under international copyright law, I cannot use any images from MoEML, so I have deleted them. But please do go to the link, above, and check it out for yourself!


There are twelve students in the class, which is an upper level undergraduate course. One thing each student has to do is give a report or presentation about ten minutes long on an article or chapter or topic. In October I’m going to be singing and playing two lute-songs from the late Elizabethan-early Stuart era.

One song is “O Mistress Mine,” from Shakespeare’s play,Β Twelfth Night, to the original music by Thomas Morley, first performed most likely in 1602. The other song is “Of all the birds that I do know,” a bawdy poem by George Gascoigne, with music by John Bartlet, published in his Book of Ayres with a Multiplicitie of Music, in 1606.

If I think of it, I’ll record a practice tape shortly before I present the songs in class and post it here! πŸ™‚