Rustic figurines of a resigned-looking Virgin clutching her child may have no obvious literary or artistic merit to us today. But understanding what they meant to the spiritual lives of their owners can offer a glimpse of the human hopes and fears that people have, for centuries, invested in inanimate objects.
Belton House boasts one of the most extensive libraries among National Trust properties, representing 350 years of book collecting. Dr Abigail Brundin and Dr Dunstan Roberts have curated an exhibition of Italian literature at Belton, showcasing material that has rarely been seen by the public.
Renaissance scholar Dr Abigail Brundin, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian, has been awarded an ‘I Tatti’ Fellowship from Harvard University, enabling her to spend time exploring 16th- and 17th-century Florentine archives. She hopes to shed light on a turbulent period in Italy’s literary history, when poets and writers laboured in the face of religious censorship.