Elizabeth Drayson

Lorna Close Fellow in Spanish at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Elizabeth Drayson specialises in medieval and early modern Spanish literature and cultural history, and has a particular interest in the Arabic, Jewish, and Christian cultures of medieval and Golden Age Spain, as well as in the relationship between medieval literature, art and film. Her publications include the first translation and edition of Juan Ruiz's Libro de buen amor to appear in England (Everyman edition), as well as essays and articles on the Libro de buen amor, Berceo and the Poema de mio Çid. She is the author of The King and the Whore: King Roderick and La Cava, The New Middle Ages series, (London and New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007) which charts the reception of the legend of Roderick, last Visigothic king of Spain. Elizabeth has published several articles on the legend in medieval and early modern chronicles and early art, as well as giving numerous conference papers on the subject. Her monograph, The Lead Books of Granada, Early Modern History series (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013, paperback, 2016) evaluates the cultural status and importance of the polyvalent, ambiguous artefacts known as the lead books, which were discovered on a hillside in late sixteenth-century Granada and embody many of the dualities and paradoxes inherent in the racial and religious dilemmas of Early Modern Spain. Her latest book The Moor’s Last Stand: how seven centuries of Muslim rule in Spain came to an end, which charts the life and times of Boabdil, last Muslim king of Granada, will be published in April 2017 by Profile Books.

In March 2015 she organized two events at the Senate House London and Murray Edwards College, Cambridge on the Lead Books of Granada, as well as the Norman MacColl Symposium in April 2011 on the subject of 'Sites of Power: Granada as cultural icon', held at Clare College. The academic papers given at the symposium are available as an audio podcast at http://www.backdoorbroadcasting.net/2011/04/sites-of-power-the-city-of-Granada-as-cultural-icon/.

Elizabeth has also written a novel The Menorah, which contains a fictional reworking of the Libro de buen amor, is available under the pseudonym Gardner Drayson, at http://www.lulu.com

Teaching interests:
Medieval and early modern Spanish literature and cultural history
Representations of medieval and early modern Spanish life and literature on film
Translation
Research interests:
Medieval and Early Modern Spanish literature and cultural history
Medieval and early modern Spanish culture in visual art and film
Recent research projects:
Newton Trust CTO research leave award to research and write the story of Boabdil, last Muslim sultan of Granada.

Experience

  • –present
    Lorna Close Fellow in Spanish at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge