Leahey Fellowship 2023-2024 Report: Maria Carriere

With funding from the History Department’s 2023-2024 Leahey fellowship, Maria Carriere spent two weeks in France visiting departmental archives in Blois and Chartres. The visit was part of preliminary research for Maria’s dissertation, which focuses on the activities of Alix of Brittany, the countess of Blois, who gathered a large number of troops and traveled to the Holy Land after her husband Jean’s death in the late thirteenth century. There, Alix erected two towers at Acre and was involved in the commissioning of a Histoire Universelle, a “history of the world.” Maria spent a week in Blois, gathering archival material related to activities of Alix and her husband Jean, including evidence of Alix’s burial from the cartulary of a house of Poor Clares. She spent an additional week in Charters, where she gathered further archival evidence for Alix and Jean’s administration of their county and their religious patronage. While in France, she made time to visit the famous Chartres cathedral, tour Saint-Denis, and view the Tour de France parade. Maria now has collected seventy-seven archival documents from which she can begin to reconstruct the movements of Alix and Jean during their time as the counts of Blois and upon which portions of her dissertation will be based. She looks forward to cataloging, organizing, and translating the material she gathered.

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