Listen: there was once a King sitting on his throne. Around him stood great and wonderfully beautiful columns ornamented with ivory, Then it pleased the King to raise a small feather from the ground and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air blew it along. Thus am I… ‘A feather on the breath of God’.” One of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages, Hildegard of Bingen led a long and very active life as Abbess of her own abbey near Bingen in Germany.

She was also a visionary, poet, musician, naturalist, healer and theologian whose writings were prolific, wide-ranging and powerful. After a brief summary of her life, this lecture will focus on a selection of Hildegard’s visions and music - two areas of her artistic output which resonate powerfully, if a little surprisingly, with our modern world. 


Mark Cotlle

Born on the Isles of Scilly and educated at Truro School, Cornwall, and Birmingham University. His career has been spent in education and training at home and abroad.

He has lectured at Exeter College on Medieval and Tudor history, St Mark's & St John's University College, Plymouth, and at Bath University on Anglo Saxon and medieval England. Currently runs two small companies providing training and study breaks