A Companion to Middle English Hagiography by Sarah Salih

By Sarah Salih

The saints have been the superheroes and the stars of medieval England, bridging the space among heaven and earth, the dwelling and the useless. an unlimited physique of literature developed through the center a while to make sure that every person, from kings to peasants, knew the tales of the lives, deaths and afterlives of the saints. notwithstanding, regardless of its attractiveness and ubiquity, the style of the Saint's lifestyles has till lately been little studied. This assortment introduces the canon of center English hagiography; areas it within the context of the cults of saints; analyses key subject matters inside of hagiographic narrative, together with gender, energy, violence and historical past; and, eventually, indicates how hagiographic topics survived the Reformation. total it deals either details for these coming to the style for the 1st time, and issues ahead to new tendencies in study.

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30–2, p. 31. 10 Records of the Gild of St George, pp. 15, 32. 32 SAMANTHA RICHES cults (see Appendix). 11 It is likely that both here and at Norwich a fragment of bone, reputed to be from the arm of the saint, was kept in a substantial reliquary. However, it is by no means impossible that the compilers of these inventories were writing about entire arms. 12 We know that the St George Guild took part in a great annual procession of Norwich guilds and crafts on the feast of Corpus Christi, and that there was a Guild feast at Christmas, but the most important date in their calendar was undoubtedly St George’s Day (23rd April).

Edmund had already given ample evidence of his displeasure against those who were less than respectful to his remains, so the abbot may have had just cause. When Egelwin took the body to London he was inhospitably received by a priest in Essex, whose house then burned down. According to the chronicle of Joscelin of Brakelond, which covers the period 1173–1202, Edmund was so dissatisfied with the level of care bestowed on his relics that he caused a fire in order that a new shrine would have to be built, using King Richard’s own gift to this purpose.

227 and their correspondences and differences tabulated in tables 1–3. 26 Ian Lancashire, Dramatic Texts and Records of Britain: A Chronological Topography to 1558 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 224, entry 1164. There is also a record of a St George play staged in Lydd in July 1456; entry 1162. 27 Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, ed. Norman Davis, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971–76), vol. 1, letter 275. 36 SAMANTHA RICHES toponym reflecting interest in a saint’s cult (see Appendix): formerly known as Bedericesworth, or Beodricsworth, the town’s current name means literally ‘St Edmund’s borough’, and reflects the translation of his relics there in 903.

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