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The literature of Anglo-Saxon England is unique among contemporary European literatures in that it features a vast amount of saints' lives in the vernacular. This study analyzes the most important author Aelfric's lives of five important saints in the light of their cults in Anglo-Saxon England, providing the reader fascinating glimpses of 'Aelfric at work'. He adapts the cults and rewrites the received Latin hagiography so that each of their lives conveys a distinct message to the contemporary political elite as well as to a lay audience at large.Read more
- The first study of Aelfric's saints' Lives in their contemporary setting
- Examines Aelfric's aims in selecting his saints, and rewriting his hagiographical sources
- Focuses on five of the most important saints in the light of their cults in Anglo-Saxon England
Reviews & endorsements
"This is a masterly review of these five selected vitae by a scholar who has immersed herself deeply in the literature of the tenth-century Winchester reform movement. Its greatest achievements are the unfolding, through patient analysis of sources that were or could have been available to Aelfric..., of the varying strategies employed by Aelfric to commemorate his subjects and...the reinforcement of our appreciation of the importance of Aelfric of upholding the principles of the monastic reform of Aethelwold and of pastoral response to current events. Gretsch's facility in contemporary English is superb."
-Milton McC. Gatch, Union Theological Seminary, Journal of Medieval Studies
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- Date Published: January 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521093071
- length: 276 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.41kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Ælfric's Sanctorale and the Benedictional of Æthelwold
2. Gregory: the Apostle of the English
3. Cuthbert: from Northumbrian Saint to Saint of All England
4. Benedict: Father of Monks - and what else?
5. Swithun and Æthelthryth: Two 'Saints of our Days'
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