By Sarah Salih
The saints have been the superheroes and the celebs of medieval England, bridging the distance among heaven and earth, the dwelling and the useless. an unlimited physique of literature advanced throughout the heart a while to make sure that every person, from kings to peasants, knew the tales of the lives, deaths and afterlives of the saints. besides the fact that, regardless of its attractiveness and ubiquity, the style of the Saint's lifestyles has until eventually lately been little studied. This assortment introduces the canon of heart English hagiography; locations it within the context of the cults of saints; analyses key issues inside of hagiographic narrative, together with gender, energy, violence and background; and, eventually, indicates how hagiographic subject matters survived the Reformation. total it deals either info for these coming to the style for the 1st time, and issues ahead to new developments in study.
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Additional resources for A Companion to Middle English Hagiography
As Lewis discusses, historians have learnt to use hagiography as evidence for mentalities, and discovered it to be an excellent source for social and cultural histories. 115 The genre has been particularly useful to studies on the borderlines of history, art history and literature. 116 Medievalists have adopted the techniques of cultural studies to read our own less-than-respectable popular literatures. 117 Historicist readings such as those detailed above show that hagiography was engaged in the conversations and debates of its own day.
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The Vikings demanded part of his kingdom, something that hagiographers present him as willing to give up if his enemies would convert to Christianity, but he absolutely refused to abjure his own faith. As with the problematic issue of royal chastity, the hagiographers’ emphasis on Edmund’s disdain for his earthly treasures is not congruent with the real pressures on medieval kings: the loss of control of parts of a kingdom was obviously to be avoided at all costs, but voluntary poverty is another trope associated with sanctity.
A Companion to Middle English Hagiography by Sarah Salih