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Anonymous Interpolations in Ælfric's Lives of Saints

edited by Robin Norris

Publication Year: 2011

We know almost nothing about the anonymous authors of Euphrosyne, Eustace, Mary of Egypt, and The Seven Sleepers, except that each was interested in reading, translating, and transmitting one of these four texts. Each of the four essays in this collection explores what those reasons might have been. None of the four contributors uses Ælfric as the exclusive lens for analysis, and each piece adopts a different theoretical or methodological approach to the text in question; in the process, the four anonymous texts are put into conversation with the Gospels, Freudian psychoanalysis, a fragmentary, fire-damaged manuscript, Old English homilies, and a novel published in 2006. In offering four new essays on the anonymous interpolations in Ælfric's Lives of Saints that take four very different approaches to the texts in question, we hope to open additional lines of inquiry into the lives of the se saints and to promote new scholarship on the anonymous hagiography of Anglo-Saxon England.

Published by: Medieval Institute Publications

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Contents

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p. v-v

Abbreviations and Short Titles

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p. vii-vii

Editor’s Note

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p. ix-ix

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Approximately one hundred saints’ lives in Old English prose have survived to the present day. Although almost 40 percent of this corpus is anonymous, as the named author who wrote more than half of the extant lives1 Ælfric of Eynsham has come to dominate the study of Old English ...

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The Old English Life of Saint Euphrosyne and the Economics of Sanctity

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pp. 13-28

The lives of saints can sometimes tell us as much about the culture that produced them as about the individuals they memorialize. Although all hagiographic literature (and art, for that matter) is essentially didactic— as the great hagiographer Gregory of Tours himself forcefully articulated, ...

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Saint Mary of Egypt in British Library, MS Cotton Otho B.x [Includes Figures]

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pp. 29-70

There are three extant, although incomplete, copies of the anonymously translated Old English version of The Life of Mary of Egypt, all written in the early- to mid-eleventh century.1 Three leaves of the text survive in Gloucester Cathedral 35, a collection of fragments from bindings now kept ...

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The Old English Seven Sleepers, Eros, and the Unincorporable Infinite of the Human Person

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pp. 71-96

In Kevin Brockmeier’s novel The Brief History of the Dead, there are only two geographies, separated by the membrane of death. First, there is the City, which is inhabited by the recently departed, mainly victims of a viral pandemic that has wiped out the entire population of the earth ...

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Reversal of Fortune, Response, and Reward in the Old English Passion of Saint Eustace

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pp. 97-117

The Old English Passion of Saint Eustace is a unique prose narrative, and it is unfortunate that this saint’s life has been neglected by scholars of Anglo-Saxon literature.1 The plot contains romance elements that merit further study,2 but the Passion should also be taken seriously as a hagiographic ...

Production Notes

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p. 118-118


E-ISBN-13: 9781580441865
E-ISBN-10: 1580441866
Print-ISBN-13: 9781580441636
Print-ISBN-10: 1580441637

Page Count: 128
Illustrations: 12 halftones
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Old English Newsletter Subsidia

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • English literature -- Old English, ca. 450-1100.
  • Christian literature, English (Old).
  • Christian saints -- Biography -- Early works to 1800.
  • Manuscripts, English (Old).
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