Abstract

A pair of textual errors in the Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Laud Misc. 108, South English Legendary Lives of St. Brendan and St. Brigid (ca. 1280–1320) misidentify these two saints as coming from “ovre londe” (“our land”; implicitly, England) and “Scotlond” instead of from Ireland. These errors reflect English anxiety about possessing and reclaiming Irish culture as well as Irish land during a period when Anglo-Norman forces are colonizing and occupying portions of Ireland. The Brendan error claims Ireland for England in order to justify England’s colonization projects. The Brendan and Brigid errors also construct Ireland as well as Scotland as exotic spaces whose wonders distinguish them from England, while at the same time appropriating Celtic exoticism for English culture and Celtic lands for an Anglo-Norman empire.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0383
Print ISSN
0039-3738
Pages
pp. 1-18
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-18
Open Access
No
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