Rethinking the South English Legendaries

Edited by Heather Blurton and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

Rethinking the South English Legendaries


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0696-4
  • Pages: 544
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £21.99
  • Published Date: February 2017
  • BIC Category: History & Archaeology, CE period up to c 1500, RELIGION / History, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, Medieval Literature, Literature, Literary studies: ancient & classical, Humanities / History of religion, Humanities / Medieval history
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture


The South English Legendary is the major collection of saints' lives in medieval English. A medieval 'bestseller', with 50 or so manuscripts and manuscript fragments and nearly 300 separate items in circulation in various combinations and books from the late thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, the Legendary has become increasingly well known in recent years through modern editions of individual texts and study of particular manuscripts. Meanwhile greatly increased interest in saints' lives, in literary and historical scholarship and the cultural and post-disciplinary turn in literary studies provide a wealth of new approaches through which to view the South English Legendary.

The present volume creates a fresh platform for thinking about this richly dynamic work: it draws on the new hagiographic scholarship, attends to textual, socio-cultural, political and other issues, reprints a handful of earlier key articles now difficult to obtain, and includes a special section on performance. It will be of interest to all scholars of medieval literature: academics, teachers, graduate students, undergraduates.


Introduction: Rethinking the South English Legendaries - Heather Blurton and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
Part I: (Re-)situating the South English Legendary
2. The South English Legendaries - Thomas Liszka
3. The social context of vernacular writing in thirteenth-century England: the
evidence of the manuscripts - John Frankis
4. The South English Legendary and its major Latin models - Sherry Reames
5. Outspoken style in the South English Legendary and Robert of Gloucester - Oliver Pickering
Part II: Manuscripts and Textual Cultures of the South English Legendaries
6. 'Lite bokes' and 'grete relikes': texts and their transmission in the South English Legendary - Chloe Morgan
7. Documents, poetry, and editorial practice: the case of 'St. Egwin' - Stephen M. Yeager
8. Modular dynamics in the South English Legendary - William Robins
Part III: Textual communities and the South English Legendaries
9. Forms of community in the South English Legendary - Catherine Sanok
10. Counting noses and assessing the numbers: native saints in the South English Legendaries - Virginia Blanton
11. Locating saints' lives and their communities - Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
12. Pope Gregory and St. Austin of Canterbury in the Early South English Legendary - E. Gordon Whatley
Part IV: Contexts and Discourses
13. Dangerous sympathies: political commentary in the South English Legendary
- Thomas J. Heffernan
14. 'His right hond he liet of-smite': Judas/Quiriac and the representation of Jewish identity in the South English Legendaries - Heather Blurton
15. Mapping identity in the South English Legendary - Sarah Breckenridge
16. Visualizing the South English Legendary: Bodleian Library, MS Tanner 17 Karen - A. Winstead
17. Conversion, translation and Becket's 'heathen' mother - Robert Mills
18. Bodies of belief: MS Bodley 779's South English Legendary - Jocelyn Wogan-Browne
Part V: Performance
19. Black humour in the South English Legendary - Oliver Pickering
20. Teaching the South English Legendaries at York: performativity and interdisciplinarity - Chloe Morgan, Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Tim Ayers
Part VI: Afterword
21. Where next? - Anne B. Thompson
Works cited


Heather Blurton is Associate Professor in English and Medieval Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne is Thomas F.X. and Theresa Mullarkey Chair in Literature at Fordham University

Rethinking the South English Legendaries

Edited by Heather Blurton, Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

Paperback £21.99 / $32.95

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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