Faculty Book: E. Gordon Whatley, Anne B. Thompson, and Robert K. Upchurch, editors
E. Gordon Whatley, Anne B. Thompson,
and Robert K. Upchurch, editors
Saints' Lives in Middle English Collections
(Medieval Institute Publications, 2004; TEAMS, Middle English Texts Series)
This volume, conceived as a complement to Sherry Reames' Middle English Legends of Women Saints, concentrates chiefly on the lives of male saints (Andrew, George, Jerome, Benedict, Austin [Augustine of Canterbury], Francis, and Julian), though two women saints are included—Thaïs and Scholastica. As the introduction notes, this selection "is intended to be broadly representative of saints’ lives in Middle English and of the classic types of hagiographic legend as these were presented to the lay public and less-literate clergy of late medieval England." And although hagiography is notoriously unreliable as history, the introduction notes that "[l]egends such as those printed here ... provided generations of medieval people, both lay and clerical, with a stately procession of figures that constituted the Christian past, as well as being still 'present' as glorious members of the body of Christ, the communion of saints." E. Gordon Whatley is a professor of English at Queens College and The Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: MAY 1, 2005