Saints’ Lives for Medieval English Nuns, II
An Edition of the ‘Lyves and Dethes’ in Cambridge University Library, MS Additional 2604
Veronica O'Mara, Virginia Blanton (eds)
- Pages: xvi + 504 p.
- Size:156 x 234 mm
- Illustrations:1 tables b/w.
- Publication Year:2024
- € 110,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE
- ISBN: 978-2-503-60783-2
- Forthcoming (Apr/24)
- € 110,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE
- ISBN: 978-2-503-60784-9
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This edition of Cambridge University Library, MS Additional 2604 contains prose lives of twenty-two universal and native saints, a rare survival of the devotional life of medieval English nuns likely in an East Anglian convent.
Veronica O’Mara is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute for Medieval English at the University of Leeds.
Virginia Blanton is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Cambridge University Library, MS Additional 2604 contains a unique collection of prose saints’ lives evenly divided into eleven universal and eleven native saints (predominantly culted at Ely). Clearly intended for the devotional life of nuns, presumably in an East Anglian convent, the volume comprises nineteen female figures, all of whom are virgins, martyrs, or nuns, and three male saints (two apostles and a hermit). These late Middle English lives are translated from a variety of Latin sources and analogues including material by Jacobus de Voragine, John of Tynemouth, and others. The collection demonstrates an interest in showcasing native saints alongside their universal sisters. Luminaries of the English Church, such as Æthelthryth of Ely and her sister Seaxburh, are found in the company of notable virgin martyrs like Agatha and Cecilia. Famous saints like John the Evangelist and Hild of Whitby feature alongside others such as Columba of Sens and Eorcengota. Fully analysed and contextualised in its companion volume Saints’ Lives for Medieval English Nuns, I: A Study of the ‘Lyves and Dethes’ in Cambridge University Library, MS Additional 2604, these texts are edited here for the first time. Alongside the edition of the twenty-two saints’ lives and full textual apparatus, there are extensive overviews and commentaries providing details of the sources and analogues as well as explanatory historical and literary notes. The edition concludes with three appendices, a detailed select glossary, and a bibliography of works cited.
A Study and Edition of the Saints’ Lives
- Here begynnyth the lyfe of Seynt Iohn Baptist
- Here begynnyth the life of Seynt Iohn Euangeliste
- Here begynnyth the lyf of Seynt Columbe þe virgyn
- [Here begynneth the martirdome of Seynt Agace the virgyn]
- [The life of Seynt Cecile the virgyn and martir]
- Here begynnyth the life of Seynt Barbara the virgyn and martir
- The life of Seynt Audry of Hely virgyn and martir
- Here begynnyth the life of Seynt Sexburge, sister to Seynt Awdre, which was the next abbes of Hely aftir hir
- Here begynnyth the lyfe of Seynt Ermenylde, the first doughter of seynt Sexburgh
- Here begynnyth the lyfe of Seynt Werburgh, the doughter of Seynt Ermenyld
- Here begynnyth a shorte lyfe of Seynt Erkengoode, the secunde doughter of Seynt Sexburgh and the awnte of Seynt Wereburgh, and of Seynt Alburgh þat was sistir to Seynt Awdre of Hely
- Here begynnyth the life of Seynt Whitburge
- Here begynnyth the lif of Seynt Edith of Wylton
- Here begynnyth the holy life of Seynt Edburgh, abbes of Tenett aftir Seynt Mildrede
- Here begynnyth the holy life of Seynt Aswyde þe nonne of Folkstone
- [The holy lif of Seynt Hilde abbes of Streneshall]
- Here begynnyth the life of Seynt Martha, abbes of many nonnes and þe syster of Mary Mawdelen
- Here begynnyth a litill short mencion of the life of Seynt Domitille
- Of the Life of Seynt Iustine Abbes and Martyr
- [Here begynnyth the lyfe of Seynt Benett]
- Thus begynnyth þe lyfe of Seynt Modewyne
- Here begynnyth the life and miracles of Seynt Leonarde
Overviews and Commentaries
- John The Baptist
- John the Evangelist
- Eorcengota (and Æthelburh)
Appendix B. Miracles
Appendix C. Place-Names