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. -- .
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 -- .
CONTENTS: 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 -- .