By Emma Campbell
Contending that the examine of hagiography is important either for a attention of medieval literature and for present theoretical debates in medieval reports, this booklet considers a number outdated French and Anglo-Norman texts, utilizing sleek theories of kinship and group to teach how saints' lives construe social and sexual relations.
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Extra info for Medieval Saints' Lives: The Gift, Kinship and Community in Old French Hagiography (Gallica)
He wears neither minever nor grey fur, but worthless clothes of little value. ] The accumulation of negatives in this passage highlights the connectedness of the human and divine spheres that the saint is situated between, even as it insists on their separation: Gilles’s nakedness and impoverishment are, on the one hand, the result of his abandonment of wealth and possessions and, on the other hand, a mark of his reliance on God as an alternative source of sustenance. Though this signals Gilles’s withdrawal from human society, his new status is nonetheless framed by his negative relationship to the world he has left, emphasizing what he has left behind as the basis for his commitment to God.
1–76. 36 Robertson, The Medieval Saints’ Lives; Zaal, ‘A Lei francesca’; Wogan-Browne, Saints’ Lives and Women’s Literary Culture. 18 EMMA CAMPBELL of studying the audience and reception of much of the material mentioned in this book from the point of view of patronage networks and manuscript ownership. Her study raises important questions concerning women’s relationship to saints’ lives and the way such texts operate within and across social and cultural networks. One of the things I hope this book does is carry forward Wogan-Browne’s sophisticated concern with female communities in new, potentially queer directions, demonstrating how questions of reception might be advanced by textual-theoretical investigation as well as historicist analysis.
In the St Albans Psalter this scene is illuminated. See above, p. 2. In later versions, where this scene is more protracted, the simultaneous renunciation of bride and ring is modified. These versions still focus on renunciation, but the bride’s role in giving up her husband is emphasized alongside that of Alexis. In S, the saint halves his ring and gives (recoumander) half to his bride; both parties later commend (commander) one another to God, an action that is emphasized four times (lines 158; 297–320).