Rethinking the South English Legendaries

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.