By Sarah Salih
The saints have been the superheroes and the stars of medieval England, bridging the distance among heaven and earth, the dwelling and the useless. an enormous physique of literature advanced in the course of the heart a long time to make sure that everybody, from kings to peasants, knew the tales of the lives, deaths and afterlives of the saints. besides the fact that, regardless of its acceptance and ubiquity, the style of the Saint's lifestyles has till lately been little studied. This assortment introduces the canon of center English hagiography; locations it within the context of the cults of saints; analyses key subject matters inside hagiographic narrative, together with gender, energy, violence and heritage; and, eventually, indicates how hagiographic issues survived the Reformation. total it bargains either info for these coming to the style for the 1st time, and issues ahead to new traits in examine. Dr SARAH SALIH is Senior Lecturer in English, King's collage London. members: SAMANTHA RICHES, MARY BETH lengthy, CLAIRE M. WATERS, ROBERT generators, ANKE BERNAU, KATHERINE J. LEWIS, MATTHEW WOODCOCK
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Additional resources for A Companion to Middle English Hagiography
A bell in the cathedral, known as St George’s bell, tolled for the use of the Guild. The inventories of the Guild tell us that it had its own Mass vestments, also chapel and altar furniture. 10 The possession of a number of relics of their patron is indicative of the prestige of this guild, but we should note that it is also testament to the very healthy trade in relics which characterised medieval religion as well as the importance of relics as a focal point of saints’ 9 Records of the Gild of St George, pp.
Pilgrim badge of St Edmund, fifteenth century, pewter. 13. Photograph: Museum of London Another aspect worth considering of wall painting and other publicly accessible forms of imagery is that they could have provided a vehicle for the patron to broadcast his or her views of the saint to all who saw the image, and hence perhaps shape their own understandings of the saint. Given that any patron would by definition need to have some level of disposable income, he or she would be likely to occupy a position of higher status than other members of his or her community.
However, it is by no means impossible that the compilers of these inventories were writing about entire arms. 12 We know that the St George Guild took part in a great annual procession of Norwich guilds and crafts on the feast of Corpus Christi, and that there was a Guild feast at Christmas, but the most important date in their calendar was undoubtedly St George’s Day (23rd April). Indeed, the celebration of this day was a highlight of the year for the whole city. Sadly there seem to be no visual records of these festivals, but the documentary evidence at Norwich does at least allow us some sense of the splendour and pageantry associated with the marking of St George’s Day.