Doing History in a Liturgical Mode in English Nunneries

I am currently engaged in an extended research project on historiographic methods, medieval and modern. This project reconsiders how contemporary scholars perceive the relationship between the forms of history production and the kinds of historical understandings different forms enable. That is, I read the standard (narrative) form of history writing as a methodological decision with epistemological consequences: narrative history will always produce a specific kind of insight about the past.

Female Saints in Early Tudor Chester: Henry Bradshaw's Lives of Werburgh and Radegund

I am currently preparing an edition of the two hagiographic poems of Henry Bradshaw (d. 1513), a monk of St. Werburgh's Abbey in Chester and one of the last English hagiographers to compose substantial Lives of saints before the English Reformation. His poetic Life of St. Werburge (seventh-century Mercian princes and abbess) and Life of St. Radegunde (sixth-century Merovingian queen and nun) offer models of ethical deportment for laywomen and professed religious alike, while also tracing the historical elements of the saints' lives.

Anglo-Saxon Saints' Lives as History Writing in Late Medieval England

Late medieval thinkers and writers weren't interested in their island's Anglo-Saxon past; it would be up to early modern antiquarians and reformation polemicists to "rediscover" pre-Conquest history. Or so the received narrative tells us. Turning to visual art, royal ceremony, and monastic tradition, however, we can see a widespread fascination in late fourteenth, fifteenth, and early sixteenth-century England with English religious history before the Norman Conquest.

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