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A Maid with a DragonThe Cult of St Margaret of Antioch in Medieval England$
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Juliana Dresvina

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265963

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265963.001.0001

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Thirteenth-century anonymous Margaret poems and their later redactions

Thirteenth-century anonymous Margaret poems and their later redactions

(p.53) 2 Thirteenth-century anonymous Margaret poems and their later redactions
A Maid with a Dragon

Juliana Dresvina

British Academy

Chapter 2 examines thirteenth-century verse lives of St Margaret that continued to be copied, rewritten, and adapted well into the sixteenth century. These include multiple versions of two Middle English poems, a free-standing Meidan Maregrete, and the saint’s life from the South English Legendary corpus, their variations, deviations, manuscript context, raising the question of their genre – a hagiography–romance hybrid. Then it looks into Anglo-Norman and French versified lives of St Margaret, paying special attention to the so-called G version, immensely popular in Europe and preserved in over one hundred manuscripts. This popularity appears to result from the text’s claim that a copy of the poem can itself act as the saint’s relic.

Keywords:   hagiography, romance, poem, manuscript, mouvance, genre, South English Legendary, Middle English, Anglo-Norman, French

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