The Life of St. Alban by Matthew Paris

French of England Translation Series (FRETS), Vol. 2

The Life of St. Alban by Matthew Paris

Translated by Jocelyn Wogan-Browne and Thelma S. Fenster et al.
2010 | 240 + xvi pp. | 19 color ills. | 978-0-86698-390-7 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 342 | $45 | £28 |

The Passion of Saint Alban by William of St. Albans
Translated and Introduced by Thomas O’Donnell and Margaret Lamont
and Studies of the Manuscript by Christopher Baswell and Patricia Quinn

This volume presents the first translation of Matthew Paris’s Vie de seint Auban, the great thirteenth-century chronicler’s life of the patron saint of his own monastery of St. Albans. In addition to its role within the monastery, this key text in Paris’s canon was aimed at elite lay patrons from the court of Henry III. The Life, extant in a single manuscript largely written in Paris’s own hand and extensively illustrated by him, offers vivid accounts of conversion and crusading piety, and casts the Romano-Britons of early England as evil Saracens. The manuscript has not been published in detail since M. R. James’ black and white collotype prints of 1924. Modern scholarship’s relative neglect of the work is addressed in this volume, which includes a substantial introduction, a new translation of Paris’s chief source, the Vita sancti Albani, and two essays on the manuscript, together with generous color illustration. The volume will be of interest to scholars and readers of medieval literature, history and culture. An appendix of original text excerpts adds to its usefulness in both graduate and undergraduate courses.

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FRETS Series Editors: Thelma Fenster and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne