St Katherine of Alexandria was the most popular female saint in late-medieval England. Studies to date have often focused on her relevance to women and considered what her life and cult tells us about ideologies of femininity. However, St Katherine was also a very popular saint with male devotees, and in some instances copies of her life are known to have been owned by individual men. Therefore this essay uses the popular fifteenth-century prose life of St Katherine to explore the contribution that interactions between piety and masculinity made to the social self-fashioning of affluent urban lay men. Drawing on ideologies of ideal kingship and their predication on masculine norms, it argues that the relevance of St Katherine to this type of man derives from her status as an exemplary ruler, especially the account of her household management.
|Title of host publication||Hagiography and the History of Latin Christendom, 500–1500|
|Editors||Samantha Kahn Herrick|
|Place of Publication||Leiden & Boston|
|Publisher||Brill Academic Publishers|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Dec 2019|
|Name||Reading Medieval Sources|