The Cult of St Katherine of Alexandria in Late Medieval England

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Abstract

First large-scale study of widespread saint's cult reveals valuable detail of medieval life.
The cult of St Katherine of Alexandria enjoyed great popularity throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, retaining a wide appeal right up to the Reformation; she appears in a wide variety of contexts, in association withconcepts of royal and civic power, by the end of the period becoming identified as a British saint, and acting as a model of the ideal lay Christian and a paradigm of femininity and young womanhood. This study, the first full-scale interdisciplinary examination of a saint's cult in late medieval England, looks at the processes by which she came to have such a prominent place in the devotions of English men and women from across the wide social scale; using written and visual narratives of Katherine's life, in combination with documentary evidence provided by wills, inventories and gild returns, the author shows how devotees perceived and responded to her, and the various religious, social and cultural roles assigned to her.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBoydell and Brewer Ltd
Number of pages306
ISBN (Print)9780851157733 , 0851157734
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2000

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