Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gilte Legende

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gilte Legende

Article excerpt

Gilte Legende, Vol. II, ed. Richard Hamer, with the assistance of Vida Russell, English Text Society, OS 328 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). vii + 537 pp. ISBN 978-0-19923439-4. £65.00. The mid-fifteenth-century Gilte Legende is a close English translation of Jean de Vignay's Legende dorée, itself translated from the Legenda aurea of Jacobus de Voraginé. Richard Hamer, with the assistance of Vida Russell, here presents the second volume of a three-part edition, thus making the whole of this work readily accessible for the first time. The first volume, published in 2006 (EETS, os 327), contained ninety-three saints' lives running from St Andrew (30 November) to St James (25 July); volume II begins with St Christopher, commemorated on the same day as St James, and brings the cycle of the church year to completion with St Saturnine (29 November). Various other saints' lives follow, along with sections for the Dedication of the Church and Advent; chapters on the Conception of the Virgin, Adam and Eve, and the Five Wiles of Pharaoh, which are additions in the English version, bring the number of narratives edited in this volume to eighty-five, giving a total of 179 between the two volumes. When we remember that Hamer and Russell have already edited twenty-six supplementary saints' lives from the Gilte Legende (EETS, os 315, published in 2000), the vast scale of this editorial project becomes apparent, and the consecutive appearance of these volumes all the more remarkable. …

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