Eadwine the Scribe

FACSIMILES OF MANUSCRIPTS
ILLUMINATED IN THE BRITISH ISLES
Special Collections, Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University

 

The Life of St. Edmund, King and Martyr

Produced in England, East Anglia, Bury St. Edmonds, ca 1440–60
London, British Library, Harley MS 2278

The Lives of Saints Edmund and Fremond is one of the most beautiful fifteenth-century manuscripts written in Middle English verse. It was translated from the Latin by John Lydgate and written largely in rhyme royal stanzas, to commemorate the visit of the young Henry VI to the Benedictine Abbey at Bury St. Edmunds.


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Thumbnail image from the Life of St. Edmund

Open at fols. 22v–23r, depicting, at left, the funeral of Offa, King of East Anglia, and on the right, King Alkmund receiving the news of Offa’s death and giving a ring to Edmund.


 

Thumbnail image from the Life of St. EdmundDetail of fol. 22v, depicting King Offa's funeral.

 

Thumbnail image from the Life of St. EdmundDetail of fol. 23r, depicting King Alkmund hearing of Offa's death and giving a ring to Edmund.

 

Thumbnail image from the Life of St. EdmundDetail of fol. 28v, depicting King Edmund (in black) supervising construction in the town of Hunstanton.

 

Thumbnail image from the Life of St. EdmundDetail of fol. 29r, depicting King Edmund holding court.

 

Thumbnail image from the Life of St. EdmundDetail of fol. 31r, depicting the coronation of Edmund as King of East Anglia.

 

Thumbnail image from the Life of St. EdmundDetail of fol. 63r, depicting the martyrdom of King Edmund. According to legend, he was captured by two rival kings, who demanded that Edmund renounce his Christian faith. When Edmund refused, he was shot with arrows and beheaded.

 

Facsimile: The Life of St. Edmund, King and Martyr: John Lydgate’s Illustrated Verse Life Presented to Henry VI, intro. A.S.G. Edwards (London: The British Library, 2004)

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