The Life of St AEthelwold is one of the most important and interesting sources for the history of Anglo-Saxon England and for the religious movements of western Europe in the tenth century. It was written around the year 1000 by Wulfstan of Winchester, who had been a student of AEthelwold; the Life, therefore, provides a firsthand account of the activities of the man who was the central force in the Benedictine reform movement of the later tenth century. It also
reveals the nature of AEthelwold's education and contacts with continental monasticism, and shows why Winchester became a focal point of late Anglo-Saxon culture. The present book,
by two well-known authorities in the field of Anglo-Latin literature, provides the first critical edition of Wulfstan's Life. It is accompanied by a translation, extensive historical notes, and a substantial introduction which treats both Wulfstan and Aethelwold in the light of recent scholarly research. Appendices provide editions of other texts relevant to the study of AEthelwold, including a Latin Life by his pupil AElfric, some verses by a twelfth-century Ely poet, and a previously
unprinted Middle English poem on the saint. This is a valuable edition of a major source, which will be welcomed by all students of Anglo-Saxon England.
` An impressive dossier, impeccably presented by the two editors, on a major figure in late tenth-century England.'
Times Literary Supplement
'This is the finest book to have issued from the distinguished series Oxford Medieval Texts for several years. The editors have incorporated sound research of other scholars. Evidence is surveyed comprehensively, analysed magisterially, and never overstated. Real advances in knowledge are distinguished from probabilities and from attractive possibilities ... solidly researched, well written, and beautifully presented book.'
D.R. Howlett, Bodleian Library, Oxford, Early Medieval Europe 1992 I(I)
`a first rate edition and translation. This edition with its commentary and well-informed notes will be invaluable for the study of many facets of the late Anglo-Saxon church and its culture.'
EHR vol 109 issue 434
`Professor Lapidge is a superb tracer of sources and influence. His notes to this edition will be invaluable. Michael Winterbottom has edited the text and provided a neat translation.'
The Catholic Historical Review
Abbreviations; Introduction: i. Wulfstan of Winchester; ii. AEthelwold, Wulfstan, and the Vita; iii. Wulfstan as hagiographer; iv. The cult of St AEthelwold; v. Later uses of the Vita; vi. Manuscripts of the Vita; vii. Indirect witnesses to the Vita; viii. Relationship of MSS and indirect witnesses; ix. Previous editions; x. Editorial procedures; The life of St AEthelwold; Appendix I: Aelfric. Vita S. AEthelwoldi; Appendix II: Poems on St AEthelwold; Appendix
III: The Middle English 'Life of Adelwolde'; Index