The anonymous Life of King Edward written about the time of the Norman Conquest, is an important and intriguing source for the history of Anglo-Saxon England in the years just before 1066. It provides a fascinating account of Edward the Confessor and his family, including his wife Edith, his father-in-law Earl Godwin, and the queen's brothers Tostig and Harold (who became king in 1066). The foundations of the legend of St. Edward the Confessor are apparent from the version of the work supplied by the unique manuscript of circa 1100. Barlow explores the problems raised by this anonymous and now incomplete manuscript and examines the development of the cult of St. Edward. He also investigates the life and works of Goscelin of St. Bertin, a possible author. For this second edition, Barlow has not only undertaken a complete revision of the book, but recent discoveries have enabled him to reconstruct in part the lacunae in BL Harley MS 526 with texts closer to the original.
'For all the elegance of Barlow's translation and the wealth of learning he deploys, the Vita Edwardi remains one of the problem-texts of English historical writing. We can only be grateful that this edition disperses so much of the surrounding fog.'
Times Literary Supplement
Illustrations; Abbreviated References; Introduction; Vita AEdwardi Regis; Appendices; Index.